MOONLIGHT The Complete Series DVD Review

     February 10, 2009



Written by Nico

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a whore for vampires. From My Best Friend is a Vampire to The Lost Boys, from Fright Night to Forever Knight, I am there. I’ll be honest. I didn’t watch Moonlight during its initial run because it looked like a Forever Knight retread. I grew up watching Forever Night off the CBC and it holds a special place in my heart. Just a few minutes in my viewing, Moonlight set me straight.


Moonlight lays down the rules right off the bat. Crucifixes do nothing. Garlic tastes good on pizza. Sunlight weakens and could eventually destroy a vampire, but it’s definitely not instantaneous. A stake through the heart will paralyze a vampire… so will silver. The only surefire ways to kill a vampire – remove its head or burn its body.



Much like Nick Knight, Mick St. John fights crime, though as a private investigator and not a cop. He’s only lived as a vampire for fifty-odd years, but he’s done so with a specific code of honor, leaving the innocent safe from his feedings. Mick gets his blood the old fashion way – he buys it at the blood bank. His un-life gets more complicated as he develops feelings for Beth Turner, a reporter, a full-blooded human being and, above that, the girl he rescued in the 1980s during a fight with his ex-wife and the vampire who turned him, Coraline (not pronounced like the movie so don’t even try). Mick killed Coraline by trapping her in a burning building in order to save Beth. Their chemistry ignites quickly, though Beth’s been in a relationship with her DA boyfriend Josh for a year. Josef Kostan, acts as a vampire mentor and friend to Mick, though he doesn’t understand his dalliances with humanity. Mick’s life becomes even more complicated when he comes across a dead-ringer for Coraline named Morgan who happens to be 100% human. While all this drama unfolds, Mick still finds time to put down baddies, usually of the vampiric fold.

Alex O’Loughlin (The Shield, The Invisible) plays Mick St. John with, dare I say it, humanity. His conflict with doing the right thing and his vampire side is palpable as is his emotional connection to Beth. Beth Turner is brought to the screen by the lovely Sophia Myles (Underworld, Tristan+Isolde). This isn’t Myles’ first run at vampires, but this time she’s on the other side of the fang. Shannyn Sossamon (40 Days 40 Nights, The Rules of Attraction) provides her most grown up work in the role of Mick’s ex-wife Coraline. Jason Dohring’s (Veronica Mars) Josef Kostan is the perfect foil to Mick, content in his existence as a vampire, but still with his own strong moral compass. Jordan Belfi (Entourage) gives Mick a run for Beth’s heart as her DA boyfriend Josh. The show adds more flavor later in the season with David Blue’s (Stargate Universe, Ugly Betty) tech-friendly Logan who provides some assistance to Mick.



Does the series have soap opera moments? Yes, my fiancée made verbal note of this while I marathoned the series. Is Sophia Myles often inexplicably shot in soft focus? Yes. Do things like these detract from your viewing enjoyment of the show? Absolutely not. Interesting twists like the episode featuring a drug made from vampire blood and the serial killer coming back from the dead to torment those that convicted him bring new and fun elements to the genre. In addition to this, the show had the perfect balance between plot advancement and character relationships. It would’ve been easy for them to front-load the Coraline plotline but in slowly revealing the Mick/Coraline relationship through flashbacks, the viewer is as shocked as the character to see her in the present time about midway through the season.

AUDIO/VIDEO/EXTRAS



All 16 episodes come packaged on 4 DVDs in a streamlined casing. The image maintains the letterbox format of the series’ original airing. Subtitles are available in English (for the Hearing Impaired), Spanish, French and Thai. The insert has brief descriptions and original airdates for all the episodes.

Play-all function is available from the main screen or you can choose the episode you want to view. Another option offered is the recap on or off. If, like me, this is your first time watching the series, I’d recommend that you skip the recap because the one that I chose to watch gave away an important series moment coughbulletholeintheforeheadcough.

On startup, the first disc has an anti-piracy ad (the one that bastardizes Casablanca) and an ad for WB Blu-Ray movies.

FINAL WORD

I would easily give this DVD set a higher grade if there were any special features whatsoever. As it stands, I blame myself for missing out on more episodes since I didn’t tune in during the televised run. If you’re like me and you like something with more bite than run-of-the-mill television, do your righteous penance and check this series out. I’m sad there’s nothing to follow the initial sixteen except, maybe, repeat viewing.

Final Grade – B




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