The Gossip We Have All Been Waiting For
In Moonlighting: An Oral History, Scott Ryan investigates the underlying drama behind the show that pioneered network TV as we know it today. He first introduced his idea of this investigation to the creator, Glenn Gordon Caron, who was more than happy to give his blessing and reminisce about series. Then he corralled the rest of the writers, cast members, editors, and anyone else he could find. He made them the promise of writing this book with a balance between memories and facts, all to remember the beloved show that made pop culture history.
This ABC-TV series was the first successful comedy-drama of its time, featuring Cybill Shepherd as Maddie and Bruce Willis as David. It follows Maddie, an ex-model recently bankrupt, who is persuaded by David to run Blue Moon Investigations as co-partners. Everyone fell in love with their bickering and flirtatious interactions, anxiously waiting for them to give into the romance. When the episode finally came for them to consummate their relationship, audiences had already been waiting for two and a half years. This season 3 episode was the peak of the show and brought the highest ratings yet.
Ryan explains how this is where the mystery of Moonlighting’s downfall heightens. Each chapter follows a different point in time within the airing of the show. Ryan first sets the stage with a short blurb about the filming environment of the episode and then lets his interviewees takeover. By expertly organizing the detailed notes he took while speaking to them, he crafts an intriguing story. From cast members such as Cybill Shepherd and Allyce Beasley, to writers such as Glenn Gordon Caron and Jay Daniel, the only person missing is Bruce Willis. That being said, the remarks compiled from everyone else certainly create an unforgettable tale of Moonlighting.
For the first few seasons, the show received excellent ratings and had the full attention of both its co-stars. After the third season, things started to spin out of control. While many fans claim that the show went downhill after Maddie and David finally consummated their relationship, Ryan’s interviews prove otherwise. For example, Caron details how he made this plot decision before finding out that Cybill was going to take a year long absence from the show. At the same time, Bruce was whisked away to make Die Hard. To top it all off, when the couple finally reunited under Roger Director’s writing, ABC shut them down.
This compilation of interviews gives all the juicy details you never knew to look for, such as how both leads had doubles for a certain scene where Shepherd was pregnant with twins and Willis had a broken collarbone. The crew recounts many scenes and episodes that seem unbelievable to the point where they question if it had really happened. Ryan makes the distinction that he did not undergo critical analysis of the series, rather an investigation into its creative process. With his interpretation of the interviews and a sprinkle of relevant facts, he creates an oral history of Moonlighting that will not be soon forgotten. Pre-Order your copy of Moonlighting; an Oral History now.