Different Vampires, Same Fan Love

February 22, 2010 by  

Most of us know that True Blood is not the first show or movie to feature vampires. After all, the concept of vampires dates back to Ancient Rome, if not earlier, and vampires can be found in all sorts of texts, as well as some earlier movies. However, some vampires affect us more than others, and as we’ve seen, True Blood has several great vampires, like Bill, Eric, Godric, and Pam, who all have strong fan followings. They’re not the only ones, though. After all, who doesn’t remember Buffy the Vampire Slayer, with Angel and Spike? Or even The Vampire Diaries and the Twilight saga? How about the vampires from Moonlight? After all, the lead vampires of Moonlight had a similar fan following to what I see here on TrueBloodNet.com, with people in love with the vampires and the world they survived in.

Actually, True Blood and Moonlight have a lot in common. That’s probably why people like myself wish we could tune into Moonlight on Friday nights, then have Sundays to enjoy True Blood. Unfortunately, that isn’t going to happen any time soon, as Moonlight was canceled after only one season, while True Blood is thankfully still on air. However, the two shows still have much in common, and if you’re really in need of some good vampires while we continue to wait for Season 3 of True Blood, renting or purchasing the season of Moonlight may help you survive the vampire addiction we all share until True Blood begins airing again in June.

Moonlight is a show that vampire fans everywhere should be able to sink their fangs into. First, like True Blood, when it first came out, there were instant comparisons to another show. Unlike True Blood, which was compared to the Twilight movies, Moonlight was considered by those who didn’t watch it to be a direct rip-off of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer show’s spin-off, Angel, simply because the lead character, Mick, was a vampire P.I., like Angel was.

Even with the charges against it, Moonlight and True Blood have a lot more in common than any of the shows or movies they’ve been compared to. Let’s begin this comparison with both shows in general terms. Both are, as I’ve stated before, shows about vampires. However, there are many different “rules” to both universes. In the Moonlight universe, vampires can go outside during daylight (unlike the True Blood universe), but need to wear sunglasses and take general precautions to protect themselves from the sun, including staying in the shade while outside. Plus, if a vampire in Moonlight is outside too long, they require a lot of blood to replenish themselves from the nourishment they have lost. Another difference between the two shows is the writing and plotlines. Moonlight focused on episode-centric arcs, with only a few season-long arcs, which is very similar to a crime drama. True Blood focuses more on season arcs, like the Maryann story arc, which was the majority of Season 2.

Another similarity between True Blood and Moonlight are their lead characters, Mick St. John and Bill Compton. Both vampires are very similar in the physical way, and often carry very similar attitudes, wishing they could be closer to their humanity again and yet reveling in their strengths as vampires, since that strength allows them both to save and protect others. Both men also have saved their heroines in the past, and also see them as great assets. (Mick has Beth Turner, a young woman whom he saved as a child from another vampire, and Bill has Sookie, of course.) It also turns out that both Mick and Bill were turned by their makers unwillingly, as Lorena forced the vampirism on Bill, and Mick‘s own wife, Coraline, did the same to him, but instead of on the way home from war, it was on his wedding night.

That’s not the end of the similarities between the two, though. Both are also quite young in terms of vampire age, and both also have to work as underlings for another vampire. Bill works for the vampire Sheriff, Eric Northman, and Mick works as an underling to his mentor and friend Josef Kostan. However, the relationships between the men and their “bosses” are very different. Where Bill and Eric often squabble and seem to respect yet dislike each other, Mick and Josef are very close friends, and Mick often turns to Josef when he needs help. Both vampires also have girlfriends. Bill has Sookie, starting with the instant connection between them the first time they meet. Mick, on the other hand, has to wait a bit longer for Beth, who is dating a DA when she first meets Mick. For most of the series, Mick and Beth are playing the “I want you but I can’t have you” game, until circumstances change towards the end of the series.

The similarities between the shows don’t end there. Even the leading ladies are similar! Sookie and Beth are both beautiful women. They’re blonde, smart, and able to think on their feet. Both are also great supporters of their men, with Sookie helping Bill and Eric using her skills, and Beth helping Mick solve crimes by being an observant reporter and noticing minor details that not everyone would see.

Other similarities between the two women are not quite as pleasant. Sookie and Beth have both survived a lot. Beth was kidnapped as a child, though luckily found and saved, and Sookie lost her parents in a flash flood. Later on, when both women were adults, they both suffered even more loss via murder, Sookie from the loss of her grandmother and coworkers, Beth through the loss of her boss. However, each woman has the strength and fortitude to get back up whenever life trips them up, and that saves both of them numerous times.

Beth and Sookie are incredibly strong emotionally, and neither feels the need to be turned into a vampire. However, their human strength is nothing compared to a vampire‘s strength, which is why they both also get protection of sorts from the friends and allies of their boyfriends, namely Josef and Eric.

Josef and Eric can both be very suave, and they’ve both experienced centuries of history. Eric was a Viking, and Josef was alive to see the French Revolution take place. In many ways, both men are old-fashioned, believing that some of the traditions of their lengthy pasts over current practices, like drinking blood. Eric and Josef are both purists, preferring a direct source for blood, unlike Mick and Bill, both of whom practice modern alternatives (Bill drinks TruBlood, and Mick drinks bags of donor blood).

There are also days where a fan watching either show can alternatively love and hate Josef and Eric. Sometimes, you’re just irritated by how they act, but other days, you see the “mask” each of them wears. An example of this was in Season 2 of True Blood, when viewers were shown Eric‘s deep and abiding love for his maker Godric, then his grief at losing the man who had been there for him for a century. In Moonlight, the example of Josef‘s “mask” being off was an episode where we were introduced to Josef‘s girlfriend, whom he tried to turn. Unfortunately, Josef‘s attempts only brought over an immortally comatose woman. Moments like the ones above, as well as flashbacks for all the characters on both shows, help us see past the “masks” as to what they are: a singular prism through which to see mere facets of the characters.

Both Moonlight and True Blood are strong shows that are easy for the average viewer to feel emotionally connected to. They remind us that even if someone is a vampire (or anything else for that matter), there are still challenges to face in daily life, and sometimes even though immortality is a good thing, there’s more to life than just drudging through it. Besides, nothing is ever what it really seems to be on either show. There’s always something new brewing on the horizon for the characters to deal with.

(Photo credit: IMDb.com)

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  • *Laughs* I used to watch Moonlight, I can’t believe I actually missed that! Wow! Hmmm. Silver affects them both, there are story parallels… the only thing different, really, are names, the lack of telepathy, and the fact that they can walk out in the daylight.
    This is really cool, I’m really sad Moonlight got cancelled, but this article brought back a TON of memories!
    *grins* thanks, sweetie!

  • Antonio

    This is a most thought provoking title for an article.
    Since there are Many here who may have fan love for Other vampire stories/franchises as well.
    Such as:
    Buffy the vampire slayer —-
    Interview with the Vampire —-
    The vampire diaries—- for some
    Of Course, Bram Stoker’s dracula the film with gary oldman and winona ryder
    Every one has their favorites
    And Of Course, Twilight
    With Twi-Hards Twilight fans as they are often called Many of them have as much devotion for Their vampires as fans of TB!
    Diffrerent vamps same fan love
    Go Team Twilight!! Go team Cullen! OOPs! Wrong fan site,right? LOL

  • Antonio

    On the american sci-fi channel today, The show Moonlight aired back to back. I had not caught much of it,But, It seems like an interesting concept. This certainly is something different. I did see that one of the executive producers was Ron Koslow…Of Beauty & The Beast fame~~~That was an Incredibly Moving series!!
    I suppose that he wanted to make a series about another couple with a “strange love” dynamic. Vampires in Southern CA There’s a novel idea,huh? L.A. is Sunshine and Beaches and Surfers and Sketch artists! Not to mention “beach bodies” It just doesnt seem very “vampire-friendly” to me.
    Regarding an early cancellation, My guess would be that after Buffy The Vampire Slayer,Everything else just kind of falls by the wayside. 1 network in particular, held a sort of monopoly with shows like Buffy,Angel & Charmed and since then,I suppose, it’s been a tough act to follow. There was a show years ago in the later ’80s called Werewolf..I thought that was pretty cool.
    I suppose its mostly contingent upon what’s “hot” at the moment!
    If the current craze was frankenstein monsters or werewolves than maybe a show like TB wouldnt have had a chance either.
    (I couldn’t picture Stephen Moyer in a frankenstein monster’s get up with pale green makeup and big bolts in his neck..Could You?? LOL) Of Course, Then Sookie could be the “bride of frankenstein” weird,huh? Something else to think about, Suppose True Blood was a show about Werewolves and Shapeshifters and Eric Northman was the Only vampire there? Could you picture Stephen as a bloodthirsty,furry fanged wolfman??
    The point is…It All depends on what is hot or not at the moment with the networks and the corporate big wigs and not so much what the fans may want. Personally, When I heard that True Blood was comiing back for a second season last summer I thought
    (And This was BEFORE I got into it and became a fan) Back,Again?
    Hasn’t everyone got over that yet?? I thought that B&B got a raw deal. The 3rd season of That show was a joke and a travesty!
    Remember that just because a show gets the ax early doesnt mean the cast and crew did not work hard to bring the episodes to the public…We know this

  • grey

    Liking it Isis Hon! Well written sweetie!

  • Nia

    Lovely article Isis!
    I did not start watching Moonlight till reruns on ScyFy. I found I enjoyed it trememdously.

    Mick St John became one of my favorites after that. Alex O’Loughlin played him so well. It was to bad they cancelled the series after only one season. There was so much potential there.

    I can see the similarities between these two leading men. Both tortured by their makers, both in love with mortals, both wanting to be more human again.

    All this does help in our long wait for TB to be back.
    Thank you!

    Team True Blood!

  • Sheila

    Thanks for the great article, I am gonna check out Moonlight.

  • jaxx

    Thanks Isis. I just bought Moonlight and am going to start watching it after the Olympics are over. Can’t wait to watch it now. Sounds great.

  • Antonio

    Nice Article Good Work I was wondering just how many Other shows,films & Books this could be applied to. The Cullens of Twilight are different vampires. Lestat,Luis & Claudia from IWTV were “different” vampires. Armand~~Played by Antonio Banderas from the same film was a different kind of vampire. Then there was Gary Oldman,Dracula from ’93. David Boreanaz,Angel from Buffy and his own spin-off series. Even Bela Lugosi from the Original american film ’31 must have seemed like a different kind of monster back in the day. Lets not forget a vampire detective show called Forever Knight Which I watched when it was on network tv years ago. Where a vampire was involved with the police helping to solve crimes and sometimes doling out his own vampire justice. Then,Of Course, We have Vincent Wells–the man-beast from Cbs Show Beauty & the Beast who lived under the streets of NYC. Vincent was NO vampire,But,He WAS a kind of supe
    In that he was vigilante,hero,poet,lover,protector & troubled “monster” rolled up into 1!! He not only lived to protect and help his beloved Catherine but Also helped out all the poor,disenfranchised and lonely in the city! As 1 man had put it he had the face of a monster and the soul of an angel.
    There are passionate fans for just about All of these!
    Then of course We have something like The Vampire Lovers which is a work of sheer erotica~~This particular vampire “love” story may or may not have fans! The Lost Boys? The list goes on
    🙂 It is my opinion that Eric Northman AND Bill Compton are the Best of the bunch here!! TB RULES!! One thing seems to be sure that this vampire “craze” is not going anywhere anytime soon!! }}}}}

  • Mony

    I loved Moonlight and Mick, i find Josef so hilarious, but honestly Bill and Mick share nothing in common…..
    The dinamic between True Blood an Moonlight are different, maybe just the fact thet they don’t kill, usually, but Mick drinks real blood….
    Josef and Eric are boss…..i loved them and still love them, but Eric hss in Sookie’s life and heart a central place where Josef dind’t in Beth’s life….

    Btw….i was so sad that Moonlight was canceled, i find it interesting^^

  • MarleneEmmett

    I wish Moonlight was still on the air!
    And I agree both Moonlight and trueBlood are very similiar.
    Anyone ever think of having Mick St.John guesting on TrueBlood?

    • Unfortunately, I don’t think that’s possible, as True Blood belongs to HBO, and Moonlight still belongs to CBS. Usually, different networks don’t mix their characters, sad as it is…

      • Danielle

        I never watch anything on CBS now nor on Lifetime since they put a stake through my Bloodties and Spike I only watch the scream awards since they also staked blade the series which I think was going somewhere!

        • CBS has LONG since cancelled the show, but now SyFy has the rights to air the old episodes, and they do. I’ve caught Moonlight reruns while flipping channels. If not, the show is on DVD as well.