I've been watching episodes on DVD recently. It still holds up well after all these years. And yeah, the show goes off the rails in the last two seasons, but there are still a few gems. Bruce and Cybill were just perfect together, and Allyce Beasley was great as the dizzy DiPesto.
I didn't know that the characters were originally modeled after Bill Murray and Jessica Lange. (Halfway through writing the actual pilot script did Glenn Caron realize Cybill was Maddie) Of course, neither Bill or Jessica would have considered a television series at that time. But you can't help imagining how a Moonlighting movie with them would have turned out.
[quote]Allyce Beasley was great as the dizzy DiPesto
Was Herbert Viola the Cousin Oliver of the show? I loved DiPesto's solo episode.
Bruce was smoking back then, then there's the lovely jazz theme song. I was obsessed with The Isley Brothers "This Ole Heart of Mine" cause of an episode that played it. God, I feel old now.
One of the most special shows in all of television. A real gem. One for the vaults.
Some favorite episodes:
- The Next Murder You Hear. One of the all-time best Dave and Maddie driving scenes. Great noir influence.
- The Murder's In The Mail: Great Dr. Seuss bit toward the end.
- The Lady In The Iron Mask: Great screwball chase at the end, better in the broadcast version. Unfortunately the music was replaced in the DVD and it's terrible.
- Money Talks, Maddie Walks: Great mythology episode. No mystery. Just builds character and relationships.
- The Dream Sequence Always Rings Twice: One of the most famous episodes. Two black and white fantasies, shot on some of the last true black and white only cameras in Hollywood.
- Portrait of Maddie: Great mystery.
- Twas the Episode Before Christmas: The payoff is in the last scene. Very touching for lovers of television.
- The Bride of Tupperman: One of the best examples of Moonlighting functioning on all cylinders. Good mystery, good episode, fun chase to wrap it all up.
- Every Daughter's Father is a Virgin: CLASSIC EPISODE. No mystery. All personal stuff. A couple of HEARTBREAKING scenes. Watch this and respect Cybil Shepherd as an actress again. One of my favorites, even though it's slow slow slow.
- Sleep Talkin Guy: Very nice episode building the Maddie and David relationship.
- Camile: Whoppi Goldberg. A crazy fourth-wall-breaking romp.
- Symphony in Knocked Flat: A couple of great gags here. The final act is a bit off the rails but it's all fun.
- Yours, Very Deadly: Great all-around episode. Moonlighting on all cylinders.
- Big Man on Mulberry Street: This episode is famous for a dream ballet, but the best moment comes towards the end. Maybe the most touching Maddie / David scene of the series. A must for fans of the series.
- Atomic Shakespeare: A kid isn't allowed to stay up late to watch Moonlighting. He has to do his Shakespeare homework. So he goes upstairs and imagines Taming of the Shrew as an episode of Moonlighting. And that episode is performed in iambic pentameter. Maybe the most famous Moonlighting episode of all, and very touching for me, who watched the show as it aired as a child. A masterpiece of television, never to be duplicated.
- It's a Wonderful Job: Continuing a streak of classic, classic episodes. Maddie gets the Christmas Carol treatment. A real special episode for fans. Very touching, but also funny.
- The Straight Poop: A journalist goes behind the scenes at Blue Moon to find out what all the drama is. Mirroring the drama behind the scenes at the actual show. Classic.
The next run of episodes in the season are fine, they create a big love triangle that culminates in David and Maddie having sex. I am not a fan.
Nothing is worth watching after the season three finale. Glen Gordon Caron left Moonlighting very early into season four, and he was not proud of the episodes he did at the start of that season. They are messy, and the show was effectively over at that point.
I hope this helps some people discover the best of what this truly special show has to offer.
Another show Cybill Shepherd managed to crate with her ego.
Bill Murray was that much of an asshole?
Never has a celebrated show seemed to have gone off the rails so quickly. And Shepherd's maternity leave seemed like it was two years long.
I preferred the mysteries with the fun climaxes to the Dave and Maddy drama.
R2 I like your post, but I disagree that there's nothing worth watching after season three. Even though it had some incredibly inane moments and ridiculous scenarios, there were still some touching, well acted scenes in there.
I love this scene where they reunite after Maddie's been away for months.
It was a RIP-OFF of Remington Steele.
Glen Gordon Caron even worked at Remington Steele as a scriptwriter, before taking his concept to ABC
R7 Thanks. I'm a purist. Once Maddie started putting mouse in her hair, it's over.
R8 is right. It wasn't a rip off as much as ABC asked Glen to give them their Remington Steele. I think you'll agree that what resulted was far, far different.
The show was great the first season or two, but then got bogged down by the soap opera-ish elements of the Dave/Maddie relationship, Bruce and Cybill's real life conflict, Cybill's pregnancy, and of course endless, endless reruns. I remember the running joke back then that it was a special occasion when an episode was on that had only three previous airings.
Can't tell you how many times they broadcast the Lady in the Iron Mask episode.
"It was a RIP-OFF of Remington Steele."
Yeah, but it's SO MUCH BETTER.
R10 the pregnancy did not occur until Season 4, but you are right. Much more than the sex, it is what killed Moonlighting. She was unavailable for filming and they wound up shooting a ridiculous series of scenes at home in Chicago with her parents that they then had to write around and find a use for. A screwball comedy can survive when the will-they-or-won't-they is over. They can continue to clash as a couple. But it cannot survive several episodes in different cities.
[quote]Atomic Shakespeare: A kid isn't allowed to stay up late to watch Moonlighting. He has to do his Shakespeare homework. So he goes upstairs and imagines Taming of the Shrew as an episode of Moonlighting. And that episode is performed in iambic pentameter. Maybe the most famous Moonlighting episode of all, and very touching for me, who watched the show as it aired as a child. A masterpiece of television, never to be duplicated.
So glad to see other genuine fans here! Apologies for going all VOTN and posting every other post but this is my favorite piece of television of all time.
Once Mark Harmon showed up and Dave and Maddy had sex and then Maddy got married to that total stranger on the train, the show started circling the drain. In the space of a TV season, the show that people were all talking about in September was losing it's luster by May.
There was an unwatchable episode with just DiPesto and Bert Viola. Most of the episodes near the end were unwatchable.
The problem was again, Cybill. She couldn't have someone else get more laughs. She had to be the funny one.
Just like in the show "Cybill". She could not stand that Baranski was getting a lot of the laughs.
She never understood and embraced the talent she had. She thought she was Lucy when she was really Mary Richards.
And don't get me started on her "singing".
David: " I don't give a flying fig."
Maddie: "A flying fig?"
David: "A flying fig."
[quote]It still holds up well after all these years.
Are you joking? The show seems completely dated now and screams 80's.
Love the show.
Some other highlights
Dana Delany playing Addison's ex.
Their version of Taming of the Shrew
Great clip R7.
I am going to have to watch this show.
The humor and the style hold up week, dingbat R20.
That's WELL, not week. iPads have minds of their own when you type.
Thanks, I downloaded season 1 and 2 and am having fun. Cybill Shepherd was a knockout.
The show does indeed implode in season 4, thanks to the ham-handed efforts by the writers to work around Shepherd's pregnancy.
Maddie suddenly flips out and abandons her business just because of a month-long fling with David, whom she loves? Makes absolutely no sense, just like her impulsive marriage to a nerdy stranger she meets on a train. Shepherd said in her autobiography that she couldn't fathom why the ever-sensible Maddie Hayes would behave that way, which would be an incredibly cruel thing to do to poor David Addison.
As someone upthread mentioned, a show that has banter as its hallmark should never have separated the two leads for nearly a whole season, either. Re-watching that year, both David and Maddie are incredibly morose and sad - totally at odds with the fun, exhilarating show "Moonlighting" had been.
I think the last episode I ever watched was the season premiere of the final season when Bruce Willis played Maddie's baby in the womb- who was miscarried at the end of the episode.
Cybil was a knockout back then, R25. R26 is right about the show imploding in season 4.
When did Bruce and Cybil start hating each other? Was it during season 1 or did it grow over the years?
R30 - It started in season 1 and grew.
Cybill was a diva from the start. Bruce was grateful to have been discovered and well-liked by the cast, crew and producers. He eventually bought into his own PR and got a swelled head too but Shepherd bore the brunt of negative press and blame for the show's downfall. I have no doubt she's difficult to work with but in spite of his good guy image (at the time) I've always gotten an asshile vibe from Willis and he's acquired a Cybill-like diva reputation of his own over the years.
What diva like things did Cybill do?
It was known then that she would NEVER wear anything but nike sneakers on set. her feet are never seen because of it.
The "Gotta Dance" inspired sequence to "Big Man on Mulberry Street" with Sandahl Bergman was astonishing. Maddie's dream sequence about Dave's failed marriage and her own love for him. They kiss in the dream sequence and it made quite a splash. Bergman is great although she looks a little too much like Katey Sagal for my taste.
That's a great scene R35
I liked the Dana Delany episode more, though.
My favorite scene of the entire series was the Mark Harmon reveal just as David is about to tell Maddie that he loves her.
I remember my young gay self thinking "Oh noooo" and "Oh YEAH" at the same moment.