You know it really stinks when a show is cancelled through no fault of its own. Moonlight (2007-2008) is one such example, and it still hurts to think about it.
The series was billed as a detective show with a twist: the lead character, Mick St. John (Alex O’Laughlin) is a vampire who was unexpectedly turned by his new bride about fifty years ago on their wedding night. Mick ends up connecting with a woman named Beth Turner (Sophia Myles), whom Mick has been watching over in one way or another ever since he saved her life as a little girl. Together the pair end up investigating crimes or other intrigues that end up involving vampires at some level. It was an interesting look at the hidden world of vampires.
Among the cast of characters was Josef Kostan (played by Jason Dohring), a 410 year old vampire and Mick’s mentor and Coraline Duvall (Shannyn Sossamon), a 340 year old vampire, Mick’s ex-wife, and formerly a courtesan in 18th century France.
The series had me hooked from the start (I’d read Interview with a Vampire not too long before and so I was in my “I Love Vampires” phase”) and I eagerly waited for every episode. But then…real life intervened in the form of the 2007 Writer’s Guild of America strike. What happened was, the people who write television episodes? Yea, they all went on strike and once a show ran out of material to film, it stopped airing any episodes (most of the older shows just aired re-runs until it was over). The strike went on so long that by the time new episodes were produced, the audience had lost interest (also I remember the air time had been changed) and the show was subsequently cancelled. I’m certain that if the strike hadn’t occurred, the show would have returned for at least a second season, as before the strike it seemed to be on track for renewal. It’s a real shame, because this series had so much potential.
Despite it’s short run, the show had several episodes that I absolutely loved: “Fever” is the fourth episode of the series and begins with Mick laying in a tub of ice near death from too much exposure to sunlight. The episode then flashes back to show how we got to this point and ends with Beth allowing Mick to feed off of her to save his life. It was a really intense episode.
The other episode I really liked was the sixth episode “B.C.”: In this episode, Josef’s former lover Lola (they’ve had an on-again off-again relationship for the last century) is murdering vampires and selling their blood to humans as a type of drug. Apparently, if a human ingests a tiny bit of vampire blood, it lets them feel like the vampires do: powerful, sexy, capable of anything. However, it’s so potent that even a tiny amount can lead to a fatal overdose. During the investigation, Beth becomes curious about what it feels like to be a vampire and ends up taking some of the drug, attempting to seduce Mick while under the influence. Lola eventually gets what is coming to her.
If you never got the chance to try this show, the 16 episodes have long since been out on DVD (under the title Moonlight: The Complete Series). I don’t know that it’s streaming anywhere, given that it was cancelled nearly a decade ago, but it could potentially be on Netflix (sadly it is not on Hulu, I checked to be sure).
The next entry will likely focus on the most (in)famous short-lived show of all time: Firefly!!! (I’ll need to start with a small confession regarding that show….)
For more short lived (but totally awesome!!) series, see also:
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