Moonlighting: Season 1 (1985)


Season 1
Moonlighting

Critics Consensus

A charmer right out of the gate, Moonlighting is carried by Cybill Shepherd and Bruce Willis' fiery chemistry, with a high quotient of quality quips adding some tinder.

92%

TOMATOMETER

Critic Ratings: 12

86%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 7

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Episodes

Air date: Mar 3, 1985

First telecast in early 1985, the 2-hour pilot film for the lighthearted TV detective series Moonlighting opens with fashion model Maddie Hayes (Cybill Shepard) discovering that her business manager has skipped with her fortune. The only asset she has left is the ramshackle Blue Moon Detective Agency, manned by acerbic David Addison (Bruce Willis). Maddie takes an immediate dislike to David, while he considers her a sexual conquest-to-be. The twosome continues to bicker their way through their first case, pausing for amenities only when it appears that both of them are about to be bumped off. Once safely back in the office, their verbal guerilla warfare resumes, leading the viewer to expect marvelous things from the subsequent Moonlighting TV series. Little of the series' fabled self-consciousness (talking directly to the audience, making references to the quality of the scriptwriting, etc.) surfaces in the Moonlighting pilot, but the film works well despite this "drawback." The series itself aired until May of 1989.

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Air date: Mar 5, 1985

Having been conned into keeping the Blue Moon Detective Agency alive, Maddie Hayes (Cybill Shepherd) reluctantly agrees to team up with arrogant private eye David Addison (Bruce Willis) to solve their first "official" case. A man (Pat Corley) has come to the agency in hopes of locating his long-lost son Michael (Gary Graham). Following the trail of clues, the detectives discover that Michael is a professional contract killer--but they haven't the heart to tell Michael's father. What they don't realize is that dear old dad is likewise a professional hit man, and that father and son have been assigned to knock each other off!

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Air date: Mar 12, 1985

No sooner have David (Bruce Willis) and Maddie (Cybill Shepherd) been hired to handle security at SRT Industries than they're fired by Brian and Vivian Baker (Cotter Smith, Lenore Kasdorf), the brother-sister team who run the firm on behalf of their father Carl (Bill Morey). The reason for the dismissal? Someone has managed to smuggle SRT's industrial secrets to a competitor right under the detectives' noses. Maddie suspects that someone is using a professional medium to read the minds of the SRT employees in order to siphon off their secrets. She's right--but there are a couple of other flies in the ointment as well!

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Air date: Mar 19, 1985

Maddie (Cybill Shepherd) is shocked when her favorite radio DJ Arthur Boyd is murdered right in the middle of a broadcast. David (Bruce Willis) prods Maddie into investigating the tragedy, which she does. In the process, Maddie discovers that the "late" Mr. Boyd is still alive--but if she doesn't mind her own business, her own life may be in dire jeopardy. Actress Melinda Dillon provided a few uncredited contributions to the script of this episode: However, Dillon had nothing to do with the celebrated "boinking" discussion that serves as the highlight.

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Air date: Mar 26, 1985

Blue Moon's daffy secretary Agnes Dipesto (Allyce Beasley) has won a free trip on a "mystery" train, in which she and the other passengers participate in solving a mystery. While bidding Agnes goodbye, her bosses David (Bruce Willis) and Maddie (Cybill Shepherd) end up trapped on the train themselves. As usual, wherever David and Maddie go, a genuine mystery is sure to follow--and before long, one of the passengers, famed mystery writer J.B. Hartland (Rick Jason) turns up murdered! Among the guest stars is the ubiquitous Vincent Schiavelli, who at the time this episode originally aired was the husband of series regular Allyce Beasley).

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Air date: Apr 2, 1985

Maddie (Cybill Shepherd) and David (Bruce Willis) are hired by a collection agency to go after a deadbeat debtor named Roy Hirsch. Not long afterward, the detectives come across Hirsch's dead body--which promptly disappears. What does the mystery Man With the Mole have to do with all this? The final episode of Moonlighting's first season, "The Murder's in the Mail" features the series' first "aside" to the audience, wherein David sly breaks down the forth wall and directly addresses the viewer; it is also the LAST time that the series would ever feature a climactic pie fight!

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Tv Season Info

Critic Reviews for Moonlighting Season 1

All Critics (12) | Top Critics (9)

One of the more winning attributes of Moonlighting' is its willingness to take chances, to move an inch or two out of the ordinary.

Oct 18, 2018 | Full Review…

There is a nice chemistry between them, however, and [creator Glenn] Caron's writing is sharp, so that with a bit of refining, Moonlighting may turn into a welcome, if familiar, bit of prime-time diversion.

Oct 18, 2018 | Full Review…

Cybill Shepherd as Maddie not only looks wonderful but proves to be an assured and ; appealing light comedian. As her partner in crime solving, Bruce Willis is more than her match.

Oct 18, 2018 | Full Review…

The trademarks of this ahead-of-its-time series -- rapid-fire dialogue, Howard Hawkes-style humor and the crackling chemistry between leads Willis and Shepherd -- are timeless.

Oct 18, 2018 | Full Review…

Thankfully, Willis' character becomes much more complex and engaging as Moonlighting develops, as does the show itself.

Oct 17, 2018 | Full Review…

Moonlighting's first season is by no means bad, but it looks and feels ordinary compared to subsequent seasons.

Oct 17, 2018 | Full Review…

While the series had plenty of behind-the-scenes strife... it consistently entertained, pioneered the dramedy genre that is so popular today, and regularly broke the fourth wall in innovative ways.

Jul 19, 2018 | Full Review…

We expect television programs to be derivative, but Moonlighting doesn't even do its borrowing with finesse.

Apr 23, 2018 | Full Review…

Moonlighting is a welcome addition to primetime TV, offering a satisfying blend of comedy, romance and action - which in itself is unique. Add to the recipe, the special talents of Willis, and you've got the stuff from which hits are made.

Jan 31, 2018 | Full Review…

A delightful detective show starring Cybill Shepherd and Bruce Willis (whose rabid sexism will, we hope, be toned down).

Oct 18, 2018 | Full Review…

The series distinguished itself with its clever writing, too: even the episode titles... hint at the wit and the irreverence the episodes evinced, if not consistently.

Oct 18, 2018 | Full Review…

This is television at its risk taking best. The real shame here is that the show never made it past five seasons.

Oct 18, 2018 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Moonlighting: Season 1

  • Jan 25, 2021
    Totally charming. Great chemistry between Maddie Hayes and David Addison. The theme music is wonderful as well. Sets the stage perfectly.
  • Jul 25, 2020
    It's leads may not be likable in real life but they play off each other wonderfully.

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