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St. Petersburg Times

October 6, 1987, Tuesday, City Edition


LENGTH: 612 words

HEADLINE: 'Moonlighting' loses its magical tension



Love means never having to say you're sorry, but I'm really sorry ABC's Moonlighting has run amok with all this silly romance business.

Another fine TV series hits the skids because the two leads hit the sack. Maddie Hayes and David Addison are playing a very boring on-again, off-again game of footsie while all those quirky detective cases are collecting cobwebs.

Enough of this relationship between stars Cybill Shepherd and Bruce Willis. Last week's season premiere entitled "A Trip to the Moon" should have been called "A Trip to Tedium."

I'll admit I was eager to see last season's end to the foreplay.

But, apparently, I was too blinded by lust to consider logically what would happen to the quality of Moonlighting after Maddie and David did you-know-what. I guess I didn't realize that the Moonlighting viewer would be getting cheated out of lots of laughs.

Granted, Moonlighting scribes had a pregnant problem on their hands. Shepherd is expecting twins this month and is on maternity leave from the show until January.

So why not just hide her behind a bag of groceries the way The Cosby Show did with co-star Phylicia Rashad? Okay, a shopping bag from Saks. Anything would be better than the way Moonlighting is leading its loyal viewers down a path that's headed for more hooey.

If Shepherd returns to the series as Maddie the mom, then is Willis' madman David going to mellow or, worse yet, become responsible?

Even if she returns without babes in arms and the relationship fizzles, how can Moonlighting return its lead characters to their original, sarcastic selves? Gone is the sexual tension because we all know they've done it.

Say the trying tryst continues between Maddie and David. Is roller coaster romance going to over-shadow taking care of Blue Moon Detective Agency business, the way the show did last week? I don't think I'd want to watch another night of David Addison playing a love-smitten fool (aka Joe Jerk), pleading with the icy Ms. Hayes to please come outside and go on a date with him.

Even a funny bit with Ray Charles and a spoof of The Honeymooners didn't save this tiresome episode.

So where does Moonlighting go from here? The immediate future is uncertain, of course, but then that's wonderfully characteristic of the Moonlighting I've became addicted to since the show first aired in March 1985. Tonight's episode has Maddie off at her folks' home in Chicago, thinking about her life, and David working a case solo.

Shepherd filmed some scenes before taking a break from Moonlighting; Willis did the same (he's off making a movie now). Allyce Beasley as Agnes Dipesto and Curtis Armstrong as Herbert Viola will undoubtedly be featured in an upcoming fall segment or two. Or David and Herbert will be paired in crime solving, as on next Tuesday's episode.

And the rest will be reruns - a device not all that unfamiliar to Moonlighting fans.

"Where is the relationship going?" Maddie nagged David in last week's episode.

In the dumpster, my dear, along with Moonlighting if the show continues to cast a mere shadow of its former self. Home Page


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