Sunday, July 17, 2011

Today’s review is on Moonlight by Audrey A’Clagh. VAM06

Today’s review is on Moonlight by Audrey A’Clagh. VAM06

Moonlight - No Such Thing As Vampires (Part 1)

Now this is a good one, thank you Audrey for your rerview.

I have always loved this series, and the number of times I shouted at the TV screen BITE HER !!!  she wants to be bitten !!!!  but it was the only thing I had to yell about as it was a cool series that should have gone on a lot longer than it did.

To prove my point I have been able to give you a small bite of what it was like with a little film clip


            Moonlight originally aired from Sept 28, 2007 to April 25, 2008 . It stars Alex O’Loughlin as our vampire Mick St. John who works as a private detective; the other main lead is Sophia Myles as Beth Turner, a mortal reporter for Buzzwire -- a tabloid type of news outlet. In the series opener Mick encounters Beth at a crime scene; we get flash backs to Beth as a little girl Mick rescued from a vampire woman, a woman he then killed by staking her and burning the house down. The first episode “No Such Things as Vampires” set everything up nicely; when I first saw it, a week seemed  too long for the next piece!

The first episode opens with Mick explaining his vampire state to an imaginary interviewer and saying he always wondered how he would explain his existence. He gives us the basics of vampire nature in  this mythology. He sleeps in a freezer, these vampires need cold to achieve rest. If he did eat, garlic wouldn’t be a problem, holy water and crosses are also nothing to him. Sunlight is tolerable but the longer the exposure the sicker he gets (the episode “Fever” turns on this).  The way to kill a vampire is beheading or fire. Once Beth catches Mick feeding to heal, a released felon who knows what he is shoots him with silver bullets since silver is poisonous to vampires and attempts to burn him, he begins to explain more to her. A stake in the heart will apparently paralyze a vampire but not kill them, and old fashioned photography using silver emulsion couldn’t capture the vampire’s image but modern digital can. Vampires are created by being drained to the point of death then given the blood of the vampire with their blood in it.

Okay, enough of the nuts and bolts.

The show is mostly placed in the modern day  but flips back to the 1950s when Mick was turned.  There is a cool Noir-ish feel that is retro in the flashbacks and modern in the current timeline which keeps a stylish, consistent voice. Mick and Beth’s feelings for each other are complicated by his being a vampire and her having a boyfriend she genuinely cares for. Mick has a best friend, Josef Kostan, who is +/-400 years old. They have differing views of how to live as vampires, (for example Mick drinks blood from a bag and Josef prefers his from the beautiful young female body) but this a friendly lifestyle debate, not your tortured “we are killers and should be stopped” angst. Mick has a conscience and a strong moral sense, but he is not a self-hating vampire. Josef is a little more amoral but his heart is good, which annoys him. They are great fun whenever they interact. Beth takes Mick’s state with curiosity and a sense of humour. (She gets along with Josef too.)

Mick does not hesitate to use his vampire abilities to get information, and when the bad guys are particularly nasty he enjoys going feral on them. He gets a chance to be human for a while but finding it too inconvenient -- he hastens the relapse to get his power back.

The show is full of fun, toss off lines too. Josef to Mick: “You’re only 90, you don’t know what it is like to be chased by angry villagers with torches.” Josef, on drinking the blood Mick buys from a vampire in the hospital morgue: “What is this? Non-fat soy vegan blood?“ Mick to Beth: “Perpetual coolness, the vampire’s curse.” Beth snooping in a female vamp’s closet: “Immortals don’t shop at the Shoe Barn.”

It is a short series, prematurely cancelled due to the writer‘s strike, only 16 episodes long, which is a real shame. It is a smart, beautiful show with subtlety and grace that moves along quickly and never gets dull. You love the characters, I didn’t end up yelling at them for being repeatedly stupid or dense. In my mind Mick has changed Beth -- she is persistent and strong,  and they are now the Nick and Nora of the vampire world.

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