Moonlighting (TV Series 1985–1989) Poster


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Moonlighting strangers who just met on the way....
blanche-223 July 2005
Moonlighting was one of those amazing shows that spawned a plethora of clones, many of which didn't make it. Though it came after Remington Steele, which I believe was the far more excellent show consistently, Moonlighting got all the buzz and the excitement. Most of this was due to the breakout performance of Bruce Willis, who, of course, became a megastar thanks to Moonlighting. I can still see him facing a criminal while singing "My Girl" and then indicating with his hands when the goon should come in with the high part. It was touches like this that made Moonlighting special.

Willis and co-star Cybill Shepherd were fabulous and had excellent chemistry. They were ably supported by Allyce Beasley, Curtis Armstrong, Charles Rocket (a brilliant choice for David's brother, who appeared in some episodes), and for several episodes, Eva Marie Saint and the late Robert Webber as Maddie's parents.

The series boasts some phenomenal episodes but when it fell, it fell hard. Ego problems, budget problems, and story direction problems began to weigh it down, and it finally crawled to an end after tons of reruns being shown in prime time when scripts were unable to be delivered. However, the heights hit in the first two seasons or so are unmatched probably by any other series for their creativity and brilliance. Moonlighting remains a wonderful and joyous part of TV history.
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brilliant writers
konrad448919 October 2004
When I was 12 this was my favorite show on TV, but I've come to appreciate it more in my old age. Bruce and Cybill are great, but above all, the writing is among the best I've seen in a television series. The nonstop sledge hammer wit for a full hour makes me laugh out loud every episode. The scenes are always brilliantly constructed, the jokes always intelligent. The writers never got all the credit they deserved, I'm sure. No matter how funny one joke is, there is always a come back line. I think you have to get past the early episodes that were a little more serious. I didn't start watching until around the beginning of '86.

So much on TV nowadays is either over-the-top dramatic, or toilet humor. No one knows how to just have fun anymore. Moonlighting never forgot that it was just a television show, and it didn't mind poking fun at itself. Some lines that demonstrated this were, "Two teams [...] with the same story. Either someone's lying or the writers just Xeroxed the other scene", and, "What do we do now?" "Wrap this up in about 12 minutes so another show can come on the air."

After David and Maddie got together, then weren't together, then were, how did it end anyway? The show became a bit of a soap opera. But it was always a treat to watch. Everyone mentions Moonlighting's version of "The Taming of the Shrew." Some of my other favorite episodes are "The Bride of Tupperman", which ends with a hospital scene chase to 'Dem Bones, "Symphony in Knocked Flat" (guest appearance by Don King), "Yours Very Deadly" (Burt Viola's first appearance), and both Christmas episodes. And the show wouldn't be complete without the rhymes of Agnes Dipesto. If you aren't that familiar with the show, don't miss your next opportunity to see Moonlighting!
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Actually we all dislike iambic pentameter
theowinthrop1 August 2006
Only 21 comments proceed this one on this particular thread. That is incredible to me. For in the middle and late 1980s MOONLIGHTING was one of the biggest (if not the biggest) phenomenons to hit television.

It dared to take a normal type of show - the detective show - and turn it into a mind blowing experience as it's battling heroine and hero confronted cases, each other, and the universe weekly. Mattie Hayes (Cybill Shepherd) and David Addison (Bruce Willis) ran a detective agency together, only because it was Mattie's last asset after her accountant ran off with her fortune (a later episode allowed them to confront the scoundrel). Addison was running the small agency, but since Mattie now depends on it for her income she takes over running it and collides head on with Addison. He is a self-satisfied male chauvinist, and she is a determined feminist. But despite their rigid points of view they are attracted to each other. So the result (normally) is that they get a client, and in analyzing the client's problem it raises some issues that actually confront Mattie and David in their lives, but the audience in it's lives too. The only other regulars were Allyce Beasley as Agnes DiPresto, their receptionist who always had a poetic effusion to greet the customers on the phone, and Curtis Armstrong as Herbert Viola, a late arrival who is the firm's bookkeeper and David's back-up man (and eventually Agnes' boyfriend).

I think the episode most people recall from this show is the experiment with Shakespeare's TAMING OF THE SHREW, wherein Willis was Petruchio and Shepherd was Katherine. Certainly it was a nice spoof, especially as Shakespeare's play is out of step with present day views about sexual equality. But the Shakespearean dialog was also spoofed - leading to the concluding line (which suggested my "summary line" above). But it was not the only good episode. The one where Agnes and Herb solve a case by themselves was interesting - and the conclusion where Mattie and David burst into the room to congratulate them, and then turn around with Mattie saying, "And hopefully next week we'll have more to do in the episode." was a good one too. So was one with Joseph Maher as an angel talking to Willis as Mattie and David's child in embryonic state. The birth of the child was expected by the audience, but at the last moment the writers have poor Mattie miscarry. Maher cheers up Willis by saying he shouldn't fear - he may end up the new baby on one of two other current shows then on television that had expectant parents!

The writing, at it's best, shoved this show to the heights. In the middle of an argument, Mattie tells David she does not give "a flying frig" for his opinion. David looks at her quizzically, and says he doesn't know what she means by "a flying frig". She looks at him casually and says, "That doesn't matter...(they turn towards the viewing audience)...THEY KNOW WHAT I MEAN!" In a moment of pure genius the dialog would suddenly pick up a life of it's own and become pure Dr. Seuss, with everyone in the scene joining in. There were in-jokes about other shows. In an episode based on IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE, Mattie discovers what would have happened if she had sold the detective agency (as she originally planned). It is bought by a husband and wife pair of detectives who we never see: the Harts, from HART TO HART. But we see their factotum assistant Max (Lionel Stander) still working for them. In another episode, David (in a fit of emotion) begs Mattie to run off with him and forget the agency. "If anyone has any problems, let that old lady from the movies on the other channel solve them for them.", he says. He's referring to Angela Lansbury in MURDER SHE WROTE on CBS.

With all the delays in production, all the unfortunate ego clashes, and even the dip in the series quality in the last year, MOONLIGHTING was a terrific show. It rarely is revived today, which given it's quality is a terrible shame and waste.
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Reliving the 80's with one of my favorite shows.
cedra22 July 2000
Presently, "Moonlighting" is being shown on cable (Bravo)here in the U.S. I must say watching these episodes after fifteen years brings back a lot of joy for me. It was one of my favorite shows of the '80's. I remember enjoying the verbal sparring between Maddie and David. It was also fun to watch what antics David would pull. True, some episodes weren't all that great, but what T.V. show has been truly perfect? Anyway, for the most part "Moonlighting" was a wonderful show that was well-written. As I watch these episodes again, I'm struck by how beautiful Cybill Sheperd was photographed and how young looking Bruce Willis was. (I think they've aged pretty well.)Last night I saw "Twas the Episode Before Xmas" and loved how they (writers and actors) frequently broke through the "fourth wall". That's another thing I loved about the show. It frequently broke through the "fourth wall". In all, "Moonlighting" was a witty romantic comedic show that put a whole new spin on the detective show genre.
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Revived Romantic Comedy on Television in the 80's
Ric-4926 September 1999
Moonlighting went on the air in January of 1985 as a mid season replacement, beginning with a two hour TV movie pilot episode. The reviews were mixed - and so was the pilot. Was this a detective drama? A romantic comedy? It appeared it was trying to be both. Within a couple of episodes it became clear that creator Glen Gordon Caron was planting the show firmly in the field of romantic comedy - a good choice because it was in these moments that the series would really shine.

By the third episode it was clear they were on to something original, or if not completely original, at least written and executed better than anything else on TV at the time. The Tracy-Hepburn like sparring between Shepherd and unknown actor Bruce Willis, and the sophisticated writing by Caron and the other writers just got better and better as they finished their first half season of ten episodes.

The highlight of that first batch was the celebrated "black and white" episode, "The Dream Sequence Always Rings Twice." In it Maddie and David interview a client who owns a once famous LA nightclub (like the Coconut Grove), which is about to be torn down. There they learn of a mysterious murder that occurred there in the 40's, still unsolved, that revolved around a trumpet player having an affair with the band's married girl singer. The singer's husband was killed and both the trumpet player and the songstress claim the other did the deed. Of course David assumes the woman framed the musician. Maddie feels it was much more likely the sleazy guy did it. Each of them daydream their version of events in 1940's black and white, with Bruce playing the trumpeter and Cybill the singer. Each of their mini-stories works as film noir homage, and the pairing of the two versions come off even stronger. In addition it allowed us to see David and Maddie in a romantic setting without having to put the characters directly into that kind of plot killing situation. The episode won Emmy nominations for everyone involved, including Cybill and Bruce. Bruce won.

Which brings up "the troubles." How many giant egos can one series sustain? Tension began to mount between Shepherd, Willis, and Caron. Cybill was the "star" - but she was essentially playing straight man to Willis. His manic character and split second timing were the force driving the chemistry forward. By the time they were filming the first full season - he was as recognizable as she was. And after years of struggling and starving in New York - he was enjoying every minute of his new found fame.

And then there was Glen Gordon Caron. He was very much a "hands on" producer and had very definite ideas about where he wanted to take the series. His perfectionism frustrated his cast and writers. Several times the crew would begin filming an episode while the writers were still writing. Caron had a commitment to the network for 22 episodes per season. He never delivered more than 20. His shooting regularly went off schedule and over budget. The quality was there on the screen ("Atomic Shakespeare" - a riff on the Taming of the Shrew was practically a movie in and of itself), but the show began to tick off viewers who complained about all the reruns while they waited for a new episode.

As the series moved into its second full season it hit a creative peak:

· The aforementioned Taming of the Shrew

· Big Man on Mulberry Street - with a musical sequence by "Singing in the Rain" director Stanley Donen

· The four Sam and David and Maddie episodes with Mark Harmon as the straight up astronaut whose proposal forces Maddie and David to confront their feelings.

Then it happened. A confluence of events that seemed to drain the show of all its life:

· Maddie and David "did it" - killing off the eternal suspense.

· The writers, tired of all Caron's tirades and very much in demand with all their Moonlighting awards, left the series. Caron had to bring in a fresh crop.

· Cybill Shepherd became pregnant with twins. The timing of the pregnancy would prevent her from filming between September and at least December - a prime production period.

· Glen wrote the pregnancy into the show - and had Maddie flee LA for home - for months. This allowed him to film Shepherd's scenes alone during the summer. Of course with 3000 miles between Maddie and David it's hard to get much zippy chemistry going.

Coming from the creative high of the second season, the letdown in the third year was all the more apparent. By the time they dumped the baby (a miscarriage) at the beginning of the fourth season - the magic was clearly gone. Shepherd and Willis were anxious to move on to more lucrative film projects, and the final season was only a slight improvement over the disappointing previous year.

But, as the nursery rhyme goes - when it was good, it was very very good. In addition to the episodes mentioned above, try to catch some of these on cable:

· "My Fair David" - Maddie bets David can't go through a week without breaking out into some Motown ditty, or making crass sexist comments.

· "Devil in the Blue Dress" with Judd Nelson and Whoopie Goldberg
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Best 80's one hour series
haildevilman16 June 2006
The writers were #$%& geniuses! I curse both Bruce Willis and Cybil Shepherd for letting their egos get in the way of a brilliant series.

I also thank them for the roles they played to perfection.

Love/Hate...just like their characters.

This was one of the few shows my whole family liked. My father would laugh like a hyena and quote the lines for days.

Non stop puns and jokes almost made you HAVE to see the repeats over and over to catch 'em all.

The David Addison character, despite his brashness, made it clear he'd give you the shirt off his back.

And despite Maddy Hayes' pompousness, her heart was pure gold.

Brilliant. Up there with Night Court as one of the best of the 80's.
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If you agree that"birds bird and bees bee" you'll love this!
Shapster1115 February 2001
In the finest tradition of Gable&Lombard and Tracey&Hepburn, Cybil Sheppard and Bruce Willis bring drama, comedy, and wit to TV together with a sexual tension that underscores their partnership in the Blue Moon Detective Agency.

Shepard, who plays Maddie Hayes, wakes up one morning to find out her accountant has absconded with the fortune she made as a high fashion model. Obviously it was not a stretch for Cybil to adapt to this role! In the course of finding out that she needs to sell everything, she happens in on this little detective agency(Blue Moon), she owns only because it was a great tax writeoff. The staff is morabund, and the head sleuth is a wise cracking obnoxious male chauvenist named David Addison, played by an unknown(at the time) Bruce Willis. The immediate rapport between the two brought viewers back for more. The endless stream of double entendre's, malaprops, and overall office antics made the show lovable and audiences craved for more.

Glenn Gordon Caron's writing and vision had the writers, actors, and directors take license with certain rules in primetime that were never questioned. E.G. In one particular episode Maddie asks David to get more explicit with an explanation and David responds by telling her if they get any more explicit they'll have to move the show to cable. It is precisely these departures from the norm, along with the genius idea to have the two main characters talk to each other AT THE SAME TIME, that made critics and fans follow their every move.

It's probably best to say that this show's run was cut short due to the emergence of Willis as a bonafide star. Once he made his mark on the big screen, in Die Hard, Bruce was looking for ways to exit TV. In interviews he talked of the brutal schedules for TV primetime and the difficulty in exploring the boundaries of his talents and appetite for acting. As the show fragmented the practice of in season repeat episodes was probably accepted more , if not born out of necessity. Expanded roles were given in onscreen time and plots to Allyce Beasley(who played a great Agnes DiPesto) and her Blue Moon boyfriend Herbert Viola, played by Curtis Armstrong. These shows were often almost difficult to watch, through no fault of Beasley and Armstrong, but rather the desire to see Maddie and David cavort as usual.

Reruns have been syndicated and you can find them sometimes, most recently on cable channel BRAVO. If you do see the shows, and they are regularly scheduled, it would be well worth it to look for four of my favorites...the first episode of Moonlighting's second season entitled "Brother Can You Spare A Blond", a later episode when Maddie and David have had one of their innumerable fights and they are both interviewed by Rona Barrett in an attempt to reconcile their differences, the episode that co-stars Dana Delaney as the ex-fiance that jilted David, and a classic show guest hosted by Orson Welles shot just before Welles' death. The show signifies the great love/hate relationship between the two main characters and is brilliantly shot in both color and black and white. I think you'll get the spirit and essence of this show if you see any of these.
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A true "one-in-a-million" show
Andy B-822 August 1999
Moonlighting was one of those shows that I didn't watch at first but once I caught an episode I was hooked. The constant sparring of Maddie and David was excellent with a lot of acknowledgement to the camera. I even enjoyed the episodes where Agnes Dipesto and Herbert Viola were given more screen-time.

My favourite episodes include the feature length first episode, "The Lady in the Iron Mask", "Atomic Shakespeare", "The Straight Poop", "It's a Wonderful Job" and "Poltergeist III Dipesto Nothing".

It's currently airing on a cable channel in the U.K. and although not all episodes were good the majority were very well written with many memorable scenes.
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I love this show, but they ruined one of the best episodes on the DVD
frickabee30 August 2005
Finally after years of waiting, the series that marked the career best of both Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd was finally released on DVD. They did a great job on the menus and so forth, but they absolutely destroyed one of my favorite episodes titled, "The Lady in the Iron Mask." They changed all the music which was originally very dark and moody and replaced it with this shrill garbage which even drowns out the dialogue in some places. At the end of the episode the hotel chase sequence was originally accompanied by the William Tell Overture which was the perfect choice for a hilarious climax. On the DVD however, they play the same crap that they played throughout the entire episode. Shame on you for whoever is responsible. It's better than not having the DVD out at all, but it just makes me mad.
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A great show that imploded faster than "Welcome Back Kotter"
AlsExGal5 November 2017
Warning: Spoilers
It's hard to rate this show. The first pseudo-season and second full season were fantastic. Cybil Shepherd as Madelyn Hayes, an ex model whose accountant runs off with all of her money, leaving her only her house and a detective agency full of goofy employees, and Bruce Willis as David Addison, the head goofball employee, come from completely different places and viewpoints. Addison does get Maddie to try and make a go of the detective agency rather than sell it, and the games begin. And yes, you can blame this show for unleashing Bruce Willis on the world.

So for a year and a half the sexual tension is so thick you can cut it with a knife as Maddie tries to enforce some discipline on the organization while Addison tries to get Maddie to loosen up. There are all kinds of weird cases worthy of the 80s, plus a couple of well done episodes including a version of "Taming of the Shrew" and a 40s Film Noir that actually allow David and Maddie to get horizontal without involving the actual characters. Plus there is a great 60s soundtrack to draw in the, at that time, 30 something baby boomers.

And then things began to unravel in the 1986-1987 season. The egos on the set - specifically the two stars - do not get along, and then Cybil Shepherd got pregnant. The show dealt with it in the worst possible way - after Maddie's long time astronaut boyfriend blows town, Maddie and David have one night of carnal bliss, then Maddie leaves town for the safety of her childhood home. For almost an entire season Addison is at the agency, and Maddie is in Chicago, until she returns to L.A. to add insult to injury to David, whom she obviously just does not think is good enough for her. And yes, the pregnancy was written into the script.

Too late to make a long story short, the viewers were jerked around by dead end story lines so much in 1987-1988, that like a disillusioned lover, when things returned to a semblance of normalcy in the 1988-1989 season, viewers just didn't care anymore. The show even had one particular prologue where they urged viewers to come back. They didn't. End of story.

My rating? I'd say that the first (very short) season and the second full season were 8/10, maybe a bit obvious but fun and different. The third season was 6/10 with the first half being pretty good and the last half being mediocre. The fourth season was a 4/10 - lots of waiting but nothing really happening. The fifth season pulled back up to a 6/10, no higher, because you just can't forget the backstory as easily as David and Maddie seem to have done.

Kudos go out to Allyce Beasley as admin Agnes DiPesto, a woman of plain looks but daring fashion, Curtis Armstrong of "Revenge of the Nerds" fame who is also no looker but commands your attention as employee, confidante of David, and at first reluctant heartthrob of Agnes. Eva Marie Saint and Robert Webber have continuing guest roles as Maddie's parents, and Maddie has to do some growing up when it comes to one aspect of her parents' marriage that she finds hard to swallow. Maddie is a woman that has a hard time forgiving human weakness in others - in fact that is HER biggest weakness, it seems.

I'd recommend it, but if you find yourself losing patience with it at the end of season three, you are not alone.
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The one that got it right.
Victor Field12 January 2003
"Moonlighting" had the same basic template as "Remington Steele" (which "Moonlighting" creator Glenn Gordon Caron also wrote for), but the two shows were ultimately so different that it never really felt like a ripoff. (In any case, "Remington Steele" itself felt a bit like "Hart To Hart," about which the less said the better.)

The show's troubled backstage production is the stuff of legend (if Sky 1 viewers think the arrival of new episodes of "The Simpsons" is an event, they don't remember this show's travails - a new episode on ABC was practically a headline story); so self-reverential was "Moonlighting" that the episode "The Straight Poop" was actually about the show's backstage drama, with Rona Barrett (real-life gossip maven) hosting and interviews with Cybill Shepherd's ex Peter Bogdanovich and, amusingly, Pierce "Steele" Brosnan. But though the problems really affected the show to the extent that some episodes had to focus on David and Maddie's secretary Agnes and the agency's new recruit Herbert, it never really became unwatchable.

And at its best, "Moonlighting" was a gem; with dazzling wordplay, real sparks between Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd (although Shepherd never getting recognised by the Emmys was justified), and some occasionally good mysteries to boot. Listing all the highlights the show produced would take too long, but the show deserves its place in history for, among others:

1. "It's A Wonderful Maddie": Maddie finding that in an alternate timeline the Blue Moon Detective Agency has been taken over by Jonathan and Jennifer Hart (Maddie and Max together: "Don't I know you from somewhere?") and that David has wound up marrying Cheryl Tiegs - a much better choice than Cybill Shepherd methinks.

2. "The Murder's In The Mail": For the "man with a mole on his nose" scene with the doorman.

3. What the narrator at the start of one of the episodes called "those silly chases they like to do on 'Moonlighting'."

4. "Atomic Shakespeare": In which a boy who has to miss "Moonlighting" to study "The Taming of the Shrew" leads us into a very amusing reshaping of the yarn ("10 Things I Hate About You" was good, but can that give you a medieval wedding ceremony with "Good Loving"?).

5. The movie-length pilot, complete with the full version of the wonderful Lee Holdridge-Al Jarreau theme song over the credits.

6. "The Dream Sequence Always Rings Twice." Orson Welles and Bruce Willis. A match made in heaven.

7. "Camille": Especially the climax.

Bruce Willis can look back on this with pride; Cybill Shepherd had nowhere to go but down. And the show's writers (Caron, Jeff Reno and Ron Osborn, Roger Director, Chris Ruppenthal, Debra Frank and Carl Sautter...), I salute you. A true classic.

Too bad the Anselmo case was never solved, though.
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It took 20 years for me to discover I Love this show.
buzznzipp199512 September 2006
I didn't pay much attention to the t.v. guide heading when this first aired. 'Who cares' I think I quipped. Al Jarreau worked with Alf Claussen and Lee Holdrige on the theme song that has been a good music staple for me for many years. I love that theme song!!! But almost twenty years later and the people in control putting this on DVD digitally remastered, for the first time, made the difference for me. I bought it, and I don't even really know why, except that I was interested in seeing it and willing to pay the price. I do remember having a cassette of the remastered VHS version that I watched, which contained only the pilot episode. I bought it in a pawn shop for, I think $3.00. I wore that one out. I turned on the first episode from the DVD and the picture and sound was excellent! I watched the pilot and then went on from there. The writers were a major talent in this no-doubt. Between the comedic fast-paced verbal sparring that these two did, to the action and the chemistry, it just all kept growing on me. I love this series, and I can't wait to buy the next DVD set!!

I remember seeing a media ad for the show's up coming season back in 1986 and the two David and Maddie, looked as if they were both 'Glowing' and in love. They had this look that I will not soon forget. I thought about it, but it took years before, I would watch the show. My wife used to watch it on tuesday nights with her grandma.

So now on Sunday nights we try to keep a new ritual alive. The funny part about this for me, is that every time I watch an episode, it just makes a 'time travel trip' possible. I feel like I'm there, at least point, it reminds me of when it was that year and I recall the feelings, smells, tastes of that period in my life. Amazing what a little fun can do for your life. That's where the real fountain of youth is, being able to enjoy a good sense of humor and clean living' no regrets.

I just picked up season three, at a local retailer and it just keeps getting better and better, with each episode. Time has done well with this series.

I recommend this sharply made comedy-drama to anyone with a sharp mind and good sense of humor (****)
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Calypso Music at a Funeral!!
dataconflossmoor29 May 2007
This is one of the best shows ever!! Certainly,one of ABC's most excellent in it's history!! How original!! How creative!! How likable!! and last, but certainly not least, HOW TALENTED!!.. Dave (Bruce Willis) and Maddie (Cybil Shepherd) have had tremendous careers, yet, surprisingly enough, the television show "Moonlighting" could be what they are best known for!! The unorthodox originality of this series astutely amused the television audience for four years.. It was a very "Guy" program that really appealed to women as well!! Bruce Willis is a box office legend now!! Back then, his career not exactly thriving, he was on the verge of being a bar-back at a Los Angeles Nightclub, until, he was chosen for the role of Dave on "Moonlighting" !!! Cybil Shepherd, originally became known for her beauty, this started with the sultry notoriety she attained in the movie "Taxi Driver"!! When cast for "Moonlighting" she became enormously popular on this T.V. Show!! Two famous lines of Cybil's which have left an indelible impression on me are: 1)"I like having money, I don't like to have to balance a checkbook" and, 2) "So go back to your pathetic life!!" (The second one not was said on "Moonlighting") Everything on this show was a joke and a half, nothing was serious, in fact, in so many episodes, Maddie's seriousness was the most convincing form of comic relief to the entire genre of this series!!! "Moonlighting" engaged in the dramatic use of "asides" to the television audience as a way of cultivating a camaraderie with the small screen viewer... It was very effective!!! You had to like Bruce Willis in this T.V. Show, or else, there was something wrong with you!! When someone is likable, they have an enormous leverage over those who like him!! The 1980's was a period for resumed innocence, nefarious chicanery always assumed a playful demeanor!! This flippant and auspicious approach of deliberate insincerity, gave the "Eighties Man" a tailor made invitation to be new and improved, yet, he could still be a "Guy"!! Nothing was normal about "Moonlighting" including the fact that it was one of the best television shows ever made... The theme song to "Moonlighting", by Al Jareau, was very popular!! You want conventionalism, you are not going to get it with "Moonlighting" this show was about as conventional as playing Calypso Music at a funeral!!
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Chemistry with a capital "C"
Critic2017B11 December 2002
OK, turn to the dictionary under the word Chemistry....specifically couple chemistry. There you should find a picture of Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd as David Addison and Maddie Hayes from Moonlighting. This series is a seminal study of sexual chemistry among lead actors and flaunted sharp, sexy, witty writing to match. If you have never seen a single episode of this series, you need to, and be prepared for a real treat. If you start at the beginning and watch this totally wonderful flirty, feisty pair become business partners, then best friends and then so much more, you will find yourself falling in love with these two remarkable characters that head up the slightly dysfunctional Blue Moon Detective Agency. In the process you will flip over how fabulous Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd are in these two roles. I don't think either one of them has ever been better or at least more charming, and that includes movies, other series, guest stints etc.

Equally great is the screwball nature of the whole series, the overlapping rapid fire banter between the two; the convoluted madcap madness of the cases they get involved in; the eccentric, wacky co-workers and relatives; and most of all how well these two play the will they or won't they game. (Pssst! They do; boy do they ever do!)

There have been critics and feminist writers who accuse the series of having a sexist viewpoint and of demeaning the female lead. But I just don't see it. Both David and Maddie are shown to be equally flawed, equally vulnerable, and equally wonderful in their own wacky kind of way. But they are both compelling to watch--hilarious at times, emotionally involving, and smolderingly sexy--especially in their scenes together. Yes, he is a sexist at first and she is an ice queen--but watch them both evolve through the influence of the other. These are two fully developed, wholly created characters, and their relationship and reactions to each other seem as real as real gets.

The peak of this show is the third season when nearly every episode of that season hit a home run out of the park. Of special note, this is the season that brought to our living rooms the famous Taming of the Shrew parody (Atomic Shakespeare), the delightful story told through dance episode of Big Man on Mulberry Street, the Capraesque It's a Wonderful Job, and the riveting four part continuing story line involving the romantic triangle with Mark Harmon guest starring...the storyline that lead to the very very famous consummation scene between Maddie and David. It also had one of the very best season finale episodes (and one of the naughtiest) ever on TV, To Heiress Human.

There are also some very very good episodes early on in the first two seasons as well, one being the critically acclaimed and quite engaging black and white film noir send-off titled The Dream Sequence Always Rings Twice.

The fourth season followed the pregnancy of Maddie Hayes, written into the show following the real life pregnancy of star Cybill Shepherd. That season showed some wonderful dramatic acting by Mr. Willis and several unexpected plot twists following Maddie's return from Chicago where she had gone to make decisions about the direction of her life and her relationship with David.

The fifth season was mostly problematic with a few glimmers from time to time of what made the series so great. Following the departure at the beginning of the fifth season of the show's creative center, Exec Producer and Creator Glenn Gordon Caron, the series never quite recovered its magic from seasons 1-4.

Still when it comes right down to it, this was one of the most creative, original and totally involving TV series ever to grace the tube. And through it, I fell in love with both Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd and still follow both of their careers to this day.

I am so excited that this series is coming to DVD in May 2005 with the release of seasons 1 & 2. Now if they will just follow up with seasons 3, 4, & 5.
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Too Much Bickering For Me
ccthemovieman-118 May 2007
I tried to like this program; I really did. I even bought the pilot film, first on VHS and later on DVD. However, I couldn't get into this story because its two main characters: "David" (Bruce Willis) and "Maddie" (Cybill Shepherd) just seemed to in love with themselves, for one thing. I admit was some clever dialog in the shows, which was a key part of the success of the TV program, and I did appreciate of lot of that dialog.

Basically, this was almost like the old screwball comedy movies of the '30s and '40s with male versus female. You get lots of arguing, accusations, yelling and screaming. A lot of people apparently love that sort of bickering, but I hate it, so I never got on the Moonlighting bandwagon.

Only Allyce Beasley as the hapless aide "Agnes," was entertaining. It's too bad she had such little air time. Shepherd was nice on the eyes and I suppose women would say the same for Willis, but too much arguing between the two finally turned me off.
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Still the Greatest!
AIANDAS1 September 2013
I had watched this shows first run and seeing it again now makes me fall in love with Maddie Hayes all over again.................did these 2 Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd have a chemistry!!!!!!!!!!

Good stuff along the same time when Miami Vice was burning TV down in decadent cocaine wars Miami, ABC offered us a screwball style comedy!!! This is definitely one of the greats from the 80s.

It was the thing to do on Tuesday nights before going out in NYC to see Moonlighting and then compare what happened and what will they do this week, whether the Bluemooners offshoot dream sequences or Ray Charles appearing in David's apartment. Really cool stuff!
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Best Bruce Willis character
Ana_Banana23 July 2013
As usually with series, it went down towards its ending, but many of the first episodes are real gems of humor, acting and timing. Bruce Willis delivered there one of the best comedic performances ever. Cybill was meant to be more annoying, and she managed that! He needed a side-kick anyways. The stories were not that exciting as they were, they even had something of a spoof sometimes, but the real treat was the comedy part. I could bear the silliest premises or the wackiest chases for the sake of some gems of David's one liners. Even hard work would be so much fun with a colleague like Mr. David Addison! Or if you turned in a person like him yourself. 'Don't take life too seriously, no one gets off alive from it.'
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Truly amazing television series and amazingly brilliant actors!
dear-bolly13 June 2012
This is an amazing television episode which made me fall completely and utterly in love with Bruce Willis. He is a phenomenal actor with a truly unique personality and an amazing set of facial expressions. The music they put in makes you want to turn back time to live in the 80's again. As soon as I had watched Moonlighting I just wanted to watch every movie Bruce Willis had ever been in starting with the die hard movies! Personally this is the best TV series ever made in the whole world I can't believe that so many people have not seen it or do not like it. I am fifteen years of age and my mum introduced this fantastic television series to me and I love it and I can't believe I had never seen it before. I haven't even watched all the series yet, can't wait either! (:
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Dancing in the Moonlight
hellraiser76 December 2019
As an old saying in a song goes, two heads are better than one because they really can get the most accomplished.

Despite contrasting viewpoints of life, those contrasts serve a purpose as one can see and spot certain things the other may have missed. But also the other may 'be able to fill in a portion of the others life that is missing, though this it can really help the other become even better in life and in their connection toward it and the people around them and you.

This is one of my favorite detective TV shows, it's also one of those romance stories that I like because it's one of those that are done right. The influence of the show no doubt is echoed a lot of other shows and fictional couples throughout the years most notably "Castle" which was influenced by this show, as well as a little of Scott Lang/Ant Man and Hope Pym/Wasp in the Marvel films.

One of the things I love about the show are of course that theme song from the late great Al Jarreau. This is both one of my favorite theme songs of all time as well as songs in general, it's just beautiful as it has that romantic and noir quality that perfectly fits the show as it's somewhat of a neo noir.

There are some good mysteries that are though provoking and really gives you a sense of participation as both David and Maddie aren't just working the case, but we are also. Though some are on the easy side which I'll admit is one weakness of the show as in some of them sometimes an episode or two waves the answer right in front of us, but this only happens in some episodes.

Maddie is great as she is an ex model whom is on the upper-class end of things. Really like how throughout the show we see her struggling constantly making her transition for one type of life to another. You also get the feeling she was a person that may have been sheltered a bit much as there are some things on the outside, she doesn't get but at least she's trying. One of the funniest things is how on one episode as David is engaged in a fight, Maddie tries to help him by using a gun, lets just say she must suck at the video game "Duck Hunt"; though it makes sense as she's never used a gun before, let alone trained to deal with dangerous situations.

However, despite her shortcomings she is highly determined which is part of how she gets though the situations and solves the cases. I also really like how she has just this abrasive charisma to her and aggressiveness as she's a person that won't settle for less or sometimes loses her cool when things don't always go her way.

Really like David whom is my favorite character in the show and of course is played well by Bruce Willis. This show of course really was his launching debut which is the same with most other famous actors whom most had their start on TV. I'll admit when I first heard about and saw this show, I was surprised seeing one of my favorite action stars use to be a TV star, as I mainly saw the films, he stared in first.

David is awesome, he's a guy that is on the rough and tumble. He's obviously on the middle or blue-collar end of things as he has a bit of that mannerism. He's not very smooth which is why he doesn't always get the girl, he's a person that has a sharp mind but is also street smart. He's tough he can handle dangerous situations if not smoothly or well. Which makes sense as he's not a guy that has had extensive combat training as you see how he has a little trouble handling his opponents. Though it sort of makes the action a little realistic as in a real fight it would be smoothly choregraphed, let alone makes David human, but this works to the character benefit as it makes us bet on the guy to win. But what I really like about him is he has just this snappy charisma and wise cracking wit which makes him just constantly fun and funny.

Both interacting together is always beautiful, it really isn't a question of will they or won't they, we already know the answer to that and that is they will as both clearly do love each other but the question is when.

What really makes both work is despite their clashes and disagreements they both really do work well together. Sure alone both of them do fine, but their not that good there are certain jams that are harry and they couldn't possibly get out themselves or even certain details on a case they miss, both are able to help each other as we as use their expertise and whatever else they have.

I even like how the relationship between both slowly but surely develops, both in a way really do fill in that missing piece in their lives. Both hardly get along as both aren't really any better than the other. Maddie can be a little self-centered as she seems to have a high opinion about herself and not much for others, David he is a bit cocky and full of himself. They clash a lot which in a way could be considered not just fire of anger but passion for each other. Once the fire though goes down, both then are able to warm up to one another and are able to actually open up to each other they are unable to do with anyone else and are able to understand each other from their dilemmas, troubles, and feelings which is part of what love is about at least in my book anyway.

This is a detective/romance classic that shines in the moonlight.

Rating: 4 stars
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A good series
PL198117 March 2006
I vaguely remember "Moonlighting" from the eighties but was too young to follow it closely or understand what it is about. I have been watching reruns of the show, however, and it must truly rank as one of the best drama/comedy series on television over at least the last twenty years or so. I wish we had more problems of its caliber today I've never really been that much of a fan of Bruce Willis" (although I will concede that he put in a great and first class performance in the "Sixth Sense") but "Moonlighting" has changed my whole perspective on his acting abilities. I now realize how good his acting truly was in his role as David Addison. He gives the character such depth, such dimension and such personality and portrays his character's mannerisms so adeptly and flawlessly that he really makes the character come to life. He just fits the role superbly and his performance in this role is truly one to be valued and enjoyed I watched Cybil Shepherd in "Cybil" and considered her quite a good actress but again her performance on "Moonlighting" as Maddie Hayes is just outstanding beyond words. She gives her character such class, such depth, such personality and such attractiveness and appeal that, again, Maddie Hayes really came to life for me. Maddie Hayes would have to be one of my favorite TV characters of all time and Cybil Shepherd's acting has a lot to do with that. She portrays the role so flawlessly and gives it so much perfection that it is difficult to convey in words what a great actress she is. I wonder why she hasn't gained more good acting roles The supporting cast is good as well. I must concede that I don't like the character of Agnes DiPesto much and find her rather annoying but Allyce Beasley really does a wonderful job in portraying her and I suspect the reason I don't like the character is because Beasley portrays Agnes and her eccentric character traits so well. I haven't seen much of Herbert Viola yet but so far I like his character But what really ensures this show is so excellent is the chemistry between Maddie and David (Shepherd and Willis) and the quirkiness and maverick tendencies of the show. The love/hate relationship that exists between Maddie and David and the effect that it has on the interaction between the two is priceless and a pleasure to watch. And I love the way that the script writers/producers of this show go out of the way to include the audience in the show, to tease the audience about the show's intentions and to just about reach for the stars in coming up with hilarious twists, subtle humor, quirky story lines and outrageous plots. One of the best aspects of "Moonlighting" is the way that they can be quirky and outrageous while at the same time not being blatant or obvious in their form of conveying these aspects of the show in the way that a lot of modern dramas/sitcoms do. "Moonlighting" does what too many modern TV shows fail to do –they treat the audience as intelligent viewers and aim for a level of intelligence and sophistication in their scriptwriting and story lines to reflect the perceptions of their target audience This is a classic, unique and enjoyable series which deserves to be valued for its intelligence, sophistication and quirkiness for generations to come.
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The World's First Romantic Detective Comedy
Big Movie Fan16 December 2002
Moonlighting was ridiculous at times despite a pilot episode with a serious theme. It was strangely enjoyable though.

The lovely Cybill Shepherd played Maddie Hayes, who had some troubles with embezzlers in the pilot show and decides to make her PI agency profitable. There, she meets David Addison played by the talented Bruce Willis.

The main appeal of the show was the 'will they, won't they' relationship between Addison and Hayes. This plot formed the majority of the episodes, the other parts being filled by Addison and Hayes actually doing a bit of detective work. There were some crazy episodes throughout and plenty of self-referential scenes.

By the second series, Addison and Hayes leapt into bed together which obviously helped the ratings initially. The show lost some of it's appeal after that but was still enjoyable.

Don't think about the plots-they were crazy. If you can figure out the crazy plots, then you deserve to be head of MENSA.

A great great show and the final episode ended nicely and in a way that made the viewers think that they were saying goodbye to an old friend forever.
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Vincentiu1 August 2013
a special series. for the chemistry between lead actors. for the adorable art of Allyce Beasley to give to her character charm and innocence, for music and humor of David, for adventures and for teenage air who, after years, remains its basic value. a window to another world because it represents more than an ordinary series but a garden of memories. sure, relation between characters has a long tradition but it is very different by each model. Bruce Willis , with hair and out the action films circle, Cybill Shephert in a cold skin of role, Curtis Armstrong as perfect spice and the events in clothes of memorable song. its great secret - science to be comedy, drama and thriller in a personal manner, as a delicious, refreshing summer salad.
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aledc-8553325 January 2020
Warning: Spoilers
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cwbrymer19 August 2018
Greatest show to ever air on television. Is it too much to ask them to continue writing? How about another season?
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One of the best TV shows ever
qqsingle17 April 2018
One of the best TV shows ever.

The back and forth between Willis and Shepherd is what every couple comedy sence has tried to replicate.
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