Moonlight: No Such Thing as Vampires (series premiere)

    by Richard Keller, posted Sep 28th 2007 10:30PM

    Alex O'Loughlin and Sophia Myles from the new CBS series Moonlight(S01E01) Los Angeles and Toronto -- two cities that I will probably never end up moving into or near. Why? Because of the dense population of vampires that make those cities their home. I could understand Toronto: it's cold and gloomy in the winter and you can transverse the city through a myriad of underground passageways. But, Los Angeles? The place is sunny for most of the year. Why the hell would a vampire want to move there? Frankly I would think Seattle would be a better city to live in, or one of those towns up in Northern Alaska. I mean, those places don't see the sun for months at a time. What a perfect location for a vampire to live!

    Now that I got that out of my system let's talk about the first episode of the new CBS supernatural drama Moonlight. If you read my early look of this show you could see that I wasn't really enamored with the program. Besides the fact that the acting was sub-par and the featured crime was something you would see on any standard criminal procedural, the whole thing just left me empty.

    Maybe because this 'good vampire protects humans' thing has been done before, and done better. Angel and Forever Knight are probably the two shows that others will be measured against for the near future. That means any new show will have to try something different in order to get the audience. Unfortunately, Moonlight doesn't have that 'something different'.

    It's actually a very plain show with good-looking actors. There's nothing unique about vampire Mick St. John, played by The Shield's Alex O'Loughlin. Oh, he's got that low, grumbling voice thing down, and he looks cool in sunglasses, but that's about it. He just doesn't seem that personable, even amongst his vampire friends. Beth Turner, played by Sophia Myles, is supposed to be a hot-shot reporter but it seems unbelievable. Maybe I'm not that Internet savvy, but it seems to me that a career as a reporter for a news website wouldn't give you so much clout with the police in order to try to find out what happened to a murder victim.

    Wait, I'm a 'reporter' for a 'news website' and I have some clout. Um, strike the last two sentences or so.

    The only character that seems to have something to him is Josef, played by former Veronica Mars star Jason Dohring. Josef seems to be the head vampire in this little Los Angeles society due to his enormous wealth. He's also not shy about nibbling on a beautiful girl's arm for some fresh red corpuscles. Josef as a character should probably have a bit more screen time. Yet, in this first episode, he's on the screen once at the beginning and once towards the end. This has probably angered a good portion of the VM fans who came over to see Dohring in this role.

    There is one thing that I liked about this first episode of Moonlight: Mick St. John can walk outside in the daytime. Well, to be more specific, he can walk outside in the daytime as long as there's shade nearby. Otherwise, he gets a little toasty, and I mean literally. This does give him a bit more flexibility than someone like Angel when it comes to investigating a crime and may help him in later episodes (if there are any later episodes).

    Look, here's the thing: I could be totally, utterly wrong about Moonlight. This show may be on 10 years, generate two successful spinoffs, win several Emmy awards, and become the darling of Friday nights. Then again, if the show doesn't make some strides between this sub-par first episode and the next episode, we may be watching this on CBS' video website in the not too distant future. We'll see what happens next week.


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