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September 27 2007

(SPOILER) Pilot Review for Moonlight. Find out how this "rip-off" of Angel turned out after David Greenwalt departed.

Angel meets Forever Knight.

I like the ad tagline on their commercials -- "Only in L.A. could the vampire be the good guy!"

Uh, duh. We know. Been there, loved it, lost it, hate bad copies of it.
Man, this also makes me miss Forever Knight. Sigh.

Did "The series' recent tie-in with Celine Dion..." send any red flags up for anyone else, or was that just me?
Moonlight, Blood Ties...I think there's another one, but they are all the same to me, I'll be reading After the fall instead.
Ladies and gentlemen, a preview of the next twenty-four hours of my life:

7:00 AM -- Get up.

8:30 -- After having leisurely gotten ready, depart for campus.

9:10 to 10:00 -- Sit in on the class I TA for.

10:15 -- Remember that "Moonlight" is premiering tonight.

11:00 to 2:00 -- Office hours.

2:30 -- Arrive back home and crack a book.

3:45 -- Head out for an early dinner and a mini-"Firefly" marathon with some close friends.

7:30 -- Excuse myself and head back to my place.

8:00 -- Turn on "Moonlight."

8:03 (roughly) -- At commercial break, pop in a disc of "Angel" and play a random scene so I can compare "Moonlight" properly.

8:10 (roughly) -- Halfway through the first act, decide that "Moonlight" loses the comparison. Turn it off.

8:15 to 8:40 -- Break out Season 3 of "The Office" and watch the episode Joss directed. ("BAT!!!")

8:41 -- Turn "Moonlight back on.

8:43 -- Turn "Moonlight" back off.

8:45 to heavy eyelid time -- Watch randomly selected episodes of "Buffy" and "Angel" as I console myself with the thought that somebody knew how to write a "vampire with a soul" character, and was doing it well as recently as four years ago. (With TWO vampires, no less. Sigh.)

In the wee small hours of the morning -- Go to sleep, after checking in on my army of remote-controlled, flesh-eating zomb...err, that is, my dog. Yes. Good old Whats-His-Name. My lifelong pal.

As I fall asleep -- Click my heels together three times, and wish I were in Sunnydale. Or the Outer Rim. Or the Hyperion. Or a little gift shop near Niagara Falls. Or on a cross-country road race. Or working with a special FBI squad. Or reporting to work at Sodalitas Quaerito. Or...well, I think you get the idea.
Hmm, I was actually thinking the Celine Dion line was a red sequined flag surrounded by neon lights... but yeah, that works!

I'll probably give it a chance tomorrow, just to have something to fill the hour between Doctor Who and Stargate Atlantis (which I'm giving another chance because Kaylee -- err, I mean Jewel Staite -- is on it).
BAFfler, as usual an entertaining (and depressing) post. Bonus props for mentioning Sodalitas Quarito, too. :)

Good to see you again, buddy. It's been a while.

As for the depressing, sorry about that, but when you take into account that depending on my moods I identify as a) a pragmatist, b) an existentialist, c) an ethical egoist, d) a Machiavellian, and e) a "flag-wavin' patriotic nephew of my Uncle Sam," you can see from whence comes the depressing.
I'm going to check it out. Might as well....

BAFfler - you made my night, dude!
Sodalitas Quarito?

Got the other references, but that one is baffling me...
I've got a friend who's working on the show with his brother. They have a bet going: He says it'll last three episodes, his brother says four.

Apparently the writing is horrible. Cringe and eye roll inducing horrible.

Ah well. I'm going to be watching it so I can see their names in the credits.
Did anyone else get this email from which said the following:

Dear Customer,

As someone who has purchased TV science fiction & fantasy shows on DVD, we thought you'd like to know that the new supernatural drama Moonlight premieres tonight at 9/8c on CBS.

Have Amazon done this for other shows on US networks or is this is a new thing?
Re: the writing. And here I was hoping that it was just the promo stuff that was written by a twelve-year-old.

Re: Amazon. I got that, too! I know I bought Firefly and Serenity and a couple of the related books from them, so that's what they know about me. I've never gotten something from them about a new TV show before. Apparently someone at Amazon is really connected to Moonlight in a way that they aren't connected to, say, Journeyman or Bionic Woman or Pushing Daisies or any of the other new genre shows this season.
Simon, I got it as well, and yes, I've ordered Firefly and Serenity from them, more than once, so maybe that's the link, as In the Latin suggests.
If you follow this link you'll find a lot more reviews and most of them bad.
I liked this line from the Daily News Review: "Its elements are so shamelessly copied, the whole show should be sponsored by Xerox."

It certainly sounds like a big yawn (not a surprise), except for Jason Dohring (not a surprise). Maybe I'll tape it and then just fast-forward to his scenes.
Anybody here seen Hallam Foe? The main female lead is Sophia Myles, who played Kate in Hallam Foe. Hallam Foe? My favourite movie of 2007.
Yeah, Simon, I received one as well for the second season premier of "Heroes" (I ordered season one through them). Yes, this is new. I've ordered several DVD's from them in the past years, but this is the first time I received an email notice of the network's handiwork.

Guess Amazon is a proud sponsor of NBC Universal. Or did I get that ass backwards;)
Transcript of the pitch meeting, already in progress:

PITCHER: "So, I figure, we just redo Beauty and the Beast, but make it another kind of creature."

NETWORK NABOB: "Make it a vampire. Chicks dig vampires."

PITCHER: "Uh, okay...except it sounds a lot like Angel then."

NETWORK NABOB: "Pfffft! That wasn't even on a real network. Besides, nobody remembers that show anyway now."

PITCHER: "Also sounds a lot like Forever Knight."

NETWORK NABOB: "You're arguin' a syndicated show with me now? Syndication? From the Nineties?!? Trust me, anybody who remembers either of those shows is just some web geek without a life. We'll push Moonlight as something fresh and original for television, and the morons across America will lap it up. Listen to me, I know from morons...I've been in TV a long time. Now then, we've gotta skew this junk as hip and 'with it'. Whatya got?"

PITCHER: "A tie-in with Celine Dion!"


At this point, they started working on their third pitcher of margaritas, and the ideas really started belching out....
Jason Dohring is on it so I might give it a chance, but everything else about it sounds pretty bad.
Anybody here seen Hallam Foe?

Me! Loved it Gossi. Jamie Bell was fabulous as well.

Sophia also played Reinette in the Doctor Who episode "The Girl in the Fireplace", and is/was the real life girlfriend of David Tennant.
Sodalitas Quarito is from David Greenwalt's Miracles.
I came across an article the other day that claimed that the way they added a twist to the well-worn vampire story was to make the vampires private detectives. I was so ticked off! I almost posted it but I realized that the piece made not one mention of Angel and was therefore prohibited.

I didn't realize that Greenwalt was involved in this for a time. Nor that Jason Dohring was in it.
I shall watch so I can mock and judge with first hand knowledge of how horrible it is, of course I may throw something at the TV. Little rankled that JD is on the show because I do enjoy him, but I won't be suffering through more than one episode just so I can see a few snippets of him, that's what YouTube is for.

Gotta love the shameless copies. I'm curious what the font will be for the intro along with the theme music. I mean they've gone this far, just snag the same font and 'change' it ever so slightly because apparently a vampire as a private detective has never been done before and us viewers are s-m-r-t. *facepalm*

Marmoset: I was surprised that he was also a part of this project. I knew about it before but it still shocked me.

[ edited by LmR on 2007-09-28 19:16 ]
I will also watch it primarily so I'll be able to make informed, "fair" complaints about it. I mean I suppose it's POSSIBLE, however unlikely that it won't completely suck balls... *thinking wishfully*

I would just like to comment on one more ripoff similarity... could they have found a more Irish name for our completely original, nothing like Angel vampire with a soul? I mean Mick St. John? Really? MICK?!?
I haven't been to this site in awhile... I just went out and rebought the Angel S4 DVDS and I decided to log into Whedonesque after years of abscence to see whats new in the Whedonverse and.... I find what looks to be a HORRIBLY BLATANT rip-off of Angel is coming to my TV screen. Well, I'll just say I'm glad I bought this DVD today so that I can actually watch a great Vampire with a soul show.
It doesn't sound like even the Great David Greewalt can save
that Angel rip-off. I'll be watching Doctor Who.
OK. Someone tell me what is up with the Celine Dion connection. I must have missed that post...
"The series' recent tie-in with Celine Dion signals more movement in this direction."

Holy Spawn of a Vampire Spoor! Or vice versa!


*tries to picture Celine Dion as a vampire, and succeeds.*

Her heart will go on... it'll just shrivel and stop beating.

See - it works just fine.

(Poor Jason. I pity him from the bottom of my corrupt and cynical little heart.)
There's a pretty snarky review of the show in today's New York Times Television section. (Link worked for me without any registration, btw.)

No mention of Angel in the article, but I'm enjoying the idea of someone calling Angel a "metrosexual" ... just how long do you think it would take for him to put them through a wall? (Not that the charge might not be sorta true, but I suspect calling him on it wouldn't sit well, considering the jokes Spike always made at his expense re: hair gel and the like.) And the ML ultimate-kitchen angle is kinda hilarious -- it's like he's a vampire gourmet who only orders out.

[Edit: because if I'm going to use vernacular grammatical constructions, I should at least be consistent.]

[ edited by Wiseblood on 2007-09-28 20:41 ]
Celine Dion has a heart? Is that proven and documented?
Like LmR, I plan to watch (or tune in, I'm not sure how closely I'll actually watch) tonight so I can mock it with first hand information. I love Jason Dohring and I'll hope to see him move on to a better show soon.
I came across an article the other day that claimed that the way they added a twist to the well-worn vampire story was to make the vampires private detectives. I was so ticked off!

If they were going to rip off Angel (but in an original way), they should have used one of Spike's suggestions from S1...

Why? Cuz you're Angel, Vamp Detective now? Ooo. I'm so scared. What's next? Vampire cowboy? Vampire fireman? Oh! Vampire ballerina!
I have no idea what Celine Dion has to do with the show, but the invocation of her name has magically repelled me from Moonlight. Only good reviews from a trusted source can sway me now.

Besides, it's the two-hour premire of Las Vegas tonight.
I'm going to watch it before spewing forth a lot of venom based on uninformed opinion. I have low expectations, and may be pleasantly surprised.
I have no idea what Celine Dion has to do with the show

It's one of those cross company promotional things to flog her new album. Could have been any show, that's the sad thing really. I feel sorry for the cast and crew of Moonlight for getting used by corporate bigwigs in such a tacky way.
A ton of review snippets over at AICN, panning the Hell out of the show. AICN itself says: "Had 'Angel' never existed, itíd still be easy enough to identify 'Moonlight' as generic, substandard television."

[ edited by theonetruebix on 2007-09-29 00:48 ]
Am I just remembering it wrong, or didn't "City of..." start with an Angel VoiceOver about it all starting with a girl?

Well, just a commercial break or two into it and I'm already annoyed as hell. But in the plus column they do have Marshall, Logan and iPhones.
Holy crap! Creepy professor Ellis is played by Rudolf Martin... Also known as Dracula from "Buffy vs. Dracula"!
Er. Yeah. I'm sorry. I can't get past the halfway point, despite Jason Dohring as a vampire.
I'm struggling through to get to the Numb3rs season premier.
Oh this is just bad.
You could always, as Timothy Leary said, "tune in, turn on, drop out." Just turn off the TV, read a book, and then check back in for Numb3rs. I've never seen that show, but I know it's better than this one.
But then I'd have missed this show's version of Drusilla... and how could I live with myself then?
Ouch. Boy, did that show ever suck.

...what? It's not over yet?

Is for me...
To tell you the truth, I haven't even been able to pay enough attention to tell that the show has a Drusilla.
I knew I saw that professor guy before. Weird.

Yeah, my reaction's been similar to you guys. But I am determined to try and give this a chance. And it's not all bad. Jason Dohring was pretty cool. I just wonder if he can save the rest of the show.


Really trying here... :(
I gave Forever Knight a chance because I liked the failed Nick Knight pilot movie with Rick Springfield. Season 1 was OK --season 2 nearly unwatchable. Season 3, who knows.

Angel (and, of course, Buffy) remains one of the best written and acted shows of any genre. They weren't great because they had vampires; they were great because of outstanding writing, cool pop culture reference, and excellent casting. . . and vampires.

I gave Blood Ties a chance, but the son of Henry the VIII? Reeeaally? That was a twist that finally made me give up on Anne Rice (Lasher, anyone?) Still, on a night of iffy TV choices, it wins.

Just watched Moonlight. Happy to see some Buffy alums (my favorite minion, Dreg), always nice to see Logan (one degree of Kevin Bacon if Kevin's name was David Boreanez), and Ruldolf Martin continues to make a career in the vampire genre.

Beth (the mortal beloved) looks a lot like Kate, and that whole rescued as a child, stalked by Mick, now romantic interest is sorta yuck. Kinda slow, Mick in the now unremarkable convertable car-vampire mobile was a moment of TV magic (not).

There seems to have been a real effort to differntiate this from Jossverse (the Kate lookalike, LA location, designated profession, and vamp-mobile not withstanding).

I wouldn't make too much of the Celine Dion thing--after all, they played Evanessence "My Immortal" when Mick was managing to not kill is ex-wife/sire by setting her on fire (which is actually sorta familiar).

Long Live Dreg!
Wow, that was bad.
It actually felt like a much bigger rip-off of Dresden Files than Angel. Angel had something about it that neither of those had. I think it might be the over-dramatic voiceovers from Dresden and Moonlight that make them feel so fake. Voiceovers are lame.

But, I actually did sorta like Dresden Files and I just found out it's not coming back. That kinda sucks.
Oh well, my face is red: I thought the vampire was adorable, I loved seeing David Tennant's girl friend from the Fireplace, and Jason Dohring was very funny. I guess this goes under guilty pleasure that I shouldn't admit to, huh?
I thought the vampire was cute, too. But Jason Dohring's character seemed like a waste of him. The show's just not very interesting to me so far, and I kind of doubt I'll watch it any more.

So far this season I've got two new shows I'm hooked on - Reaper and Life. And two I'll give some more chances to - Bionic Woman and Journeyman.
Does anyone else find it interesting that all the negative reviews out there compare this show unfavorably to Angel? I mean, it's almost as if all these TV critics actually WATCHED Angel... and maybe even LIKED it. Seems odd, doesn't it? Where were all these critics back when Angel was actually on?!? If even half of those now bashing Moonlight for being a bad ripoff of a good show had actually been watching said "good show" back then, I daresay that good show might still be on.

ETA: Oh, and UPC? Tonight's Numb3rs was awesome! It really is a very, very cool show. And it's got a hot David "Mr. Universe" Krumholtz and an even hotter Navi "Dana the crazy Slayer" Rawat. Not to mention Peter "Galen from Dragonslayer" MacNicol and Diane "I was the SEXY co-host of Loveline" Farr. Damn fine stuff.

[ edited by Haunt on 2007-09-29 07:02 ]
Yup, those are my new ones so far too, dl with exactly those provisos - although I'll prolly give Chuck another little look-see too. And looking forward to Pushing Up Daisies as well.

Gave this one a miss - all the signs were there, and my remaining years are dwindling, so no time to waste lollygagging, as it were. We watched some more Dead Like eps, which were wunnerfull.
Yech. That's all I can say.
Where were all these critics back when Angel was actually on?!?

Praising Angel. The show was very well received by critics at the time.
Just to put in my 2 cents, I think Greenwalt might of left cause the sense of deja'vu done better was to great and it made him ill. Only semi-saving grace was Jason Dohring's character. He kinda had the Master's snarkiness to a minor degree. As for the rest, it didn't really hold my interest enough and was just background noise while I waited for Numb3rs to start. I guess we will see how it did in the overnights to see how long it will make it.
OMG that was bad. I mean as in embarrassing, cringe-worthy, mind-boggling, jaw dropping bad.
Start by shooting the director, before he ever again gets a chance to do another fast-action helicopter zoom shot over the L.A. skyline, every single one complete with jarring "Whoosssh" background sound, some of them shown awkwardly in reverse. And just take it from there.
And as much as I love the song My Immortal, can anyone picture Joss being so heavy handed as to use it as background music for a Buffy & Angel or Buffy & Spike love scene? And next week, Celone Dion? My TV most definitely will not go on.
I'd like it to do well for Ms. Myles's sake (even thought it meant not seeing her at the Hallam Foe premiere as she was filming in LA) but I get the feeling it's not going to...
Haunt...I should give Numb3rs a shot. David Krumholtz of course won me over as Mr. Universe, and well, I've been partial to Peter MacNicol ever since Ghostbusters II (even though it's not a great movie and vastly inferior to the first, but whatever, I've seen it about five trillion times).
The lead was hotter than I thought he would be. I liked Sophia Myles character and I think JD can do a lot with this role. The writing was subpar and the music thing was stupid. It did very well in the ratings. I'll check it out again next week to see if it improves.
Makes me even more curious about the creative discussions that had to have gone on when David Greenwalt was going to be part of the show for that short period of time...hmm...
embers, I actually enjoyed it, too. Although the mystery of the week was a bit lame, and the "interview with the vampire" beginning felt contrived, I thought the leads were likable. I would be happy to see Mick and Beth go in a Mulder & Scully sort of direction. Granted, the writing didnít have any Whedon-esque spark to it, but wasnít painful. This could be fun.

My big worry is that what we saw in the Celine Dion-backed preview montage is the development of a romance between the vampire and the girl. I'm not interested in that: partly because he rescued her from another vamp when she was about seven, which casts him as a father figure; partly because heís been watching over her ever since, which casts him as a stalker. So double eww. But until they go there, Iím in.
Ok, kids. It's replaying tonight, so I'll suck it up (no pun intended) and give it a go.
I just got through watching it. I think that Jason Dohring had the best line in the episode. The professer guy was really creepy, in fact, that was the best part.

That's about all the good I can say. The first few minutes was too "Interview With A Vampire" for me and I found it more than a little condescending. Sophia Myles reminds me too much of the actress who played Kate on Angel.

I tried to keep an open mind but it was impossible:I was reminded not only of Angel and Forever Knight but also Supernatural as well.
In the Latin said:"partly because heís been watching over her ever since, which casts him as a stalker. So double eww. But until they go there, Iím in."
Actually that was the way I felt about Angel falling in love at first sight w/Buffy at 14 (or younger?).

At least Mick wasn't attracted to Beth when she was 7, and besides: what is an ancient vampire to do? Everyone his age is dead!

[ edited by embers on 2007-09-30 04:12 ]
I watched it. I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it either. It's something to keep the TV warm between Doctor Who and Numb3rs I guess.
But this was new: Mick, (I thought it was Nick actually.) isn't an outcast from the vamp society. Jason Dohring (who I agree had the best lines, or he delivered so so lines the best- whichever) is the oldest vampire and hence the leader and he's also Mick's (or Nick's) best friend. Said so during the voice over so it must be true. So, he isn't going to be taunted by former friends trying to lure him back into the ways of the vampire. They just want to get by un-noticed.
So... um... there is that.
Actually, Jason Dohring's character did try to lure Mick into drinking from a human. Twice, I believe.
Wasn't terrible (though I agree the opening was a bit clunky, still, fair play they got a hell of a lot of exposition out of the way nice and early) and the leads are pretty likable but it was derivative in a lot of ways, even the visual style was quite Angel-ish. And the music montage at the end was very poorly judged IMO - it's extremely hard to create a "moment" in a pilot because you've only just met the characters so it's usually better not to try ("Journeyman" - with the ring plot and sleeping in a chair, fully clothed - and "Life" - with the wall of very un-zen-enlightened obsession and the tractor in the orange grove - are two new shows that managed it for me and in a much more natural, flowing way).

I may give 'Moonlight' another go because I liked the abilities being more explicitly shown and Sophia Myles is lovely but I doubt it'll become stay-home TV for me.

(and yay the "Numb3rs" love, great show, nice angle on an old genre and i'd happily watch Peter MacNicol read from the phone book. I actually miss the credits though, had hoped they might bring those back this year but no luck)
I didn't plan to watch at all, but it was on just after my school's football game. It was American football, which I don't enjoy, but I did want to catch my school beat 'Bama. Always a good thing. Anyway, I watched more of the football game I didn't particularly care for than I did Moonlight. There was the discussion about him as a private investigator, which caused my eyes to roll. When the hot blonde got all interested in him, I changed the channel. Oh well. So much for Moonlight..and Flash Gordon and any other new shows on TV this year. I caught Californication recently and David Duchovny's character peaked my interest, but it's not one I'll go out of my way to watch again.

Looks like I won't find addictive TV til the return of BSG.
Missed it last night. I tried, I really tried. A football game aired before Moonlight and went 40 mins. over their slot. I hate jumping into random moments of a show.
Saje, I too miss the opening credits of Numb3rs. In fact a lot of shows have begun losing the title credits and theme song sequence, which I personally think is a shame.

On, and I just thought of something nice I can say about Moonlight... I did enjoy the shot of Mick "I'm Irish" St. John hurtling out of the night to smash into the fleeing car. It showed power and wasn't too poorly executed. It could have come off looking cheesy, but I think it looked pretty cool.
Negligible similarities to Angel that I could see. Yes, yes, very old fashioned (and in that way similar to Beauty & The Beast because Ron Koslow was one of its creators as on this show) for 2007 but I think the problem is that the connection between the two lovers is left to be a hook at the end of the first episode, rather than what draws them together from the very beginning. In B&ThB, because Vincent saved Catherine they had an immediate bond but it was more than that; a soul connection. And that story, a play on an old one, is in and of itself, wildly romantic. Only Buffy and Angel ever matched it. The vampire effects were pretty decent (too late also), but they're shirking on the violence which B&ThB never did - it was out there! Vincent killed people and often violently. Alex O'Loughlin is fine - he's different, which is good; more Bryan Brown than David Boreanaz, and better looking than Brown. The girl, I'm just not connecting with yet. How long 'til she quits her sleazy tabloid job and works for a legit newspaper, only covering stories that bring the guilty to justice? I'm going to give the show another chance.

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