Moonlight Episode Discussion - Ep 1: NSTAV

Re: No Such Things As Vampires (Episode One)

Postby allegrita » Thu Dec 01, 2011 12:49 am

Oh, yes--that was priceless! I loved Carl and I always wanted to find out more about him. He was such a snappy dresser, perfectly tailored and groomed all the time. And he and Beth obviously had a relationship going back a ways. I'm glad that some of our fic writers have written stories about Carl.
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Re: No Such Things As Vampires (Episode One)

Postby darkstarrising » Fri Aug 28, 2015 7:32 pm

Someone in the ML casting department had a real sense of humor....

I found myself going down an IMDB rabbit hole this morning and found myself looking up Rudolph Martin, who played Christian Ellis in the first ML episode. I thought he made a pretty good villain, but hadn't appreciated the irony of his role as a social anthropology professor with a fixation on vampires. Seems in 2000, he played Dracula in "Dark Prince, the True Story of Dracula" and later that same year played Dracula again on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer".

I'm beginning to wonder just how many actors have sported fangs since vamps became popular again.
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Re: No Such Things As Vampires (Episode One)

Postby allegrita » Fri Aug 28, 2015 7:42 pm

Ooh, I love finding out new tidbits about ML alumni! He really did make a good "Professor of Darkness". I guess he has a gift for the whole bloodsucker thing. :snicker:
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Re: Moonlight Episode Discussion - Ep 1: NSTAV

Postby Shadow » Sun Nov 26, 2017 7:45 am

Re-watching after nine years.... :happysigh:

Hope I'm not too early posting. My home computer keeps crashing lately (it's nine years old too :sigh: ) so I thought I'd better do this from my work computer after hours tonight!

And I figured I'd start with what I remember from watching it the first time. This was definitely my least favorite episode the first time around, by a long way. I hated the interview at the beginning, so much so that if I hadn't had a really strong recommendation from a friend to watch this show, I might have just turned it off there and never watched again. (Thank goodness I had a really strong recommendation!) Then I saw Sophia Myles' name in the credits, which intrigued me since I'd recently seen her and liked her in another show. For most of the episode I was not very involved in the storyline.... Instead, I was puzzling over whether Beth was or wasn't played by Sophia Myles, because Beth looked and sounded so totally different from the character I'd seen Sophia play before. (I even googled it afterwards, because I still wasn't sure!) I didn't really get into the show until the last couple of minutes, but ... well, I did thoroughly fall in love with it during that couple of minutes.

Re-watching, I wondered if I'd like the main part of the episode better, now that I'd spent all these years knowing and loving the characters. And as it turns out, I did like it better, but not by much. I still disliked the interview, a lot. And the professor-of-darkness storyline was pretty dreadful. Beth seemed annoying and unlikable in this episode, even more so than I'd remembered. (I don't remember feeling this way about her in any of the other episodes, just this one.) I did like Steve the cameraman, and the bits with Mick and Josef were fun, more so now that I knew them better. But as time went by and I wasn't really getting into it, I was a little worried that maybe I wasn't a fan any more.... until that final few minutes came on again, and ah, yes. I still loved the end. I don't know why it so completely turned the whole show on its head for me. Even on the first viewing, it wasn't really a surprise that the little girl turned out to be Beth. But even on the re-watch, that revelation felt awesome! Suddenly, there was so much depth and history in Mick and Beth's relationship, and so much more to Beth, who'd seemed like a rather shallow character up until then. And that last voice-over and embrace were full of so much emotion. And so much heart.

So after the end of this episode, I found myself so looking forward to watching the next one! (Hm, that happened the first time around, too.)

One little thing that puzzled me (well, besides the peculiar background plot and the variety of plot holes, which luckily didn't bother me so much after that beautiful ending) was the way Mick was the one held responsible for keeping the vampire secrets under wraps. I hadn't noticed it first time around, not knowing the characters, but this time it seemed weird to me that Josef was constantly getting after Mick to "take care of things." Since Mick hadn't caused the problem, such as it was (the Buzzwire vampire headline), this seemed kind of odd.

I'll have to re-watch the rest to be sure, I guess, but another thing that struck me while watching the end of this episode is how fabulously good Moonlight is at doing endings. (From what I remember, pretty much all the episodes have extraordinarily good endings.)
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Re: Moonlight Episode Discussion - Ep 1: NSTAV

Postby MickLifeCrisis » Thu Nov 30, 2017 6:36 pm

I started rewatching the series just few weeks ago, though I only got to episode 3. It was just before Alle's idea of a group watch. When I watched NSTAV again, I found myself smiling so often, mostly at the favorite phrases that we all know and love now. Mick looks so young and dashing. I remembered how surprised I was at the end when Mick is carrying grown up Beth and it became clear that she was the child of his flashbacks.

I was still just as annoyed at that part where Mick is what, flying? streaking? whatever down the basement hallway to get to the professor. I know they meant to show how fast he moves, but I'm glad in future episodes they just kept it to the whooshing sound effect.

The loose ends are still there. But I guess they don't bother me as much now. Besides, things happen off screen, right? :snicker:

I'm glad we are doing this! :ghug:
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Re: Moonlight Episode Discussion - Ep 1: NSTAV

Postby cassysj » Fri Dec 01, 2017 6:34 pm

It was interesting watching after all these years. I wasn't a huge Vampire fan before but I had enjoyed Buffy and Angel. My sister recommended the show from the fall preview and I saw the promos all summer because I watched Guiding Light every day. I think I liked it a lot more this time. Initially I found Beth very annoying and knowing Beth now not so much. Although I did notice Sophia's British accent in a number of words that I didn't notice the first go round. :snicker: Josef is even snarkier than I remembered :heart: When we had the flashbacks of Coraline despite the horrible circumstances I remember thinking that the actress was one of the most beautiful I had seen in a long time. Shannyn is very attractive but she has never seen as beautiful to me in any other role as she did as Coraline. It really packed a lot into the pilot, all pilots do but it had a great setup. Looking forward to the other episodes
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Re: Moonlight Episode Discussion - Ep 1: NSTAV

Postby kath40 » Thu Dec 07, 2017 8:19 pm

It's fun to revisit these episode opinions after so many years watching and re-watching.

I love that Alex knew WHO Mick was from the beginning and played him him flawlessly. When I first started watching back in 2007, with no outside influences, I was a bit confused in the beginning with the interview. Why was he letting this woman asks so many personal questions and answering them with no fear that Vampires are to be unseen and hidden in the shadows. He then woke up (so Vampires DO dream) and off we go into the life of Mick St John.

I initially misunderstood what mick meant by " Like all good detective stories this one starts with a girl. Well, technically, two girls. And one of them's already dead."
I assumed the 'already dead' girl was the one in the fountain. I didn't realize he was talking about Coraline until a few more re-watching's. (Yeah, I can be slow like that. :snicker: )

The Art Nouveau Film style of the show was new to me so it was different and intriguing to watch. The Nouveau style of driving in the car with obvious green screen back ground was a bit hokey for me, but Mick's gorgeous face had me easily over look it.

Another use of Nouveau was all the dark shadows. I didn't catch this one at first but, I still get a little thrill when I watch it now. It's when Beth is going through the dead girl (Kelly's) drawer and senses someone in the room. I love the "woosh" of who we know now was Mick in the room and his (although a bit obscured) shadow appears on the wall behind her just before she turns and hits him in the head with the vase. "Ouch."

I've always liked Beth. I found her to be a strong go getter. Mick's "You're kinda pushy, aren't you?" and Beth's comeback " You'll get used to it." made me laugh and think he's gonna have his hands full with this one.
I came to love the relentless pursuit of Beth's questioning and Mick's trying to keep her at arms length...for her own good. This reversal of the Woman perusing the Man was refreshing.

I now enjoy more of the setup of why Mick is so cautious with Beth by showing us that Beth was the little girl Mick saved 22 years ago.
I never got the "eww" factor many fans felt. Mick was a Vampire who made sure Beth grew up felling "safe." It's not like he raised her
making it a father-daughter relationship. They had NO relationship. He only made himself know to her to get her to stop investigating Vampires that risked exposing that "they really DO exist." Even though Mick was cautious, fate had other plans for these two.
As Josef put it so perfectly in SB "The longer we we're together, the more I began to think that the whole reason that I became a Vampire was, you know, so I could live long enough to meet her." It took Josef 300 years, but only took Mick 63. :winky:

I thought at the end of NSTAV that Mick slipped up by repeating to Beth "I'm gonna take you home, okay?" nearly verbatim from when he saved her. "Come on. I'm gonna take you home." Must have been one hell of a "Bump" on the head not to ring that particular bell for her right then and there.

The line and the start of the signature mark of Moonlight leaving us with the BEST endings and wanting MORE.

"Sixty years is a long time to deny yourself the touch of another.
But you do it because you just can't bear the thought of seeing yourself as a monster in someone else's eyes."


and the HUG *sigh* :heart:
Last edited by kath40 on Sat Dec 09, 2017 11:00 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Moonlight Episode Discussion - Ep 1: NSTAV

Postby Shadow » Sat Dec 09, 2017 5:38 am

I didn't discover any Moonlight sites till the show was nearly over, and missed all the early discussion, so it's especially fun for me to see the details of what other people think about the episodes! So interesting what Kath said about Mick's statement about technically two girls, and one of them was already dead. It never occurred to me that Mick might have been referring to Beth and Coraline. It's interesting to look at it that way. I had always assumed the already dead girl was poor Kelly, in the fountain. (And that phrase always seemed a little ominous to me, sounding as if the other girl, presumably Beth, was going to die too. Which takes on quite a different meaning if the "dead girl" is a vampire....)

MLC mentioned not liking the "vampire rush" down the hallway, and I have to admit I never noticed that that was particularly different from anything else they did with Mick's movements! I actually kinda liked it. Thinking about it I guess they did go to simpler effects later on, like in OOTP where the camera zips to his side to make it seem that he moves so fast he almost just disappears, and those did work well for me. That reminded me of all the effects they played with in the original pilot. Most, like the vampire makeup, weren't too great. But I loved the one they used when Mick was about to control Beth's memories, where they pulled in a closeup of the background around Mick's face and then did a closeup of his face. It looked amazing.

Cassy's comment reminded me that I noticed how beautiful Coraline was in this episide too....but that I actually didn't notice how beautiful Mick was, believe it or not. Somehow I didn't notice that until the second episode!

Thank you Kath for writing out Mick's voiceover from the end of the episode. It's so beautiful.
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Re: Moonlight Episode Discussion - Ep 1: NSTAV

Postby MoonMarg » Sun Dec 10, 2017 1:25 pm

It's funny how everyone has a different take on the "2 girls .. & 1 of them was already dead". I always thought he was talking about Beth and Kelly. It didn't even cross my mind he was talking about Coraline. :snicker: 10 years in and I'm still learning something new about ML.

Ep 1 will always be about the voiceover & hug for me :heart:
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Re: Moonlight Episode Discussion - Ep 1: NSTAV

Postby allegrita » Wed Dec 13, 2017 11:17 pm

I finally had a chance to sit down and watch this episode! (The one benefit of having a horrible cold this close to Christmas.) :winky:

I found myself smiling through the whole episode. It was like revisiting an old friend. I think I enjoyed some parts even more on a rewatch, since I knew the background. Also, the first time I watched the show, I had a lot of trouble understanding Josef, and of course, I nearly have his lines memorized by now. He had some of his very best snarky lines in this episode. I really like the way they introduced us to Josef. We learned so much about him in just a couple of scenes. I loved Jason's body language. He seems like a coiled spring inside those impeccably tailored clothes. And when he bit the freshie, I got a bit swoony. :melts:

But Mick... :heart: what got me on this rewatch was how much emotion he showed in his expressions. When he first spoke with Beth, there was such tenderness in his eyes... and a bit of pride. And a teensy bit of amusement. I think he was just delighted at the woman she had become, but he was hiding that emotion behind his "inscrutably cool" facade. Yes, he was devastatingly handsome, but his beauty wasn't what struck me this time. It was character that shone through in every scene. And the voiceovers were amazing. The quality of his voice when he reads those lines is just... :happysigh: . I really think the voiceovers are what made Moonlight so special. They let us get inside Mick's head, and understand some of the really deep things that motivated him. And his "ouch" line still makes me insanely happy.

Beth was still a little unformed in this episode, but I liked her. This was sort of "Beth in broad strokes." Later on, her character acquired much more subtlety, and she became a more sympathetic character. But I liked her spunky attitude Especially the way she stood up (in a very flirty way) to Carl and reminded him that they have a give-and-take relationship. Sophia's accent was pretty awful in spots, but I liked her.

Guillermo was a little sharper-edged in this episode than I remembered. Did they soften his personality later? I guess we'll find out. :teeth: I did love the way he teased Mick with "Thirsty boy." And the way he pushed back when Mick told him to pass on any other information he got. "Yeah, 'cause I work for you, right?" :snicker:

Steve and Maureen were just as I remembered them. :hearts: And seeing Carl again really made me sad they didn't do more with his character. Imagine how awesome it would have been to do an episode where Mick worked with Carl on a case. :cloud9: Oh well...

I will confess, the driving scenes just didn't bother me. They never did, and they still don't. I don't focus on anything but Mick's face, and the unreality of it all just disappears. After all, we know that even the more realistic driving scenes are faked. So I just go with willing suspension of disbelief. I do agree that the "rushing" scene where Mick is looking for the professor was pretty lame. It is one of the effects they took from the original pilot, I believe, along with the long-coat-rooftop-musing scene, the flashback to Beth's mom (different little girl, though), and the cool upside-down shot as Mick enters the morgue. (Love that shot.)

I loved watching the episode. I'm so glad we are watching them again!! :cloud9:

ETA: I totally forgot to mention the hug at the end! :hug: I've always loved it, especially the way Mick starts out so stiff and unwilling, but slowly his arms tighten around Beth, and he lowers his face to her shoulder, and finally, at the very end, closes his eyes. It was like seeing all his long-inviolate walls crumbling. Just a beautiful scene. :heart:
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Re: Moonlight Episode Discussion - Ep 1: NSTAV

Postby MickLifeCrisis » Thu Dec 14, 2017 8:28 pm

Beautifully written, Alle! :twothumbs: :hearts:

I agree with everything. :hug:
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Re: Moonlight Episode Discussion - Ep 1: NSTAV

Postby kath40 » Fri Dec 15, 2017 1:48 am

MickLifeCrisis wrote:Beautifully written, Alle! :twothumbs: :hearts:

I agree with everything. :hug:


ITA Very well written. :heart:
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