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.


  • Rob Buckley

    I’m Rob Buckley, a journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of although you might have heard me on the podcast Lockdown Land or Radio 5 Live’s Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I’ve edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for TV producers magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider; written features for the even shorter-lived newspaper Soho Independent; and was regularly sarcastic about television on the blink-and-you-missed-it “web site for urban hedonists” The Tribe. Since going freelance, I've contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network, TV Scoop and The Custard TV.

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