Season finale: Moonlight

Ooh look: it’s another season finale forced by the writers’ strike. How not at all surprising.

More surprising is that I’m still writing about Moonlight.

As you might recall, I gave the first episode of the show, which was absolutely appalling, a somewhat scathing review. But miracles do happen and Moonlight had improved sufficiently over the next few episodes for me to pass a fifth– rather than a third-episode verdict.

I still wasn’t that impressed though.

But I stuck with it, mainly because I felt sorry for Sophia Myles being stuck over in the US while David Tennant was breaking up with her. And while I wouldn’t say the show improved drastically, it has still continued to moderately entertain and surprise over the course of its season.

The biggest accusation I levelled against it originally was that it had little originality: it merely retrod territory well worn by fellow vampire detectives Nick Knight and Angel. All the same, it’s managed to come up with enough intriguing variations on standard vampire folklore – occasionally some really dumb ones, too – that it’s come perilessly close to being “intelligent television”, albeit about vampires. If you think of Angel and Forever Knight as being broad brushwork television, Moonlight has been surprisingly sophisticated in comparison, even when the themes have been the same. It could have done with less pop video-style direction, though.

Although there have been numerous alleged nominations for the show in the category of “the two sexiest leads possible in a TV show”, Sophia Myles (English) and Alex O’Loughlin (Australian) have all the chemistry of an online tax assessment. Nevertheless, the “will they, won’t they” storyline has been handled well and cleverly by both them and the writers, and the original paedo overtones have been smoothed away, thankfully.

Supporting cast members Shannyn Sossamon and Jason Dohring haven’t had much to work with, but Sossamon has been as uninspiring as always with what she has had. Dohring, by contrast, has been a necessary source of colour and humour, even if it has been a touch grim at times.

The finale, if it can really be called that rather than “last episode finished before the strike”, does neatly wrap up a few story arcs, including Mick St John’s quest for mortality, and gives the viewer suitable closure. If it does get cancelled, which wouldn’t be surprising (although it has won a People’s Choice Award for Best New Drama), it’s a good resolution that has no real cliffhangers to make you curse the writers. If it doesn’t, there are enough possibilities brought about by natural character interactions for the show to continue and for you to want it to come back.

Not absolutely fantastic, but still worth tuning in for. UK readers, BTW, it’s been picked up by Virgin One – no air date yet, though.

  • We try to be fair before we trash. As the Ratatouille critic points out, not much point doing it otherwise:

    In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little, yet enjoy a position of power over those who offer up their work to ourselves and our judgement. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. But there are times when a critic actually risks something, and that is in the discovery and defense of the new. The world is often unkind to new talent, new creations. The new needs friends.

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  • Hi Rob ~

    It is fun to be naughty, isn’t it? ;> That was very well said and thought out. I wish more critics followed that code. Often, it seems they just want to tear down the star, film, show or performance instead of being constructive ~ positive or negative.

    You are a rare one, Rob! Thank you 🙂

    Take Care ~

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