Friday, May 16, 2008

Moonlight Season and Series Finale

Nina Tassler, the president of the CBS TV Network continues to make stunning mistakes in her programming choices. First, in 2007 she cancels the excellent TV show Jericho. Thankfully, the fans had enough of her and revolted by sending her bags of nuts to indicate their displeasure to the cancellation of that show. So, she recanted and brought that show back in mid-season 2007-08 for a second season, but only for 7 episodes. You saw my abbreviated reviews below of the last couple of episodes of Jericho. It was overall a great season.

Then producer Joel Silver creates the marvel that is 'Moonlight' for the 2007-08 season which unfortunately gets affected by the writer's strike. A lot of good shows got affected by the writer's strike. A lot of good writers shot their own feet during this strike. But that's their own business, and I am not here to discuss that topic. What I am here to discuss, is this neat and tidy Vampire story, starring detective (Private Investigator) Mick St. John who is actually an 85-year old Vampire. This, IS (or rather WAS) NOT your father's Vampire story. Neither was it your father's 'Magnum P.I.' The Vampires in this story lived among us, had ordinary lives and for the most part tried to interact with us. Most of their lives then, were lived in secret, and a lot of their socializing took place exclusively with other Vamps (short for Vampires). In the picture steps Beth Turner, a reporter for an underground internet newsmagazine and TV reporting show which also doubles as a tabloid show called "BuzzWire". She's investigating the murder of a young coed who appears to have been killed by a vampire? But... there are "no such things as vampires," right? So, as we are introduced to the world of Vamps and Mick St. John and Beth Turner the human who gets tangled-up in this world, a sort of dance ensues.

It is an invigorating dance to watch, intoxicating actually. Most of the episodes are so well written that they flow with a kind of poetry only seen in literary, lyrical pieces. The dance between Beth and Mick is one that has twists and turns and is intertwined with fate as Mick saved Beth's life when she was a child of no more than 4. Since then, he has been watching over her, like an Avenging Angel. The other complication? Beth is dating the assistant D.A. and they are in love, heading to engagement.

But fate has Mick and Beth on its cross hairs, and so in a very powerful last episode for both the season and the series we're going to find out what happens to both Beth and Mick. First, some additional background. When Mick was turned, he apparently was turned by a woman from a family of Vamps with a long history (think royal history leading many hundreds of years back into the old world -- think French history). Secondly, they have developed the technology to not only be able to switch back to "human kind" for a short period of time, but while in Vampire mode be indestructible against the normal things that kill vampires, Fire and Silver. Just as Beth's relationship with the assistant D.A. comes to an end, Mick's search for 'humanity' comes to fruition. Yet, he is bound to cast out his humanity for his 'Avenging Angel' role in order to save Beth yet again in Vampire mode. Beth needs saving, and he can't do it without being a vamp.

All this sets-up the powerful ending where a vampire commits murder, gets caught and threatens to expose ALL Vampires in L.A. This threatens Mick St. John. This also teaches Beth something about Vampires.

Is their fledging relationship strong enough to survive the revelations?

Can a relationship between a vamp and a human actually work? How would it work? How long would it last, especially as the human ages and the Vamp doesn't? So many questions, so many neat ideas for more shows, so many more paths for the show to explore, but alas...

So here is a highly creative show, doing a fantastic job week in and week out. The story lines are excellent. For the first time, I am thinking, Vampires are sexy, because I've got to tell you, I did not like ANY of the stuff that Anne Rice published. I did not like any of the movies that her books were made into, either. Oh, there have been other Vampire movies, like "Blade", but nothing this good. Everything else has glorified the violence aspect of the Vampires, the bloodlust, the need to feed, yet none has shown the human part of the vamp, like "Moonlight" did -- I really appreciated that.

I have hope now that creative people out there are doing something with the genre. Oh, I know, lots of authors have been publishing lots of Vampire tales... let me see, there is Lauren K. Hamilton, who I haven't read and many others. But, until "Moonlight", I did not think, something refreshing could be done with this genre. This is why I loved "Moonlight". And that is why, I am now reading "Twilight" by Stephanie Meyer -- it seems very promising.

Suffice it to say that I think CBS Television are idiots for canceling this show and not bringing it back in the Fall of 2008. It deserved another shot when there is no strike and after the full effect of the "Twilight" movie hits the public. Unfortunately, we won't get to see anymore of Beth Turner and Mick St. John.

Here is hoping that some creative force out there recognizes that this was powerful writing territory and gives us some stories in written form. I would certainly purchase such a book. Are there other takers out there?

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