Mooning for MOONLIGHTING
I’m reminded by the folks at AOL that on this very day in March, 23 years ago, Glenn Gordon Caron’s Moonlighting made its TV debut. That was the show that rekindled Cybil Shepherd’s fading career and launched Bruce Willis to stardom, and I, like many people back then, was captivated by it. The show had the trappings of cutie detective shows so prevalent in the 1980s (Remington Steele, Hart to Hart), but it broke so much new ground, or reinvigorated old ground, that it was irresistible. For one thing, not since the old Hope and Crosby films had the “fourth wall” between actors and viewers been so thoroughly shattered. This was a TV series where the stars knew they were just actors in a TV series. And then there were the allusions to old movies and TV shows, the constant, rapid-fire, overlapping dialogue, and, of course, there was Willis. He was a star being born. His line delivery was unforgettable, and usually quotable. And his chemistry with Shepherd was magic; who knew at the time, or cared, that the two never really got along?
After four — or was it five? — seasons (or fragments thereof), Moonlighting died a pitiful death due to production troubles, missed script deadlines, temperamental performers, and a plotline that tanked once Maddy (Shepherd) and David (Willis) finally did the naughty. Ah well. It was a terrific show for a good while, and every one of those episodes from the first two or three years is rewatchable.
Happy anniversary, Dave and Maddy!