Walter Tatum & Gwen Cross
(Moon Over Miami)
Created by Harley Peyton

Oh, those crazy love-struck kids!

In the pilot episode from this short-lived romantic comedy from the 1993 fall television schedule, Miami law student-turned-private eye WALTER TATUM is hired to track down runaway bride and poor little rich girl GWEN CROSS.

And so it begins. Alternately loved or loathed, the show was was either praised as "a fast, sophisticated romance with echoes of those fabulous 1930's screwball comedies" or dismissed as a sappy ripoff of Moonlighting.

Me? It may have had all the substance of shipping peanuts at times, but I thought it was sorta fun, and I enjoyed the lightweight frothiness of it all and often witty dialogue, which was far more than the ego-tripping and increasingly pretentious David and Maddie offered in their final season or two.

Walter (The Rocketeer's Bill Campbell) is the young hunk, the quirky and rather glib owner of a small private investigation agency in the trendy South Beach area with a tendency to wordiness and spouting poetry, trying to come off as world weary. Gwen (Ally Walker, pre-Profiler) is an impulsive, heart-on-her-sleeve type, straight from Kansas City. Alone, suddenly in need of a job, white knight Walter offers her a gig as a secretary in the firm. Suffice it to say that professional and romantic sparks flew.

And just to make sure there were enough young, good-looking people in the cast, they tossed in Augustin Rodriguez as Tito, Walter's pony-tailed Cuban American assistant and surveillance man, and Marlo Marron as Billy, the firm's computer whiz and electronics expert. And their relationship is almost as cute as Walter and Gwen's.

Which made the addition of J.C. Quinn as cantankerous, suspicious, ratty old Sgt. Barnes of the Miami Police such a relief. Another little treat was a few appearances by Elliot Gould as Gavin Mills, the P.I. who first inspired Walter to leave law school and become a private eye.

The use of glitzy settings and a handsome cast meant the show always looked good. If they had had a chance to work on it a bit, whittle down the cuteness, and pick up the pace a bit we may had something here. But networks, even back then, aren't known for their patience. The show was scrapped by Christmas with at least three episodes left unaired.

EVIDENCE

TELEVISION

Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.


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