Any private eye knows a lot about other people’s secrets. L.A. private eye Mick St. John (Alex O’Loughlin) has a secret of his own. He’s a vampire, dwelling in a covert netherworld complicated by friendship with an undead finance honcho (Jason Dohring), memories of the alluring ex-wife (Shannyn Sossamon) who turned him into a vampire, and a relationship with a human (Sophia Myles) he feels drawn to protect – and maybe to love. But no matter how tempting, Mick knows a vampire-human romance is eternally dangerous.
In light of the new vampire craze, Warner Brothers is releasing the complete series of Moonlight. The series didn’t last very long, but it developed a small and rather devoted fan base during its run. Perhaps if it had premiered in 2008, it would have been perfect timing for the series to have thrived. Fans will never know, but they can at least enjoy watching all the episodes now at their leisure.
The series takes the classic private eye premise and merges it a vampire twist. Think Veronica Mars meets True Blood, yet not as clever, not as sexy, and definitely not as engaging. The private eye himself is a vampire, and in this series, the vampires are not “out of the coffin”. Trying to keep things low key, the vampires must ensure that no one threatens to expose them, and while doing this, our main hunky vampire, Mick St. John (Alex O’Loughlin), has been keeping watch over a girl he saved in 1985 from his alluring and seemingly psycho ex-wife Coraline (Shannyn Sossamon). The years have passed, and modern day has caused him to cross paths with the girl again. Older now Beth Turner (Sophia Myles) is a reporter for a questionable news agency called BuzzWire. As typical vampire romances go, Mick finds himself drawn to protect Beth and then, of course, he falls in love with her. It’s dangerous and could of course have a horrifying ending as is the threat that lingers in all these similar stories.
Moonlight seems to be lacking something from the pilot episode. It has a decent plot, the cast is all attractive, but there’s no pushing the boundaries. It stays inside the box, and it plays it too safe. Perhaps it’s unfair of me to compare it to True Blood, since series on HBO surely have more room with what they can get away as compared to network shows. However, being a fan of the newly revived vampire/human series and movies (such as Twilight), I can’t help but to find myself less than satisfied with this series in comparison to the similar media that is available now.
There are moments of wit and sarcasm that will leave you snickering, mostly due to the contributions of Alex O’Loughlin, and it’s wonderful to see Jason Dohring again. Most will remember him from Veronica Mars as the stuck up kid who was misunderstood and was occasionally capable of being sensitive. Jason plays Josef Kostan, a fellow undead friend to Mick, and seems to bring with him the righteous rich kid attitude that he perfected while on Veronica Mars. He’s added a couple years to the attitude thus allowing him to do a fine job at executing the role of Josef. My main casting problem was with Sophia Myles as Beth Turner. She’s gorgeous and has unquestionable chemistry with the character of Mick St. John. The problem lies in how she delivers the rest of her character, and the fact that the viewer is left feeling less than convinced.
Fans that have been looking forward to the release will undoubtedly be disappointed by the lack of special features. There are simply none to write about. So to sum it all up, if you’re a fan of this genre, it may be worth checking out for you. The show did have a rabid fan following that will surely disagree with most of my points in this review, and perhaps you will agree with them too. But to me, I’ll wait for some more True Blood.
Review by Emma Loggins