Sunday, June 17, 2012

Moonlighting Becomes You

MOONLIGHTING came and went and doesn't seem to have left all that much of an impression in the long run. It blazed brightly and burned out quickly. That doesn't make it any less entertaining or any less original. 

Technically, MOONLIGHTING was about former supermodel Maddie Hayes attempting to make a go of the low-rent detective agency she just inherited while spending most of her time arguing with her co-worker, David Addison. In the long run, none of that matters. 

The real point of MOONLIGHTING was watching newcomer Bruce Willis developing both his acting ability and comic timing rapidly onscreen and the revelation that real-life former supermodel Cybill Shepherd, after a string of bland big-screen performances, was a master of comic delivery. Put the two together and the sexual tension was palpable.  

Add to that the wonderful, creative scripts such as ATOMIC SHAKESPEARE, an entire episode in iambic pentameter and Elizabethan dress and THE DREAM SEQUENCE ALWAYS RINGS TWICE, a black and white noir piece introduced onscreen--in his final performance just days before his death--by Orson Welles. 

And then add to that the frequent breaking of the fourth wall. These folks--especially David--KNEW they were in a TV show!

Alyce Beasley co-starred as secretary Miss DiPesto.

Onscreen banter came fast and furious but backstage the arguments weren't always so nice as the two star's egos ran rampant with success. Surprisingly, little of the issues showed up on TV for quite awhile. But eventually, the two stars didn't want to work together and episodes featured them in almost separate sections. 

The writers caved to demand and allowed Maddie and David to consummate their relationship---almost always the kiss of death for a series like this. We don't want them to enjoy sex. They're fictional characters! We want US to enjoy their sexual tension!

Cybill got pregnant and that, of course, created a million new problems. Willis, rapidly losing his hair as the series progressed, was stretching himself into feature films with BLIND DATE. Many episodes were built around the growing cast of supporting characters. 

The jazzy theme song was a hit for singer Al Jarreau. 

MOONLIGHTING ran for four tumultuous seasons although it had to be dragged kicking and screaming to its end, totally a scant 66 episodes in all. 

Bruce Willis found with DIE HARD that his place in movies wasn't in comedy but as an action hero. Cybill went on to a briefly successful cult favorite sitcom.


  1. Still LOVE this show! I've recently rewatched all the episodes and it's still sharp, funny and was ahead of it's time.

  2. I agree. Had no idea the stars of the show didn't get on. Such a shame the acting was second to none. Definitely ahead of its time