Posted 23 July 2010 in Television by Catriona
I don’t know what it is about vampires that makes just about all of their texts intensely cheesy. It reminds me of the first time that Bill takes Sookie to Fangtasia in True Blood, and she raises her eyebrows at the name: Bill tells her that vampires are very old and puns are an old form of humour, but we know it’s really just because vampires are a bit naff.
And none, honestly, are quite as naff as the lead vampire in Moonlight. (And, yes, I’m taking into account the first half-dozen episodes of Vampire Diaries, before the show unexpectedly and rather disappointingly turned into a much better programme.)
Based on the last few episodes of Moonlight, here’s my list of the most improbable things this vampire does:
1. Stays in the same city for the entire fifty years after he’s turned. No, wait: stays in the same city and the same profession for fifty years. No, wait again: stays in the same city and same profession for fifty years and uses his own name that whole time.
It wouldn’t matter so much if vampires were out in the open in this world, but every episode is predicated around the idea that no one, no one (except the cute blonde reporter) can ever find out about vampires. So, buddy, d’you think it might be a good idea to change your name occasionally? It’s not as though you were turned in the 1600s. You were turned in the 1950s. There are photographs of you out there. Photographs actually labelled “Mick St John: Private Investigator.” So don’t be surprised when people recognise you.
2. Goes by the name Mick St John. You might not think this is all that improbable, but then you’ve never had to listen to Nick’s non-stop Spinal Tap impersonations. It does sound rather more “1960s’ glam-rock guitarist” than is entirely fitting for a vampire, even one who . . .
3. Gets staked in just about every episode. Now, I have absolutely no problem with the fact that staking in this universe only paralyses a vampire. It does prevent me from making my favourite joke, ripped wholesale from Terry Pratchett. It’s not a concept unique to Moonlight: Claudia Gray, for example, uses the idea that stakes are paralysing as a way of negotiating her characters’ uncomfortable liminal position as sometime-vampires and sometime-vampire hunters.
But if this vampire PI has vampiric super-senses, how can he not tell when someone is sneaking up on him with a stake in their hand?
And if he’s not being staked, he’s being shot, or viciously beaten in a crematorium, or thrown off a roller coaster.
What price vampiric super senses?
4. Wears a Hawaiian shirt in flashbacks. Okay, that’s not so much improbable as it is really unfortunate.
5. Hangs around in sunlight. Again, I’ve no particular problem with vampires walking around in sunlight. In fact, the scene in Francis Ford Coppola’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula where Dracula’s wandering the streets in that top hat and the blue sunglasses . . . and the brown curls . . . oh, and that coat . . .
Where was I?
Oh, yes. The sunlight. I don’t mind vampires walking around in sunlight, but I am a bit surprised that he voluntarily carries out so much of his ordinary business during daylight hours. I mean, obviously, if you’re protecting a woman who is in the Witness Protection Programme and the police car you stole to escape in gets blown up by the gun-runners who are pursuing you in a helicopter, then you might need to walk through the desert until you’re almost dead.
I’m sure that’s happened to all of us at one point or another.
But is it still necessary to use the daylight hours to run basic errands? Nocturnal is as nocturnal does, Mick St John.