Thursday, April 10, 2008

Moonlighting - Season 3 (1986-87)

(Image from Amazon)

Moonlighting - Season 3 (1986-87)

I've left this write up way too long, and it'll probably be even shorter than my blog post on Season 2 ('Explanations can't do it justice'? What a cop-out!).

The winning formula continued to work wonders during the third season of the definitive comedy mystery drama; if it ain't broke, why fix it? The show did however introduce a new element in the form of Herbert Viola (Curtis Armstrong) as an up and coming junior member of the Blue Moon Detective Agency and a potential love interest for Ms. DiPesto (Alice Beasley). The stories are as out there as ever, and Maddie Hayes (Cybill Shepherd) and David Addison (Bruce Willis) trade barbs as regularly as they draw breath. It's all quality, with the weirdest episodes including an interpretation of Shakespeare's 'Taming of the Shrew' and a take on 'It's a Wonderful Life' where Maddie sees how things would have ended up if she hadn't kept the agency open (Addison marries Cheryl Tiegs!). Even the potentially rubbish clip reel episode turns out to be quite good, as does the one focusing on DiPesto and Viola as they investigate a haunted mansion. Standout guest stars include Brad Dourif, Donna Dixon, Mark Harmon, and Gary Cole, and there's also a brief hilarious cameo by Pierce 'Remington Steele' Brosnan.

The biggest development in the third season is the progression of Maddie and David's relationship, a mini arc that drags on a bit in the latter episodes of the season but is still full of great material and some surprisingly serious dramatic moments. Oh, and they end up consummating their relationship. If you think that's a spoiler... erm, it's a twenty year old show.

The season ends with a rather apt scene of a car freewheeling downhill. Apt because this was the show's last great season; it went downhill from here and truth be told I'm not really interested in watching the rest again to be reminded of how bad it got. The first three seasons, however, are dynamite and are enough to ensure Moonlighting's place as one of the great, classic TV shows.

Really, explanations can't do it justice!

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