Vampires seem to be a popular subject matter these days as we’re seeing all kinds of films and television series based on them. Dracula, Blade, 30 Days of Night, The Lost Boys, Twilight, and so many other things have come out recently to capture the horror and vastness that incorporates the vampire realm. Some of them are bad and some of them are good. Others are murderous killers while others want to find a cure and only kill to feed their need and stay, er, alive. I’m not sure what has become so cool about vampires that made so many people start putting them into everything, but it’s nice because I’ve always loved them. Curiosity is what drew me to Moonlight though because I wonder just how successful an undead blood-sucking detective would be.
The premise of Moonlight isn’t all that hard to comprehend as we all know that there are some cases the police just aren’t willing to touch. Maybe there’s too little information at hand or they know it’s going to end up being such a mess that they’d rather steer clear of it. That is where Mick St. John comes in and investigates these crimes for the innocent people in hopes that they can get some type of justice. Mick has eyes for a gossip-style reporter named Beth Turner that he just can’t seem to get his mind off of. Little does Beth know that she and Mick actually have a past because he saved her from being turned into a vampire two decades ago by his then-wife Coraline. Oh did I forget to mention that Mick is also a vampire? Yes, that’s what makes his little private investigate cases somewhat unique and his life a never-ending saga of watching those around him age while he never changes.
Believe when I say that this idea would have been great if only it had been done in a smaller amount of time. Maybe they thought canceling it after only sixteen episodes would make people appreciate it more, but my thoughts are more on the level of film duration. Moonlight tried way too hard to bring a television series to life and bothered to do very little research as to what they were doing. It’s hard to take any of this seriously when the main focus is supposed to be a vampire detective, but more then half the time is spent watching Mick chase after or fantasize about Beth. I wanted a blood-sucking vampire that was kind of a good guy like Blade, but not nearly as bad ass. I wanted a vampire that was a really cool detective that had everything going for him and always managed to outsmart the evil vampires. But no, that wasn’t what I received. Instead this show presents a vampire detective that lets his cases take a back seat while he focuses on a love life that isn’t quite there. BOR-ING!
It’s difficult to get really into the whole background either because Mick St. John is a vampire, but one that has only been a part of that world for a little over fifty years now. How is that interesting? There is no reason the series creators couldn’t have made it a guy that has been alive since the sixteen hundreds, partied with Dracula, and is simply adjusting to everyday life as the times change. Nope, we get a guy that’s been around since the fifties and merely having to adjust to present day time like every old person out there today but he just happens to look younger. Boring again. There isn’t really much about Moonlight that I did find entertaining or exciting and perhaps many felt the same so that’s why it got the boot so early in its run.
I mean come on man…Mick gets his blood fix by drinking bags of blood from a blood bank. Vampires are supposed to be creepy and scary even if they are on the good side. How unscary and not creepy is a dude grabbing a blood bubble from the local deli? Bah!
No Such Thing As Vampires: A Hearst College coed with a thing for vampires turns up dead with two puncture wounds in her neck.
Out Of The Past: The man who knows too much. A vengeful murderer released from prison can identify Mick as a vampire.
Dr. Feelgood: Beth and Mick hunt for a newly turned vampire who can’t seem to get enough of a good thing: fresh blood.
Fever: An arms-dealer case takes Mick where no vampire should be: under a glaring desert sun.
Arrested Development: After their encounter in the desert, Mick has been avoiding Beth. Then murder brings them back together.
B.C.: One hundred years and still no ring. The girl who’s been Josef’s on-again, off-again squeeze for a century goes missing.
The Ringer: Mick meets a woman who looks exactly like Coraline, his vampire ex. But Coraline’s dead…isn’t she?
12:04 AM: A killer is caught, tried, found guilty and executed. End of story…unless the killer is also a vampire.
Fleur de Lis: Mick hires Coraline’s look-alike to help him tail a CEO’s philandering trophy wife.
Sleeping Beauty: Sure he’s a vampire. But Josef has another secret, one Mick discovers when someone marks his friend for death.
Love Lasts Forever: Desperate when Josh is seriously wounded in a gang melee. Beth makes a heartrending request of Mick.
The Mortal Cure: Once a vampire, always a vampire? An experimental compound may give Mick the chance to be human again.
Fated To Pretend: Beth’s boss is offed, and the murder may be connected to Josef, a mayoral candidate, or the founder of a doughnut-diet empire.
Click: Beth gets a new boss and Mick gets a new gig: protecting a young actress from hordes of paparazzi.
What’s Left Behind: What was Mick like when he was human? A kidnapping leads Mick to relive his World War II days.
Sonata: The murder of a basketball star threatens to expose who Mick and Josef really are.
Moonlight‘s episodes are shown in 1.78:1 Widescreen format and the transfer to DVD was not kind to this series at all. There are a lot of problems with colors, shadows, and even some pixilation issues at times making this set even worse then watching it on television during its run.
The episodes are heard in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound and do an adequate enough job of utilizing the full room of speakers. All dialogue is heard nicely while sound effects and mostly the musical score come from the side and back speakers.
For being as big a fan of vampires as I am and me to not like this series as much as I do, something is just wrong there. Word has hit my ears that there is a huge cult following for this show much like Jericho has and it is certain that they’ll want to pick up this set without a doubt. But for those that have never seen it or simply been wondering about it, I urge you to pass it by. The lack of special features will not help this series’ cause and might even make some loyal fans unhappy. Hell, if you’re still interested then check out Sci Fi because they’ve started airing the first season in its entirety. No word yet on whether they’ll sink their teeth into starting up production of new episodes but if enough support from fans is there then maybe they’ll bite. Puns incredibly intended.
Warner Home Video presents Moonlight: The Complete Series. Created by: Ron Koslow & Trevor Munson. Starring: Alex O
Loughlin, Sophia Myles, Shannyn Sossamon, Brian J. White, Jason Dohring. Running time: 692 minutes on 4 discs. Rating: Not Rated. Released on DVD: January 20, 2009. Available at Amazon.com