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Moonlighting - Season 3


TITLE: MOONLIGHTING - SEASON 3


Info:

DVD Release Date: February 7, 2006 (Lionsgate Home Entertainment)
Color/1986-87
MSRP: $39.95
Number of Discs: 4
Number of Episodes: 15
Running Time: 775 Minutes
Total Run Time of Special Features: approx 195 minutes (including commentary)
Audio: English: 2.0 Dolby Stereo Sound
Closed Captioned
Special Features:
*Memories of Moonlighting 30 minute documentary about the 3rd season
*Commentary on Select Episode with Glenn Gordon Caron, Cybill Shepherd, Bruce Willis, and more!


Introduction:

Relive the unforgettable double-talk and witty foreplay as Maddie Hayes and David Addison unlock the mystery to sidesplitting laughter as TV’s sexiest private detectives in the third season of Moonlighting!

Starring a then-unknown Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd, Moonlighting was one of the highest-rated shows on television during its run on ABC from 1985-89. As the recipient of six Emmy® Awards and two Golden Globe® Awards during its impressive run, this 1980s beloved television series is brought to you now.

Golden Globe®-Winner Cybill Shepherd stars as Maddie Hayes, a former high-fashion model who discovers one morning that her business manager has stolen all the money she has in the bank. However, it turns out that she still owns some non-liquid assets ­ money-losing companies that were maintained as tax write-offs. Planning to shut his detective agency down, Maddie meets with David Addison (Golden Globe® and Emmy® Award-Winner Bruce Willis), and a fast-talking private eye, who persuades her to keep his business open. Maddie becomes David’s new boss, and while their personalities clash, a sexual tension arises in the time they spend together. But the question always remains… will they or won’t they? The show also stars Allyce Beasley as the receptionist at the Blue Moon detective agency.


Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

All the episodes in this season are great -­ this is easily the highpoint of the series. After this season, it’s just downhill. When the show had an episode, it was good. Top episodes below:

The Son Also Rises: David’s estranged father makes a surprise visit to announce his upcoming wedding and to introduce his bride-to-be, who comes as a shock to David.

Big Man on Mulberry Street: Maddie becomes consumed with curiosity when David announces he must fly back to New York to attend the funeral of his former wife’s brother. And also features the great dance sequence to Billy Joel.

Atomic Shakespeare: A boy hoping to watch “Moonlighting” but forced to study Shakespeare instead daydreams about the cast performing their own version of The Taming of the Shrew, complete with Petruchio Dave and Kate Maddie.

It’s a Wonderful Job: A depressed Maddie gets a chance to see what her life and the rest of the Blue Moon staff would be like if she had sold the agency as she originally intended.

The Straight Poop: Rona Barrett investigates the rumors about the discord among the principals at the Blue Moon Detective Agency.

Blonde on Blonde: Maddie’s strange mood has David worried, so he spends the evening following her, but ends up involved in a murder.

Sam and Dave: Dave and Maddie quarrel over Sam as they keep watch on a man for his mistress, who’s convinced he’s two-timing her.

Maddie’s Turn to Cry: Maddie feels more and more confused about Sam and Dave after an all-night stakeout with Dave ends in an early morning proposal from Sam.

I Am Curious…Maddie: Sam confronts Dave about Maddie, and tells him he’s not good enough for her.

To Heiress Human: Maddie tries to ignore the previous night as she and David tackle a new case: a woman wants evidence that her fiance loves her and not her father’s money.

List of Guest Stars:
Paul Sorvino (Law & Order): The Son Also Rises
Charles Rocket (Saturday Night Live) The Son Also Rises; It’s a Wonderful Job
The Temptations: Symphony in Knocked Flat
Don King (Legendary boxing promoter): Symphony in Knocked Flat
Colm Meaney (Star Trek: The Next Generation/Deep Space Nine): Atomic Shapespeare
Rona Barrett (Well-known Gossip Columnist): The Straight Poop
Donna Dixon (Bosom Buddies): Blonde on Blonde; Sam & Dave
Mark Harmon (Navy NCIS): Blonde on Blonde; Sam & Dave; Maddie’s Turn to Cry; I Am Curious…Maddie
Robert Wuhl (Arli$$): Blonde on Blonde; Sam & Dave


Packaging:

The box is a continuation of the rather unique style packaging from the first release. As opposed to going with a Digipak ­ which are what most studios use for releases this size; they’ve bound two free-swinging double-sided disc holders to the spine of the box itself, creating a book-like package. The graphics of the box are done in a color-change reflective style -­ the box changes color depending on how light hits it. The front of the box is rather simple, featuring a standard shot of David and Maddie appearing in front of a moon above the skyline. Unlike the first release, the moon is a fixed part of the box art. There are four discs total. The first disc is home to the first 4 episodes. The disc art on #1 is a picture of Maddie on the right, with a moon on the left. Disc 2, keeping up the theme, features the moon on the left half of the disc, while there’s a shot of David on the right half in grayish blue. This disc holds episodes five through eight. The third disc ­ holding episodes 9 through 12 - again features a moon on the left half, while the blue-hued photo on the right this time is a shot of Agnes. The final disc holds episodes 13-15 and the documentary and features new cast member Herbert (Curtis Armstrong).


Menu Design and Navigation:

Menus are excellently done, and are once again a marvel to behold. ­ Lionsgate should continue to be very proud of their work on them. For all four discs, you gradually fly into the nighttime view of the moon and city. In the main menu, various clips from the episodes on the discs play inside the moon on the left side of the screen, while the menu options are on the right side. The long version of the slow-paced music that was used as the opening theme on the pilot episode, as well as background music in various scenes, plays in the background on a loop with the clips. Episode selection menus, after an animated transition from the main menu (the animations exist on menu-out regardless of which option chose) feature small images and episode titles inside the moon taking up the left half of the screen. Main Menu is selectable in the bottom right corner. The episode title serves as the menu options for most episodes. Episodes with commentary tracks appear slightly differently. The episode title is no longer selectable on those episodes…Play Episode, and Play Episode with Commentary by [x], [y] and [z] are the selectable options. The menus are essentially carryovers from the first set, but this time changed to a blue-ish tone. The color’s different, so that fulfills my need for change for the set.


Video and Audio Quality:

Video looks amazing. It’s that simple. No grain. Colors look perfect. There’s no obvious edge correction. No compression artifacts. It is simple and perfect. The episodes were Digitally Audio sounds awesome. The show once again comes in a Dolby Digital 2.0 setup and the audio sounds just as good as before. The awesome Al Jarreau theme is loud and crystal clear -­ fairly evenly mixed across both the left and right channels. Sound effects have the right volume and impact for a given situation - ­as do dialogue and music. The audio balance is just perfect. Chapter stops once again at fade-to-black.

You guys know the drill by now: Runtimes. As we’re reviewing this set late, obviously any news about syndication edits would have leaked out by now. Some episodes DO run shorter, but it’s nothing ridiculous…and given the script problems the show often had, episodes running at strange times relative to one another make sense. Here though ARE runtimes.

Episode Runtimes:
The Son Also Rises: 50:05
The Man Who Cried Wife: 47:03
Symphony in Knocked Flat: 44:37
Yours, Very Deadly: 46:39
All Creatures Great and...Not So Great: 49:46
Big Man on Mulberry Street: 48:54
Atomic Shakespeare: 49:27
It's a Wonderful Job: 49:28
The Straight Poop: 47:51
Poltergeist III - Dipesto Nothing: 49:49
Blonde on Blonde: 48:25
Sam and Dave: 48:52
Maddie's Turn to Cry: 47:55
I Am Curious Maddie: 50:01
To Heiress Human: 49:22


Special Features:

Big Man on Mulberry Street: Commentary with Jay Daniel. Jay produced this - and every other - episode of Moonlighting. Solo commentaries are always an interesting thing. The restaurant in the open is across the street from ABC's LA offices. This is just a...interesting commentary. You've got to hear this for yourself. I'm kind of rushing through this one, because... [47:51]

Atomic Shakepeare: Glenn Caron, Jay Daniel...Cybill Shepherd and Bruce Willis! Cybill and Bruce are on the same commentary track! This is possibly the most fondly remembered episode of Moonlighting. Idea for episode came from Glenn seeing Taming of the Shrew being performed. Among the first 44 Moonlighting scripts, most scripts got rewritten by Glenn (contributing to the delays), but this one didn't. Incidentally, Glenn insisted this episode actually be written in Shakespeare-esque iambic pentameter. They shot for 11 days, plus 5 days of secondary filming. Shooting should have taken 7-8 days. The costs to make this episode were so astoundingly high that no one even remembers anymore. Everyone - and I mean everyone - takes notice at the appearance at Colm Meaney, something I happened to think was nice. Cybill wasn't completely thrilled with the concept at first - hindsight she loves it. You can keep track of what was shot as the A and B material based on night and day - and the entire team keeps you apprised of the shoot time. And that was just the first 9 minutes of commentary. This show runs 49:27.

Straight Poop: Fan commentary from fans Diane Hopkins, Cindy Klauss, Hazel Hart, Vicky Briasco and Lizzie. No new episode for weeks before this one aired. If you want to see an INTERESTING commentary, this is it. The rarely-heard fan's perspective gets heard. I apologize if I misspelled anyone's names; this is getting written at 3 AM. Runs 47:51

Sam and Dave: Glenn Caron and Mark Harmon. Glenn called Jeff Jarvis from People Magazine and he agreed to do Moonlighting to talk about what was going on at Moonlighting (this is part of a multi-episode arc). Eating up time was important on Moonlighting. Wow Mark Harmon was young back then. And Bruce Willis had hair. Glenn was certain Mark wouldn't do the show. But Mark did the show. And now Mark's doing the commentary. There was no script for this. Runs 48:52

Memories of Moonlighting: Glenn Caron, Bruce Willis, and Cybill Shepherd appear together in a new retrospective piece that runs 29:11. Outside interviews feature Jay Daniel, Allyce Beasley...How the hell did Moonlighting blow SIXTEEN nominations?!?!. It's still amazing that Moonlighting never got a full 22 episodes in the can. And guess what: Atomic Shakespeare is the most popular Moonlighting episode, but was the lowest rated of at least the season.

Total Runtime of Special Features: 2:55:49


Final Comments:

I love this show. I just wish there was more of it. 15 episodes just does not make a season. Regardless, I love this show. There’s nothing I can really say. Given the relative scarcity of actual episodes, perhaps for the 4th and 5th season releases, perhaps they could do more commentary tracks (say on ALL episodes) or more documentary-type features.

Even with the problems in later seasons, I can’t wait for the 4th and 5th seasons on DVD. If you haven’t gone out and bought the show yet, buy it now, you won’t regret it.


Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)

Video Quality: 5/5
Audio Quality: 5/5
Special Features: 3.5/5
Menu Navigation/Design: 5/5
Overall: 4.5/5

Seth Thrasher Seal of Approval

-- Reviewed by Seth Thrasher on 02/19/06

To purchase the DVD, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000CRR3NI/ref=nosim/happydaysonline4-20


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