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The Magic of Moonlighting

Fascinating read.

[quote]Caron thought the tension between a sloppier huckster of a man and an elegant woman was essential for the gambit—if he had been making a film version, Caron said, he would have cast Bill Murray and Jessica Lange.

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by Anonymousreply 37Last Wednesday at 8:05 AM

He was pretty then.

by Anonymousreply 102/12/2021

They really did have great chemistry. And the first two seasons were perfect.

by Anonymousreply 202/12/2021

Bruce overdid the lovable goofball bit.

by Anonymousreply 302/12/2021

She was gorgeous.

by Anonymousreply 402/12/2021

I thought they were great as a TV couple. I can't stand BW on his own. He was just starting out on this show. Once he got into movies he became intolerable.

by Anonymousreply 502/12/2021

The thing about Cybill was that her ego took over (as did Bruce's). Her problem was she failed to see that she worked so well as a duo with Willis, and same scenario with Christine Baranski. She thought she needed to be the funny one but failed to see that it was the chemistry and her ability to react to both of them that were the keys to the success of both shows.

by Anonymousreply 602/12/2021

The 80s fashions and hairstyles really suited Cybill’s look perfectly, I think Moonlighting she was at her most beautiful.

by Anonymousreply 702/12/2021

You can't recreate that chemistry, it just happened. Part of it was Shepherd's beauty. She often brings out qualities in actors that you hadn't previously seen, like DeNiro in Taxi Driver.

It was said that Ray Sharkey had the role but went on a drug bender and Willis got the role.

by Anonymousreply 802/12/2021


by Anonymousreply 902/12/2021

This article was originally published in 1986 in American Cinematographer but just put online again yesterday. Lots of detail on how Moonlighting was lit and a few clips. Cybill and Bruce really were great together in the first few seasons.

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by Anonymousreply 1002/23/2021

Thanks for posting this article OP! DL has had many threads about MOONLIGHTING and there are many fans here. Myself included. I have the entire series on DVD and every few years pull them out and watch them and get lost in it all again. Pure 80’s television magic. As noted, the first two season are the most perfect. But later seasons have their moments too. Bliss!

by Anonymousreply 1102/23/2021

Love Moonlighting as a teen. My friends and I were obsessed with it. I remember we convinced our honors lit teacher to let us watch the Taming of the Shrew episode in class. So much fun.

by Anonymousreply 1202/23/2021

I loved it. Great show. Agree with R2 that the first two seasons were perfect.

Interesting how it's just fallen off the TV landscape the way it has. Has it ever been seen in reruns? I don't think I've seen it since it originally aired on ABC.

by Anonymousreply 1302/23/2021

The problem was Bruce didn't want to be the funny one. That's why Curtis Armstrong was brought in, because Bruce was tired of always being the wisecracking one. and wanted more serious moments on the show. He started to resent his character and felt it was stifling his future success in movies. Curtis wrote about it extensively in his book. Bruce comes off like a grade A asshole and a bully, while Cybill is just very moody and morose over the shows popularity. Neither seemed to really enjoy the experience.

by Anonymousreply 1402/23/2021

I have friends who worked on the show.

Once Willis hit it big, he became insufferable.

He would disappear to go skiing. And then demand that the studio send a private plane to get him. And then refuse to get on it because it wasn't big enough.

by Anonymousreply 1502/23/2021

I remember in the 80's, my roommate and my best friend would get together every Tuesday, open a bottle of wine and watch it. I loved the rapid fire dialogue between Maddie and David. There really nothing better to watch on tv at the time. My favorite episode was "It's a Wonderful Job" when Maddie wonders what would have happened if she closed the business. It was a salute to "It's a Wonderful Life" and the ending always make me cry.

by Anonymousreply 1602/23/2021

[quote]She thought she needed to be the funny one but failed to see that it was the chemistry and her ability to react to both of them that were the keys to the success of both shows

Every show like this needs a straight "man" to bounce off the crazy one and Sheppard was the straight man in both shows. It worked really well and it is unfortunate that she couldn't see that. Can you imagine a show with Christine Baranski's character as the lead?

It would get old and stupid by the 4th episode. You could make the comparison to Will & Grace. On their own, Jack and Karen were annoying and got old fast.

The comedy part of it was really genius. I appreciate the author gave a nod to Remington Steele (a favorite of mine), but never had the same "grab", as it was more or less, a real detective show. It was good, but it wasn't must see television like Moonlighting was.

I wonder what the reason is for not streaming? Music rights?

by Anonymousreply 1702/23/2021

I hated how BW had the ego but couldn't play the trumpet, but CS was the workhorse who could actually sing. This is a great rendition of a clever and witty song. Her hair toss at 4:39, à la Hayworth, is wonderful.

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by Anonymousreply 1802/23/2021

Thought I had it queued up. I Told You I Love You, Now Get Out starts at 3:06.

by Anonymousreply 1902/23/2021

R17 Glenn worked on Remington Steele the first season.

Cybill had no problem being the straight woman on Moonlighting. What she resented was how Bruce walked away with the accolades and attention while she didn't. (Stephanie Zimbalist and Pierce Brosnan on Remington Steele had a similar, equally volatile situation) It came to a head the year that he won the Emmy while she was pretty much the only one from the show not nominated. She felt it was a major slap in the face.

Also, as has been mentioned, Willis was horrible and difficult himself behind the scenes but Glenn had his back, so it became a case of the boys club against the lone woman. And she got the lions share of the blame.

Cybill definitely took her issues with Moonlighting out on her own show, especially in her treatment of Baranski.

by Anonymousreply 2002/23/2021

[Quote] Cybill is just very moody and morose over the shows popularity.

And hungry.

by Anonymousreply 2102/23/2021

I can't believe the production values on that B&W scene.

The lighting is amazing. All of Sheperd's jewels shimmer.

by Anonymousreply 2202/23/2021

Also, Cybill hated what they did to the Maddie character after the big episode where they had sex for the first time.

For that, I agree with her 100 percent. That whole season they kept the two apart, and they made Maddie very flighty and neurotic. That whole Walter Bishop storyline was pretty much the beginning of the end of the show.

by Anonymousreply 2302/23/2021

The Moonlighting soundtrack is great if you can find it.

by Anonymousreply 2402/23/2021

Look at the difference in Zimbalist and Brosnan's subsequent careers. He has done several blockbuster films. Who would have guessed, back then, how it turned out? She even had the leg up of being an industry kid.

Cybill can be a HANDFUL, even now. She did a one-person show at a theatre, Widow something, and people were so glad when it was over--crew and audience alike.

Allyce Beasley OTOH was in a Broadway musical but didn't get a ton of press or entrance applause.

Bruce Willis was in Misery on Broadway and reportedly he was behind the decision when they brought in Laurie Metcalf to replace Elizabeth Marvel.

by Anonymousreply 2502/23/2021

I could see this getting remade as a series. It would make sense with the way things are marketed these days. Meaning, it would capitalize on the show’s reputation but then make a show that was little or nothing like the original, and be lame. Devoted old-time fans (myself included) would be gagging, but I have to admit I’d be curious. Who would they cast as the leads?

by Anonymousreply 2602/24/2021

Willis was terrible in Misery on Broadway. I wanted a refund. The best thing about that play was the set design.

by Anonymousreply 2702/24/2021

I loved Remington Steele as a kid and watched it a few years ago when it was on MeTV (or a similar channel). Sadly it had not aged that well. The leads were great and had good chemistry, but as the show tweaked things to try and get better ratings it went more for the 80's action with chases and explosions instead of sticking to the classic detective format. Pierce becoming more of a straight-forward macho action hero rather than a charming rogue often in over his head. Their chemistry and banter was better suited for solving mysteries not dealing with drug cartels in Central America.

Somewhat related, back in the DVD days of Netflix I revisited Scarecrow and Mrs. King out of nostalgia for certain awakenings due to Bruce Boxleitner. Not exactly a well written show, although the pilot itself was kid of fun and the leads were likable and truly had chemistry. After that it was a case where the leads were better than the material they were given.

by Anonymousreply 2802/24/2021

Bruce Boxleitner was hotter than Bruce Willis. There, I said it.

by Anonymousreply 2902/24/2021

The idea of “remaking” this show is so depressing. Leave it alone!

by Anonymousreply 3002/24/2021

Bruce and Cybil could have cameos

by Anonymousreply 3102/24/2021

The worst thing about this show was having to sit through [italic]Who's the Boss[/italic] and [italic]Growing Pains[/italic], hands down the worst sitcoms of the 1980s to run predominantly in the 1980s, to get to it. That's why there's a dial on your TV. That's why they invented VCRs: so you could watch the shows you actually want and skip the ones you don't.

by Anonymousreply 3202/24/2021

Usually I heave at remakes and reboots. But Moonlighting flamed out so spectacularly and ended so abruptly that if someone could manage to recapture what made those first couple seasons near-perfect and make it last, I say go for it.

Flipping sexes could work well--make the lead male a fluffy square-jawed celebrity (maybe game show host) trying to remake himself in a serious career after some kind of scandal/loss. The female lead is a slightly sleazy but very skilled PI (give her top notch computer & websleuthing skills). She annoys the fuck out of him but he keeps her around because she's really good. She finds him dorky and out of touch but is still a little starstruck. Of course there's undeniable attraction between them.

by Anonymousreply 3302/24/2021

R33 Interesting!

by Anonymousreply 3402/24/2021

I was in Jr. High when this aired. It was the most sophisticated thing I'd ever seen on TV until then. I wanted to BE Maddie Hayes. And love the theme song.

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by Anonymousreply 3502/24/2021

Moonlighting premiered 36 years ago today!

by Anonymousreply 36Last Wednesday at 7:54 AM

[quote]The worst thing about this show was having to sit through Who's the Boss and Growing Pains, hands down the worst sitcoms of the 1980s to run predominantly in the 1980s, to get to it. That's why there's a dial on your TV. That's why they invented VCRs: so you could watch the shows you actually want and skip the ones you don't.

You had an "OFF" button to skip the shows you didn't like.

The idea of sitting through shows you don't like baffles me. Do you not read or have any other interests?

by Anonymousreply 37Last Wednesday at 8:05 AM
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