Sunday, October 14, 2007


So I just finished watching the second episode of this new vampire show, Moonlight.

I've only seen two episodes so far, but it's pretty good. It seems less broody than Angel. I never got into Forever Knight, so I can't compare it.

I have one gripe, but I have the same gripe with almost every show/movie/book with a superhuman hero.

They become idiots when the plot requires it.

They have superhuman strength, speed and senses, and yet the villain always manages to blind-side them.

An example from Moonlight episode two.

Mick (the vampire hero) jumps into a warehouse, kills two thugs, frees the kidnapped woman, and then gets shot by the main villain (with silver buckshot). It has been established that Mick has a super-keen sense of smell, and is familiar with this guy's scent. He should have known the guy was there. Nick, like Angel, also makes a lot of amateurish mistakes, despite being 90 years old (Angel was 230, I think, but had no real experience as a PI, whereas Nick has been a PI for at least 30 years, so I figure it balances out).

This is common to villains, too. A villain will be kicking the hero all over the set (sometimes literally, sometimes figuratively), but when the time comes to wrap up the story, the villain regresses back to kindergarten.

As for the silver, well, the writer's get to set the rules, so I'm okay with that.
My Classic Mythology professor back at Penn State used to say that stories can vary widely in details and still be the same at the root, but "you can't give Helen back"1. I was not happy with the way Angel dealt with sun exposure, but the wayMoonlight does it, it almost seems to be trying to give Helen back.

Still, I'm enjoying it, so I'll keep watching.


1 "Giving Helen back" refers to the story of the Trojan war, and is something that would destroy the plot.

3 people have spouted off:

Qalmlea said...

Actually, the bursting into flames in sunlight is a fairly recent addition. In Dracula, Dracula himself is seen moving about in daylight (I think it was cloudy; not sure). No mention there if there's some sort of age requirement. In Lee Killough's books, the vamps just become tired and sluggish in sunlight, rather like in Moonlight.

In Fred Saberhagen's vampire series (no, I haven't read the scifi one), a vampire actually theorizes that vampires need some sunlight to survive, but that they're too sensitive to absorb bright sunlight.

Uh, it's probably become obvious that I'm something of a vampire geek at this point...

John said...
That's true.

I guess I just like the way Robin McKinley dealt with vampires and sunlight in Sunshine. As a vampire gets older, it gets more sensitive to sunlight, so the oldest vampires live at the bottom of deep crypts/caves and their minions bring them food (people).
10/15/07, 8:10 PM
Qalmlea said...

I still need to read that one... I have it, I just haven't gotten it read yet.

Tim Powers had an odd one, where vampires and humans didn't really have contact until someone implanted a statue inside of a human... I forget the mechanism behind this.