Vampire detective: Maybe skill in crime solving is in his blood – Sept 2007

UNION-TRIBUNE TELEVISION CRITIC
28 September 2007

So how bad was your week, really? If it was just the usual mix of tiring and aggravating, then you have our sympathies. But if Friday finds you hollow-eyed, depleted and minus a few brain cells, have we got a TV show for you. Cheesy, silly and strangely compelling in spite of its cheesy silliness, “Moonlight” is your new go-to show for empty-headed weekend fun. After all, this is the night that brought you “Ghost Whisperer.” And if there is room in your life for a pretty woman who sees dead people, you can probably spare some space for a hunky private detective who is also a vampire.

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His name is Mick St. John, and he is played with telegenic sensitivity by Australian actor Alex O’Loughlin. Mick is a compassionate vampire who sleeps in a freezer and refuses to feed off the living, opting instead to procure his blood from the morgue. And like the vampire-detective hero of “Angel,” Mick dedicates his nights to making life safer for the innocents of Los Angeles.

Mick & Beth

“Moonlight” airs on the procedural-crazed CBS, but it is not exactly “CSI: Transylvania.” Tonight’s case involves the death of an attractive co-ed, an unforgivably hoary procedural staple that is made marginally more interesting by the fact that she may have been killed by – gasp! – a vampire.

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The potential for chills is there, but the goth-girl trappings are just window dressing for what turns out to be a half-baked case. Fortunately, next week’s story involving a crafty killer from Mick’s past has a little more creative heft. But when it becomes clear that no one in the L.A. legal community has noticed that Mick hasn’t aged a day in 60 years, even the impaired Friday-night mind has to wonder.

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Crime may be Mick’s business, but it is not this show’s strong suit. Neither is logic. What makes “Moonlight” worth a Friday-night fling is O’Loughlin’s soulful performance as the ultimate lonely hero and Mick’s relationship with the young woman he saved many years ago.

That would be Beth Turner (Sophia Myles), the intrepid Internet reporter whose connection to Mick is older and deeper than he wants to let on. Myles looks an awful lot like Kate Winslet, and the nervy intelligence she brings to this ingenue role would do her look-alike proud. Myles and O’Loughlin have a great, tender chemistry, and in the first two episodes, they are the emotional glue that holds the whole ridiculous enterprise together.

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Unlike “Supernatural,” the CW’s superior creep-show romp, “Moonlight” doesn’t take full mythological advantage of its underworld vibe. The same goes for the casting of “Veronica Mars” anti-hero Jason Dohring as Mick’s best pal – a 400-year-old vampire in a 30-year-old hedge-fund trader’s body.

So far, Dohring’s bad-boy charms have gone mostly untapped. But the combination of O’Loughlin’s slow burn and Dohring’s evil twinkle has the potential for twisted good times ahead. Let’s hope the show doesn’t go to cancellation Hell before we can find out.

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9 Comments

Filed under Mick wants to kiss you gently with his fangs., Moonlight

9 responses to “Vampire detective: Maybe skill in crime solving is in his blood – Sept 2007

  1. Telegenic sensitivity, soulful performance, great tender chemistry and slow burn….couldn’t have put it better myself!!

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  2. gracenotpark

    Heh! Every show and movie I’ve watched that stars Alex, I’ve only watched cos he was in it. Moonlight was the first. Maybe one of these days he’s gonna get a job where I actually just love the program. But until then, I’m happy to tune in just to see him acting the hell outta modest material. 🙂

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  3. Colleen

    Oh thank you girls! Since I am at college I don’t get to watch Moonlight because silly me left her DVD’s at home. I have been craving Mick for a week. Must be something to do with Halloween. Alex was so sexy as Mick and I’m sure we will all drool over those few episodes forever. 🙂

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  4. Karen

    I will admit that I never watched Moonlight when it was on tv but since I got hooked on Hawaii 5-o and Alex I had to get the DVD. I have had the DVD for about a month now and have watch the whole season three times. I LOVE the show. I even spend all day on Halloween watching it! Alex is so sexy as Mick and he was amazing portraying the character. There were a few scenes that I had to replay over because it was so good.

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  5. Kath40

    I had the privilege of watching Moonlight from the get go with NO outside influences from the internet or fan boards. Yes the show had a rough start, but Alex/Mick had me entranced from the start. I just didn’t know it until the
    4th episode (Fever) when I record the episode cause I wasn’t going to be home that Friday and damned if I was gonna miss the next episode. I then found myself re-watching it several more times before the next weeks episode. I couldn’t get enough of what Alex was doing as Mick.
    ♥ SLOW BURN INDEED! ♥ *thud*
    With no internet at the time I had no idea of the danger Moonlight was in so I happily went along looking forward to the next episode.
    Then around episode 10 there was a strange break in programing with no “stay tuned for scenes from our next episode” for nearly a month of Fridays.
    That is when I first started looking online to see what was going on.
    It was also the beginning of no longer being an innocent TV viewer.
    I discovered a whole fandom out there who was as passionate about the show as I was and I LOVED it 😀 ♥♥♥
    Sadly I also learned how the Hollywood Machine works. 😦
    I’ve never been the same since. *sigh* Good and Bad.
    Good: I discovered friends far and wide passionate about Alex O’loughlin.
    Bad: I learned there’s a Hollywood Machine $$$…that doesn’t give a….

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