Maddie Hayes & David Addison

Created by Glenn Caron

Maddie: Wipe that stupid grin off your face.
David: This is the smartest grin I know.

Moonlighting is the one we now officially claim to hate, but once upon a time, it sure was fun. This is the television series that brought screwball romantic comedy back into fashion and made Bruce Willis a star. If only we'd known what a monster we were creating...

In the sassy, spunky pilot, Cybill Shepherd played MADDIE HAYES, a fabulously successful (natch!) model forced to liquidate after her business manager skips town with most of her assets. The Blue Moon Detective Agency, originally purchased as a tax dodge, and run by DAVID ADDISON (Willis) is one of her doomed properties, but an unexpected mystery throws owner and employee together and a classic love-hate relationship blooms.

That may have also been the last episode where the mystery actually had much of anything to do with the plot. The "mystery" angle forever after was really just an excuse to throw Maddie and David at each other, and let the sparks fly. And to the show's credit, the sparks did indeed fly. Maddie was prim and proper, a good girl with very pre-set notions on almost everything, a tightly-wound prima donna intent on remaking the world in her image. But where Maddie was tightly-wound, David was just, frequently, hilariously tight. And unshaven and unwashed. A fast-talkin' scam artist, a laidback lout, a rock'n'roll party boy with all the morals of an alleycat, one of the highlights of the early shows was the episode where Maddie comes into her office one morning only to find David inexplicably hanging from the back of her door, still drunk from the night before, warbling Aretha Frankin tunes.

The show was a huge hit, and at least at first, deservedly so, a clever, updated spin on Hammett's Nick and Nora, slyly switching all the Prohibition-era talk about booze into AIDS-era double-entendre-laden ripostes on sex. The public loved it. There were spin-off record deals and hype up the wazoo, Shepherd was rescued from obscurity, and unknown Bruce Willis became a star. The critics loved it, too, praising its wit and inventiveness.

Unfortunately, Shepherd, Willis, the producers and writers also read the reviews, and started to believe their own press. They ended up loving themselves. What had started as a often-hilarious spin on everything else, became a self-referential ode to itself, a masturbatory orgy of self-love. Originality became just another gimmick, to be played solely for its own sake, egos spun helplessly, hopelessly out of control, and what had been a great diversion became increasingly nauseating to actually watch. By the time the show finally crashed landed under the weight of all those egos and pretensions, Shepherd and Willis were showbiz names to reckon with, and everyone else was left with a bad taste in their mouths.

Still, the show had, and has a lot of dedicated fans. There was, until recently, a campaign to get the series released on DVD (they finally started releasing them on DVD in May 2005) and even a renunion campaign that is still going strong, as far as I know. Here's a bit from their "mission statement" of the reunion campaign:

Moonlighting Reunion Campaign Press Release
Date: March 14, 2002
For Immediate Release

The Moonlighting Reunion Campaign
consists of a group of loyal, dedicated fans whose mission is to help restore the show's reputation and to bring the most passionate couple in television history back together. For thirteen frustrating years, we have had to settle with an ending that stood far below the brilliance the show gave its viewers for five years.

Since the huge success of the Carol Burnett's reunion special, the networks are now clamoring to make more reunion shows. We believe this is the perfect time for Moonlighting to return and finally put away the myth of how the show was diminished simply because Maddie and David slept together. Tensions and tempers have cooled throughout the years, and it's about time to let Bruce Willis, Cybill Shepherd and Glenn Gordon Caron hopefully finish what they started.

Apparently, we are not alone in our sentiments. On Wednesday, March 6th, Yahoo! conducted a one day poll which asked people, "Which canceled show do you miss the most?" Moonlighting won the poll. Even some recent articles from TV critics share our dissatisfaction on how romance is being portrayed on television today. Long Island Newsday's Noel Holston said it best, "...if you look over the broader TV landscape, romance has become a lot more complicated, even pessimistic, in the past decade."

Our campaign continues to grow. It's reaching people all over the world. Fans from Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Canada and the United Kingdom have joined our cause. A reunion TV movie would be great. We also see the possibility that this reunion would make a great feature film.

There has never been a show that captured the hearts, minds and laughter more than Moonlighting. We are striving to not let this love story fade away into a lunar eclipse.

For more information, please contact:
Joy Chodan
Chairperson
E-mail: jchodan@yahoo.com

And some people think I have no life....

Since the show, Willis and Shepherd have gone on to occasionally play other private eyes, but fortunately, not together. Shepherd actually appeared in a pilot about LA P.I. Sam Weathers, and Willis has played various cops and other law enforcement offices in a string of action flicks, including the Die Hard series and The Last Boy Scout, where he played private eye Joe Hallenbeck, a pumped-up, sociopathic version of his David Addison character.

TELEVISION

.........

  • MOONLIGHTING....Buy this DVD....Buy this video
    (1985, ABC)
    Pilot
    115 minutes
    Teleplay by Glenn Caron
    Producer: Jay Daniel
    Executive producer: Glenn Caron
    Theme song sung by Al Jarreau
    Starring Bruce Willis as DAVID ADDISON
    and Cybill Shepherd as MADDIE HAYES
    Also starring
    Allyce Beastley as Agnes Dipesto
    .
  • MOONLIGHTING....Buy Season 1 & 2 on DVD ..Buy Season 3 on DVD ..Buy Season 4 on DVD
    (1985-89, ABC)
    66 60- minute episodes
    Writers: Glenn Caron
    Producer: Jay Daniel
    Executive producer: Glenn Caron
    Theme song sung by Al Jarreau
    Starring Bruce Willis as DAVID ADDISON
    and Cybill Shepherd as MADDIE HAYES
    Also starring
    Allyce Beastley as Agnes Dipesto

SOUNDTRACK

  • MOONLIGHTING....Buy the CD
    (1984, MCA)
    Various artists
    A surprisingly enjoyable mix of classics (from Chubby Checker, The Isley Brothers, Percy Sledge and Billy Holiday), Al Jarreau's version of the theme, plus Sheppard's and Willis' stabs at a few more classics. More entertaining than it should be. Sorta like the show.

RELATED LINKS

  • DavidandMaddie.com
    A simply amazing web site, complete with everything you'd ever want to know about the show -- a pure wonder to behold. Snazzy, great layout, and as far as I can tell, everything works! Webmaster Cindy Klaus should definitely take a bow. There's even a campaign for a reunion/revival section, and banners and flyers you can plop on your own web site or telephone pole. This is how a fan site should be done. Colour me impressed.
    ..
  • The Virtual Moonlighting Web Site
    Wherein a small but dedicated band of fanfiction writers have kept their beloved show going now for two more seasons.

Report respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.


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