TITLE: MOONLIGHTING - SEASONS ONE AND TWO
DVD Release Date: May 31, 2005 (Lions Gate Home Entertainment)
Number of Discs: 6
Number of Episodes: 23 (22 1-hour, 1 2-hour pilot)
Running Time: 1187 Minutes
Total Run Time of Special Features: approx. 305
minutes (including commentary)
Audio: English: 2.0 Dolby Stereo Sound
• Commentary tracks on various episodes featuring
Bruce Willis, Cybill Shepherd and creator Glenn Caron,
in addition to various crew members.
• Three themed featurettes:
o Not Just a Day Job – The Story of Moonlighting (Part
o Inside the Blue Moon Detective Agency – The Story of
Moonlighting (Part 2)
o The Moonlighting Phenomenon
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
just in time for its 20th anniversary!
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
Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:
There are some real quality gem-caliber episodes here.
The Pilot episode, originally aired as a TV movie in
March 1985 is absolutely outstanding. Be on the
lookout for a young Mary Hart, playing herself, when
Maddie is leaving the police station. Also, ALF fans
may be interested to know that Raquel Ochmonek (Liz
Sheridan) in this episode – mainly in the first Maddie
scene. The next episode sees Blue Moon gain there
first client, Pat Corley (Phil on Murphy Brown), who
plays a man looking for his “son” who is lured away by
David while waiting at another detective office.
There’s an amazing scene in the start of the episode
between Pat’s character Franklin…and Brummer (played
by Tim Robbins), who was sent to kill him. The season
2 premiere, “Brother, Can You Spare a Blonde?”
features ex-SNL alum Charles Rocket (most famous for
saying the f-word on-air during a live SNL broadcast)
as David’s brother Richard – who is being chased by a
drug dealer who wants money that Richard took from
The episode Money Talks, Maddie walks is good – there
are no guest stars, but the plot is good. Maddie,
after the near-suicide of a friend, learns where her
embezzling accountant (the embezzlement being how
Maddie wound up becoming a detective in the first
place) has disappeared to. The very next episode is
significant for a number of reasons, as discussed in
the special features. Orson Welles starts off the
episode with an introduction, explaining how most of
the episode will be in black-and-white. As it turns
out, Orson Welles died exactly one week after taping
of this scene. There’s a tribute graphic at the very
top of the episode, dedicating the episode to him.
The episode finds Dave and Maddie dreaming up their
solutions to a case from 1946 left unsolved. As fans
had been writing in hounding them to do from day one,
Dave and Maddie kiss in the episode – while in a
dream. Barbara Bain of Mission Impossible and Space:
1999 fame appears in the next episode, My Fair David.
Dana Delany appears in the next episode as Dave’s old
girlfriend – who’s now asking for His and Maddie’s
help regarding a bad marriage. Perfect Strangers
fans should pay attention to the episode Atlas Belched
– Mark Linn-Baker, just a few months before becoming
Larry Appleton, guests.
Twas the Episode Before Christmas, the show’s first
Christmas episode, is quite good – and has a couple of
notable guest stars. A pre-Homicide/Law & Order
Richard Belzer, who at the time was best known for his
stand-up, guest stars alongside a pre-Fresh Prince
James Avery In the episode, Ms. Dipesto finds a baby
left in her apartment by a woman trying to escape from
hit men…at the same time that Dave and Maddie are
fighting about using the office phone system as a
“Santa Hotline.” That is great stuff. The episode
itself actually ends early, as the last few minutes is
nothing but the cast, crew, and their families
gathered on the soundstage singing “The First Noel”.
Every Father’s Daughter is a Virgin is noteworthy if
only for the introduction by Dave and Maddie, reading
viewer letters, wanting to know if they’d ever kiss
(within the context of an actual episode, rather than
a dream The whole introduction is one of the
somewhat rare “breaking the fourth wall” moments when
actors, while IN character, acknowledge they’re in a
TV show. Whoopi Goldberg, Judd Nelson, and a
pre-Hogan Family Edie McClurg guest star in the
awesome 2nd season finale, in which a woman (Whoopi)
on the run from a crooked cop (Nelson) accidentally
saves a senator’s life while running from the cop.
These are just the HIGHLIGHTS; the other episodes are
still great in their own right.
The box is rather unique. As opposed to going with a
Digipak – which is what most studios use for releases
this size, they’ve bound three 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 back of the
box is rather simple, featuring the standard David
and Maddie appear in front of a moon above the
skyline. As is revealed by opening the set, the moon
in fact turns out to be another part of the packaging
all together – it’s the first disc. There are six
discs total. The first disc is home to the 2-hour
pilot episode, as well as the first 2 regular
episodes. Disc 2, keeping up the theme, features the
moon on the left half of the disc, while there’s a
shot of Maddie and David on the right half in purple.
This disc holds episodes three through six. The
third disc – holding episodes 7 through 10 - again
features a moon on the left half, while the
purple-hued photo on the right this time is a shot of
Maddie. The fourth disc holds episodes 11-14 – the
disc art being the same as disc three’s – except with
David instead of Maddie. Episodes 15-19 are on the
sixth disc, which features Agnes on the right half –
though in a blue hue instead of the purple on 1-4.
The final four shows are on the sixth disc, which has
a face-shot of David and Maddie covering the entire
moon, with only a white moon outline near the edges of
Menu Design and Navigation:
Menus are excellently done, and are a marvel to behold
– Lions Gate should be very proud of their work on
them. The start of the first disc is a bit different
from the other five. The beginning starts out with a
clip from the bar scene in episode 2 where Bruce
Willis’ character says “Long time no see! Hey, you
remember me, right!” The menu then leads into a
series of animations before settling on the main menu.
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.
Video and Audio Quality:
Video looks awesome for a show from 1985. The
episodes were Digitally
Audio sounds awesome. Amazon.com lists a 5.1 audio
track, but I can’t find it. Even with a 2.0 setup
though, the audio still sounds great. The awesome Al
Jarreau theme is loud and crystal clear – fairly
evenly mixed across both the left and right channels.
Sound effects and music rarely overshadow the vocals,
and the few times it does it was intended to DO that.
Overall, the set sounds and looks great – the picture
is sharp without appearing over-corrected. There’s
minimal grain considering the age of the set, and when
it occurs, it’s generally unobtrusive. Chapter stops
are well-placed at each fade-to-black.
Numerous special features can be found on the set.
Here’s a brief run down of the other features:
Commentary tracks – there is commentary on 5
episodes. Virtually everyone associated with the
first two seasons does commentary at some point.
Pilot: Commentary by: Creator/Writer Glenn Caron,
Director Robert Butler, Editor Artie Mandelberg, and
Producer Jay Daniel. Glenn reveals he’d turned down
pilots called “Hill Street Station” (later Hill Street
Blues) and “St. Elsewhere”. They reveal that Bruce
Willis – in his first fight scene – was making sound
effects every time he threw a punch. They also say
that every director the series ever had was made to
watch the pilot before they could start directing any
episodes so they could get an accurate feel for the
template set in the pilot. The episode runs 1:33:07,
and they manage to fill it all with commentary –
including over the 2:30-long closing credits sequence.
The Dream Sequence Always Rings Twice: Commentary by:
Director Peter Werner, Creator/Writer Glenn Caron, and
co-writer Debra Frank. Right off the top of the
episode you learn something very interesting – the top
of the episode features an introductory by Orson
Welles, filmed only a week before his death (there’s a
tribute graphic at the very beginning of the episode)
– they even mention that the FULL soundstage could
tell that Orson didn’t have long left. Also, they
mention that ABC wanted them to film the black and
white sequences in the episode in color, and then
they’d down-convert to B&W, but the production team
was insistent that it be shot in B&W. They also
bring up the show’s Emmy nomination-to-win ratio for
that year (16 nominations, 1 win for “best editing”).
Episode runs an amazing 49 minutes and 33 seconds.
My Fair David: Commentary by Director Will Mackenzie,
and also by Bruce Willis. One thing brought up is
that they made Will re-shoot the opening scene due to
their dissatisfaction with the original. Most of the
commentary track on this episode is just Will and
Bruce watching the episode, so there’s quite a bit of
silence from them. Episode runs 50:10.
Twas the Episode Before Christmas: Commentary by
Director Peter Werner, Producer Jay Daniel, as well as
Allyce Beasley. They reveal that this episode only
had three days between the wrapping of taping and the
debut of the episode. They also reveal that the start
date of taping on the pilot was delayed four times
since the network wouldn’t sign off on Bruce Willis as
David – they talk more about this in the first
featurette. They also mention that Cybill was often
insistent – particularly early on, that she be shot
from the right side…which leads to the anecdote about
showing her pictures from her right and left side –
and every time they handed her a shot from her left,
she said it looked worse…they’d flipped the film, and
every “left shot” was actually a shot from her right.
Anecdotes like this fill the 41 minutes.
Every Father’s Daughter is a Virgin: Commentary by:
Glenn Caron and Cybill Shepherd. Glenn admits right
at the top of the episode he hasn’t seen this episode
in years and wanted to watch it – though ultimately
Glenn and Cybill manage to fill the episode nicely.
Glenn mentions that, usually, he’d have a last minute
quick-add one-take scene that would be done right
before the episode HAD to go to post (for example, the
scene with David and Maddie in the office at the start
of the show in this one). Glenn talks about how on
Moonlighting, and on Medium, the sound guy each time
says that the sounds overlap – and each and every time
he has to tell the sound guy how to make them overlap.
Cybill also brings up that the ONLY scenes she didn’t
have a pair on tennis shoes on were when her feet were
show. Many things worked into the 44 minutes,
including even more comments about the pilot (since an
hour and a half just isn’t enough).
Also on the set are three featurettes. Each feature
takes a look at a different part of Moonlighting. In
the first two features, the cast and crew talk about
the show’s development, its pickup, plus backstage
info on the show.
*Not Just a Day Job – The Story of Moonlighting (Part
*Inside the Blue Moon Detective Agency – The Story of
Moonlighting (Part 2)
*The Moonlighting Phenomenon
In the first featurette (14:48), they reveal that
Moonlighting was the third of a series of three pilot
orders ABC had commissioned from Glenn Caron. For this
pilot, ABC told them that they wanted “a boy/girl
detective show” – to “do what you want with it, but
that’s what we want.” Also, due to the pacing of the
show, the scripts usually were double the length of
the normal one-hour shows.
The second featurette, Inside the Blue Moon Detective
Agency, is a continuation of the above. It starts
off with the crew talking about how they had a problem
with the network trying to cut their expenses – Glenn
goes so far as to call the network concept of “you get
[x] amount for a 1 hour show” asinine. Some
productions ran so behind schedule that some episodes
only made the wild feeds beamed to affiliates (the
signals sent to each ABC station with that night’s
programs) by 30 minutes. As a result, they mention
that they got away with a lot of stuff, particularly
in the east-coast airings, that wouldn’t have
otherwise made it past. They also spotlight that
Bruce and Cybill both had a problem with being able to
“drive” during an in-car scene due to getting caught
up in the scene. They also mention that Cybill
slammed the doors so hard they had to be rebuilt after
every season. They talk about The Dream Sequence
Always Rings Twice again – this time adding that the
network was concerned about running an episode largely
in black & white in 1985. They also talked about
matching the music in post to match Bruce’ finger
movements. This featurette runs 15:34.
The final featurette runs 11 minutes, and is more of a
segment about the fan’s and crew’s enjoyment of the
show. This segment isn’t really good for any
behind-the-scenes information, but is enjoyable if for
no other reason than to see fans commenting on the
show in a professional DVD release – something rarely
scene. The cast and crew thoughts are also great to
Finally, on disc 1, there are various promos for the
Moonlighting promo premiere. Each one runs 0:10, 0:15
or 0:30, for a grand total of 2:15. Some release
information lists a gag reel – it’s not included in
the set. Also, some release information cites
deleted scenes; however, there is no deleted scenes
option in the menus.
Until I received this set, I’d never seen the show. I
was still rather young when the show went off the air
here, and as it happened, I’d never managed to catch
any of the show in reruns. That being said, it’s a
great show. The fast-paced dialogue between
characters and sometimes-wackiness of Bruce Willis’
character are amazing, plus Maddie isn’t exactly hard
on the eyes. For a “boy/girl detective show”, as it
was referred to first by ABC executives when telling
the creator of the show what they wanted, it’s quite
good – it’s amazingly good, and doesn’t even come
close to fitting the mold of other shows of it’s type,
which is a VERY good thing.
The set itself is quite a wonder. I do have a couple
of complaints. First is the absence of the promised
gag reel. To the best of my knowledge, the copy I
have is from the production run that will hit the
store shelves, but the promised gag reel is nowhere to
be found – though there are some bloopers in the first
two featurettes. I was quite disappointed by this.
Also, the cleaning up of the picture did leave a few
bits of grain. However, when comparing the video
quality in the pilot promos with that on the DVD
itself, the difference is remarkable.
On another note, I often complain in my reviews when studios replace music in releases – the fans buying these sets REALLY loathe this practice. That being said, Lions Gate has my thanks for securing the rights to the complete audio soundtrack for the release. It’s GREATLY appreciated. However, while the songs are all there, there IS something I feel it’s my job to bring to your attention and I didn’t mention it before since I’m honestly, as of this writing, unsure of what the problem is . Something is odd about the episode runtimes. You may have noticed that the runtimes in some episodes run almost fifty minutes long, while others only run 40-41 minutes. It’s unknown, as of this writing, whether the short episodes are syndication prints, or whether the long episodes have had deleted scenes re-added (that would explain the deleted scenes mention in the original release info I have here), or some combination of both.
Update, 5/31: It's been revealed since this review that at least three episodes, maybe a few more, *are* syndication cuts and not the original prints. This being said, I'm honestly not surprised given Lions Gate's actions with previous sets (ALF, anyone?). Still, it's disappointing to know.
For the 3rd season set – Aside from maybe making sure
the plastic snappers that hold the disc in its holder
are less likely to break, I can’t think of anything
significant that needs to be changed. The inclusion
of a gag reel, and maybe a couple more commentary
tracks, would be nice, but otherwise, the set’s great.
Even if most other shows in the mold of, to quote the
ABC executives mentioned in the commentary and
featurettes, “a boy/girl detective show” aren’t your
cup of tea, you’re going to love the show. The set
itself is great, and the episodes are quite good
across the board.
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 5/5
Audio Quality: 5/5
Special Features: 5/5
Menu Navigation/Design: 5/5
-- Reviewed by Seth Thrasher on 05/28/05 (updated 05/31/05)
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