The new series Moonlight has premiered on CBS, and “premiere” is exactly the right word to describe the opening episode.
Personally, I’m getting pretty frustrated with premieres that pack too much “character background” into the opening episode of a new show. They do it in such a fashion that either the show doesn’t really flow, or we aren’t sure in what direction the series will go.
My initial hype-induced perception was that this show had potential. With executive producers like Ron Koslow (who brought us Beauty and the Beast 20 years ago – a show I enjoyed back in the day) & Joel Silver (The Matrix!), there was hope.
But was that hope justified? Let’s see…
Moonlight follows Mick St. John (Played by Alex O’Loughlin), a fellow that was turned into a vampire 60 years ago by his ex-wife (I’m resisting the obvious pun.). He’s a private detective who has dedicated his life to helping humans. He doesn’t kill innocents and his blood-sucking counterparts only sicken him. He’ll only drink blood supplied by his “dealer” at the nearby morgue.
While we follow Mick in the first investigation we are a privy to (he’s been doing this for a long time), he seems surprisingly non-vampiric and for me, somewhat low-keyed throughout the episode. That is until the end, where we finally see how fast and strong he can be. As in the previously mentioned Beauty and the Beast, our hero only truly bares his fangs when necessary… at the end of the episode and in order to save someone’s life.
In this information-packed episode we discover that in this retelling of the vampire mythos garlic, wooden stakes, crucifixes and holy water are nothing more than legends as vampire repellents and are competely ineffective. Additionally we find out about a shadowy group of vampires that live around the Los Angeles area (how appropriate is that?), who fear exposure to the world and thus keep very low profiles.
One of these vampires is Mick’s friend, 400 year old pal Josef (played by Jason Dohring). Josef does not share Mick’s view on saving humanity, and for the moment is someone who points Mick in the right direction to stop a vampire who’s murder spree is getting too much media attention.
Of course there’s the obligatory female role, a reporter named Beth (played by Sophia Myles) who Mick is very well aware of as he’s been watching over her since she was a child. We find out in the pilot that he saved her from a vampire feeding after her family was dispatched and has been watching over her ever since. Now, he’s starting to like her more than he should.
With the creative team behind this series, there may be a semblance of hope for the old tried, and yet true combination of vampire hero dealing with criminal ilk and other monsters. Yet the term “tried” can be re-spelled to create “tired”, and if they’re not careful this series may go in that direction.
The show has been placed in the timeslot behind Ghost Whisperer, of which I’m a fan. I can only guess CBS is trying to capture like-minded fantasy fans before they move it to another night and try to drag us along with it.
So after all that, did I like it? Let me be vague and say I did not dislike it… I didn’t mind the pilot episode, but let’s see where this new viewing relationship goes.
Moonlight‘s official website: CBS