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Moonlighting (S1&2)
DVD disk
05.30.2005 By: JoBlo
Moonlighting (S1&2) order
Director:
Various

Actors:
Cybill Shepherd
Bruce Willis
Allyce Beasley

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
One of my absolute favorite shows of all-time, and probably my favorite 1-hour show of the '80s, "Moonlighting" features the antics of Blue Moon Investigation Agency private eyes Maddie Hayes (Shepherd) and David Addison (Willis), one ex-model who runs out of money and is forced into the business and one wise-cracking detective who would rather party, play and have fun, rather than work. The incompatible duo take on various odd murder cases, while at the same time, playing winky-wink with each other, and bantering like it was going out of style.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
One of the best shows to come out of the 1980s, "Moonlighting" was as original as they come, with a basic detective agency setting, making way for an awesome on-screen duo featuring Cybill Shepherd and the unknown-at-the-time Bruce Willis, bantering and bickering their way through a thousand one-liners a show, plenty of kookie mysteries, mucho palpable chemistry, self-referential zingers, and plenty of fun, mystery and entertainment, all the way around. I was afraid to watch this series again on DVD, because I feared that it might've aged past its time, but let tell you, I watched all 23 episodes of Seasons 1 and 2 all the way through, as each one added that much more of a groove to the show, that much more spark between the two leads and featured plenty of oddball mysteries (oh, and tons of shots of Shepherd's very sexy gams). This show's cases are like none other with mothers coming in to ask for the agency's help to get their kidnapped son back, while at the same time, asking the twosome to attempt to "negotiate" a better fee than the one asked by the 'nappers. Another show featured a 90-year old man in a wheelchair asking the detectives to witness his own murder in return for $25,000, while another slapped them all on a train and a supposed novel-based murder mystery, which ultimately, turned very real. Natch!

What I remember absolutely loving about this show though was the quick-witted repartee between the two leads, as well as their obvious opposite natures, and it was still present and accounted for in this awesome set. Shepherd is absolutely stunning in this show (which is strange, since I've always found her to be rather "odd-looking" otherwise) with the directors lighting her eyes in that "film noir" way and her acting chops doing the rest with an amazing range ranging from sexy to serious to funny to angry to everything in between. She's adorable. Willis, on the other hand, well...is Willis as we know him today, a complete wise-cracker from top-to-bottom, a man who enjoys delivering lines like "Do birds fly? Do ducks duck?" and "How much blood do you think he had in his alcohol system" and a million others, many of which I honestly missed because the lines are delivered so very fast. In fact, I watched some of the episodes with the subtitles on, just so I could catch more of the jokes...and there are plenty (reminded me of "The Simpsons" and "The Family Guy" in that respect).

Kudos to the creators and writers for that, of course, and for keeping a consistent pacing in that, and for coming up with so many original plotlines and such amazing dialogue between the two. Toss in a few early cameos from the likes of Tim Robbins, Whoopi Goldberg and others, plenty of screwball antics all around and you're off and running. But at the end of the day, it is the two actors, and their undeniable connection that makes this show what it is today. I can watch these two duel it out forever, and look forward to their "make up" sessions as much as their angry bouts. An undeniably fun show that should entertain anyone who appreciates a good mystery, with awesome chemistry between the two charming leads, and plenty of jokes to go around. Looking forward to the rest of the series. By the way, whatever happened to that Bruce Willis fella?? :)
THE EXTRAS
Included as part of this 6-disc set are a few features about the show, most of which should be cool to check out for fans, although nothing which features Willis and Shepherd in the same place. Natch!

Not Just a Day Job - The Story of Moonlighting, Part 1 (15 minutes): A nice intro to the basis of how the show was created and cast. Interestingly enough, creator Glen Gordon Caron had Cybill Shepherd in mind as he was writing the "pilot" episode, and thought of the film actor equivalents to the main actors as Jessica Lange and Bill Murray. Of course, Bruce Willis was an unknown actor at the time, but was picked by Caron for the lead, after which he had to convince the powers-that-be at ABC. Luckily they all chose Willis and the combination was amazing. Interviews with Shepherd, Willis, Caron and others are included.

Inside the Blue Moon Detective Agency - The Story of Moonlighting, Part 2 (15 minutes): I'm really not sure why they separated the "Story of Moonlighting" into 2 parts, other than the fact that it would take up more space at the back of the DVD (it seems as though the disc was originally supposed to include Deleted Scenes and Bloopers, but I could find neither one on this set), but this is basically the same as part 1, with interviews with all of the same people as the first section, only discussing more of the show's success, particularly in its second season. Most of the people simply discuss how innovative and cool the show was, which of course, I can't help but agree with.

Select cast/crew commentary tracks: Only a couple of commentary tracks on the discs, but I listened to the one with Bruce Willis, and it was a decent listen overall, although both he and the director of the episode, spent more time just watching the show, than actually discussing it. That said, it was nice to hear Bruce discuss some of his thoughts on the show that (let's face it) made him a star. Also, the director admitted that many of the close-up shots of Shepherd featured a "filter" of sorts, which FINALLY explained that "dreamy" look of hers to me. Thank you!

The Moonlighting Phenomenon (12 minutes): This piece was interesting enough, with most of the big-guns who created the series, discussing how it turned into such a phenomenon, despite the fact that it was doing quite badly in the ratings after its first 6 episodes or so (it was 64th in the ratings, but word of mouth during its summer re-runs helped get it going). I like how they all acknowledge the "problems on the set" as well, not pretending that the lead couple, Shepherd and Willis, liked it each other off the set. They claim that that conflict likely led to a better show, and I would have to agree.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
An absolutely original show featuring as many one-liners as you could fit into 60 minutes, along with a ton of sexual chemistry between the two leads, fun guest stars, creative shows, and oh...did I mention...a bunch of very inventive mystery murders to boot. Anyone who appreciates fun banter and great murder mysteries is sure to love this series, that was way ahead of its time at the time, and even featured a full-head-of-hair Bruce Willis and an absolutely sexilicious Cybill Shepherd.
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