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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

Moonlighting: Seasons One and Two (review)

Twenty years after its debut on ABC, one of the most entertaining hour-long series in the history of television finally comes to DVD… and it is most welcome. Not every episode in this dramedy mystery series is brilliant, and parts of other episodes drag, but when former model turned private eye Maddie Hayes (Cybill Shepherd: Martha, Inc.) and professional wiseass David Addison (Bruce Willis: Sin City; this is where I fell in love with him, and how could a gal not, he’s so lusciously snarky) square off, the result is pure magic, their sniping and surreptitious flirting adding up to romantic-comedy manna from heaven. Shepherd won a Golden Globe, and her costar, a previously unknown Willis, won both a Golden Globe and an Emmy for their menage à deux, and no embarrassment of award riches would be enough to commemorate their pairing, which could well be the greatest example of onscreen romantic chemistry ever, or at least certainly on a par with Tracy and Hepburn. The series distinguished itself with its clever writing, too: even the episode titles — “Brother, Can You Spare a Blonde?,” “Gunfight at the So-So Corral,” “The Dream Sequence Always Rings Twice,” “In God We Strongly Suspect” — hint at the wit and the irreverence the episodes evinced, if not consistently. Picture and sound have been digitally remastered, and look fine to the uncritical eye, and the extras are a panoply of fannish delights, including commentaries by Shepherd, Willis, and show creator Glenn Caron; featurettes; deleted scenes; and gag reels and bloopers.


MPAA: not rated

viewed at home on a small screen

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