If I was watching this show just to watch it and JD wasn't in it, prior to the last five minutes, I'd probably not tune in the next week. However, the last five minutes? Got me good. I thought the build-up was beautifully done and the moments between Mick and Beth were great. And then the preview for next week!?!? Yeah, depudor, this show is a ROMANCE! How the hell could critics NOT get that? Seriously.
The thing is the first forty-five minutes kinda -- yeah, I'm going there -- bit. There were some good, cheesy lines that worked and some hokey lines that were just plain bad. Clearly, no one had gelled into their roles yet. The voiceovers, for the most part, were bad. Just bad. The mystery wasn't really a mystery, but I don't think it was actually supposed to be. I think, like Moonlighting (AHHHH!!!) -- referenced by depudor in her 'it's a romance' post, the point of the cases/mysteries is going to be to explore and have fun with Mick and Beth. Period. And partially because of this thought, I really saw the potential and, again, it helped that the last five minutes were great.
As for the cast, well, I don't really see why the show stuck with Alex O'Loughlin. He's ... okay. Kinda cute, but he has a receding hairline it looks like, and I'm being shallow here, but that shirt he wore twice (including in the final scene) unfortunately made him look like he had manboobs. However, I WILL say that the one line in the preview just sounded a lot more natural, he was good in his scenes with Josef, the scene with Coraline was pretty awesome and he really kicked it in the showdown, I guess, with the professor. Overall though? Not too impressed, but I'm still willing to be impressed by him. It didn't happen tonight.
Sophia Myles? Damn, does she look and sound like a younger Kate Winslet or what? She had some rough moments, but overall, I liked her and I think she has lovely naturalism that plays well. We barely saw Shannyn Sossamon, and I have to say, I wasn't impressed. Her line readings were just blah and delivered too over-the-top, but it was just one scene, so we'll see.
Now for Jason! AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! I literally clapped at the end of his first scene. Hee! And I was marveling through it so much because Josef is TOTALLY not Logan. At all. That was in no way Logan on my screen. He just had this way of biting (seriously, no pun intended) through his lines, especially in the second scene. He delivered the quips so well, and in that offhand way (which Rob Thomas actually rightfully praised) that just makes them that much better. One thing I particularly loved was how in the second scene, he kept switching back and forth when the line called for it between camaraderie and a quiet menace over the situation. He was just so, so, soooooooo good. The show did come to life in such a huge way when he was on, he's so good. Ooh, ooh, and also, in the first scene ... the look in his eyes, on his face right before he went into vampire mode was one of THE single hottest moments I've seen on TV all year. W-O-W-Z-A!!!!
He was simply worth watching the show for. Without a doubt.
The show: B- (with potential)
The cast: Alex - B- (with potential)
Sophia - B
Shannyn - C
Jason - A- (I could see more of a wonderkind, than 400-year old vampire in most of the first scene, although during certain moments that "reality" showed through.)
ETA: Rewatching the Josef scenes, I forgot my favorite part: "Vampire solidarity, rah, rah, rah!" Hah.
My final thought: Thank God that Jason Dohring is back on my screen. I LOVE HIM! And woohoo, I finally have a Josef icon!!