"Moonlight"- Much Ado About Nothing

"Moonlight," a show about vampires that aired on CBS on Friday nights and manged to acquire a rabid, if small, fan-base, was recently canceled. These aforementioned rabid fans went crazy, and now every TV-related site I encounter has about a zillion complaints from these people about how the network was out to get them/didn't give the show a chance/doesn't like vampires/will not bow to their crazy whims and demands. It's really getting on my nerves, but, even worse, it's also very confusing.

Seriously, I don't get it. That show sucked. A lot. And don't say that I didn't give it a chance. Having Chronic Fatigue Syndrome means being at home on a lot of Friday nights. I would estimate that I saw about 75% of the episodes, ranging from the pilot to the finale. And don't say that I wouldn't understand or appreciate it. Because many of the shows I love have so-so ratings but really passionate fan bases. "Veronica Mars," anyone? Actually, the only reason I tuned in in the first place was to see what Jason Dohring was up to post-Logan Echolls. But even the fabulous Mr. Dohring could not save a show that was, to quote Modest Mouse, dead before the ship even sank.

For one thing, the writing was atrocious. I'm not talking about the story-concepts or the plot-lines, those ranged from WTF? to ok, this is kind of interesting. I'm talking about the dialog. It was so bad that I was laughing at what should have been really emotional scenes. It was stiff and unrealistic and so distracting that I almost didn't see how bad the acting on this show was. For all of you who think that Alex O'Loughlin is the next Jake Gyllehaal, what are you smoking? He's just a pretty boy with nice hair who can't act worth a damn. True, the writing was so bad that he didn't have much to work with, but his performance was so wooden, so forced, so trying to be prfound that it ended up being really annoying and pretentious. Speaking of pretentious, how about those voice overs?

Voice overs are a tricky thing. Sometimes they work really well and add a lot to the show (see "Veronica Mars," "Scrubs," etc.) But sometimes they are just there because the writers are too lazy to put the exposition in the dialog or to work it into the plot. This was the case with "Moonlight." Also, some actors can deliver voice over and sound smart or in character, and not obnoxious or disconnected, but not Alex O'Loughlin, who played central character Mick. I know that we were supposed to sympathize with his character, and accept his wisdom, because hey, the guy has lived a couple hundred years, but I just wanted to slap him and tell him to shut up and stop acting like he's so much better than us mere mortals. Also, who goes by Mick St. John? Even his name is pretentious! And he wears sunglasses at night. I am sorry, anyone who wears sunglasses at night, or inside, is kind of a douche. I know, I know, he can't be exposed to light. But it's night! It's dark out! Take off your stupid sunglasses and deliver your lines with a hint of emotion, Mick.

The supporting actors were a little bit better (and Jason Dohring was a lot better, but not as good as he was on "Veronica Mars"), but overall the acting was dismal. The only parts I actually enjoyed watching on this show were the transitions. For everything that was wrong with this show I have to admit that it was really well edited-- the fast and sleek transitions gave it an urban feel and helped establish the setting (LA). The (and I don't know the exact technical jargon, so bear with me here) fast zoom-outs and pans to other parts of the city were actually really cool. But really, you know your show is bad when the best part is the work of the camera crew and post-production and involves neither the writers or the actors.

I just don't understand how this show managed to acquire a loyal cult following of fans. I thought sci-fi die-hards had good taste. They like the shows that are flawlessly written, well acted, but may not have the broad fan-base that other shows do because they don't appeal to the lowest common denominator. "Moonlight" had bad acting and worse writing. It will forever be a mystery to me why so many people are in love with it. Hey "Moonlight" fans-- you want to see a good sci-fi show? Watch "The X-Files." That show kicks ass.

If you are a fan of "Moonlight" and saw some redeeming quality in the show that I missed, feel free to defend yourself and your show in the comments section.


Tex said...

I think the fact I once sat through an entire episode of "Moonlight" is testament to my overwhelming love for Jason Dohring.

Thank you, Maddy! The writing on that show made me want to curl up in a fetal position and die.

Anonymous said...

You said it - really. bad. show.

Anonymous said...

NO!! I loved this show. Don't you have something better to do than to criticize a group of brilliant actors and writers. Now that Twilight's a huge hit, I bet CBS is regretting canceling my favorite show of all time.

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