Moonlight Shines Again on April 25th, But For How Much Longer?

Remember that great little new vampire show that CBS was airing on Friday nights? What was it called...? It's been so long... Oh, yeah: Moonlight. Well, it's coming back to CBS's schedule on April 25th, according to the network's official site for the show, and I gotta wonder whether it's gonna get the same treatment that Jericho got from CBS: bad timeslot, poor promotion, and a quick cancellation with the excuse that, gee, none of the fans came back after the show was off the air for three months.

If that happens, watch for the passionate fans who organized a blood-donation drive to raise awareness of the show and try to prompt its renewal to get, um, a little less civic-minded and a lot more full of vampiric rage.

Sigh.

So here's me, telling you to give Moonlight a shot when it returns, lest those vampire fans unleash themselves. I've written in favor of the show here at Film.com before, but here's the quick recap again. Mick (Alex O'Loughlin) is a vampire in modern Los Angeles who makes his living -- hey, even vampires got bills to pay -- as a private investigator: his heightened vampire senses give him a real edge here. Beth (Sophia Myles) is a journalist with an online news outfit who, early on, discovers Mick's secret. She's in a relationship with a district attorney; Mick is literally once-bitten, twice-shy (his wife, whom he didn't know was a vampire, turned him into one on their wedding night half a century earlier; she had been out of the picture but now she's back); but these crazy kids are falling in love with each other anyway... though Beth doesn't seem able to admit it to herself, and Mick just flat-out refuses to take it anywhere because, you know, vampire-human romances are inevitably doomed, apparently.

Now, I'm not saying Moonlight is the greatest show ever made or anything, but it rises above most of the crap on TV for a couple of reasons. It's elegantly written, for one, gracefully advancing Mick and Beth's story in each episode -- it never stops to tread water. It plays with the conventions of the vampire mythos in intriguing ways: Mick doesn't have to hide in a coffin during daylight hours, for instance; he can walk around in the sun, though if he stays out in it too long he suffers from some nasty side effects (that's true of us all, though, isn't it?). But the best reason to watch is to see O'Loughlin and Myles, who are fantastic individually and throw off lightning bolts of screen chemistry when they're together. It's rare to see two actors mesh so well, on TV or in the movies, and it makes Moonlight a must-see.

(You can catch up with the last four full episodes, but not the whole first season, at the official CBS site.)

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MaryAnn Johanson (email me)

reviews, reviews, reviews! at FlickFilosopher.com