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what is moonlighting?


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Moonlighting is a television series that first aired on ABC in the United States from 1985 to 1989 with a total of 66 episodes. The show starred Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd as private detectives and was a mixture of drama, comedy and romance that is now considered one of the greatest spoofs of television detective shows. The show's theme song is performed by popular jazz singer Al Jarreau and became a minor hit. The show is also credited with making Willis a major star while reviving Shepherd's acting career.

The series revolved around cases investigated by Blue Moon Detective Agency and its two partners, Madeline 'Maddie' Hayes (Cybill Shepherd) and David Addison (Bruce Willis). The show, with a mix of mystery, sharp dialogue and sexual tension between its two leads, introduced Bruce Willis to the world and brought Cybill Shepherd back into the spotlight after nearly a decade-long absence. The characters were first introduced in a two-hour TV movie which preceded the show.

The show's storyline begins with the reversal of fortune of a former model, Hayes, who finds herself bankrupt after her accountant embezzles all of her liquid assets. She is left saddled with several failing businesses formerly maintained as tax write offs, one of which is the City of Angels Detective Agency, helmed by the devil-may-care Addison. In the pilot episode, he convinces Hayes to keep the business and run it in partnership with him. Hayes's detective agency is called "Blue Moon Investigations" because Hayes was most famous as the spokesmodel for the (fictitious) Blue Moon Shampoo compmany. In many episodes, she was recognized as "The Blue Moon Shampoo Girl," if not by name.

The show also starred Allyce Beasley as Agnes DiPesto, the firm's quirky receptionist who regularly answered the phone in rhyming couplets, a la Dr. Seuss. In later seasons, Curtis Armstrong — familiar as the character Booger from the Revenge of the Nerds films — joined the cast as Herbert Viola, a temporary employee turned Blue Moon investigator and a love interest for Agnes.

[edit] Format innovations

The series was created by one of the producers of the similar Remington Steele with the network explicitly wanting a "boy/girl detective show" à la Remington Steele. The tone of the series itself was left up to the production staff to come up with, resulting in Moonlighting becoming one of the first successful type of "dramedy" themed television series. The show made use of fast-paced, overlapping dialogue between the two leads hearkening back to classic screwball comedy films, such as those of director Howard Hawks, but which also led to chronic delays in writing production during the series' five-year, off and on run.

[edit] Breaking the fourth wall

Moonlighting used a technique called breaking the fourth wall. Fourth wall refers to the conventions separating the contrivances of a television program and its real audience, usually meaning that, at least within the confines of the show, the events and characters being presented are "real." Moonlighting broke with this convention, with many episodes including dialogue which made direct references to the scriptwriters, the audience, the network, or the series itself. Variations of this technique had been used previously in television programs such as Burns and Allen and The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, although Moonlighting was the first scripted television series to weave self-referential dialogue directly into the show's plot.

Also unlike the earlier shows, Moonlighting sometimes broke the fourth wall in much more involved and complex ways — in several episodes, the plot suddenly transitioned into extended sequences which involved crew dismantling or changing the sets, characters wandering off the set into other parts of the studio, production crew stepping into the scene as a deus ex machina, or actors dropping character and referring to each other by their real names.

In the second season's Christmas episode, lead characters David Addison (Bruce Willis) and Maddie Hayes (Cybill Shepherd) walk out of the office through where a wall should be to where the show's staff is singing Christmas carols. In the final episode of the second season, "Camille", David and Maddie flee from one set to the protests of the crew who say, "You can't leave. We've still got two more pages to shoot on this set!" The chase goes across the lot where they encounter the receptionist Agnes DiPesto (Allyce Beasley) leaving for the day. They tell her, "You can't leave; you're in this scene!" The protagonists get to their office set and lock the door, but the villain is already waiting. As he is about to pull the trigger, a propmaster takes his gun away. The set is disassembled while the stars explain how this episode would have been wrapped up. In the show's final episode, the lead characters return to their office to find a network executive who tells them the show has been cancelled as the set is (again) dismantled by crew members.

[edit] Fantasy

The series also embraced fantasy; in season two, the show aired "The Dream Sequence Always Rings Twice", an episode that featured two lengthy and elaborately produced black and white dream sequences. The episode was about a murder that had occurred in the 1940s that David and Maddie are told about by a client who hired them to unsuccessfully find out if his wife was cheating on him. Maddie and David feud over the details of the crime, which involve a man and woman who were executed for the death of the woman's husband, with both claiming the other was the real killer and had implicated the other out of spite. After a fourteen minute set-up sequence, the show switched to two black and white dream sequences where the two dreamed their version of how the murder took place. The two sequences were filmed on different black and white film stock so that they would look like true period films. (On the commentary on the DVD it is said that they used black and white film instead of color so that the network wouldn't later use the color film).

ABC was still displeased with the episode however and fearing fan reaction to a popular show being shown in black and white, demanded a disclaimer be made at the beginning of the episode to inform viewers of the "black and white" gimmick for the episode. The show's producers hired Orson Welles to deliver the introduction, which aired a few days after the actor's death.
Cybill Shepherd as Maddie Hayes in "Atomic Shakepeare"
Cybill Shepherd as Maddie Hayes in "Atomic Shakepeare"

Another famous fantasy episode was "Atomic Shakespeare", which featured the cast performing a variation of Taming of the Shrew, complete with Shakespearean costumes. The episode was wrapped by segments featuring a teenager imagining the episode's proceedings because his mother forced him to do his homework instead of watching Moonlighting.
[edit] Other

In addition, the show mocked its connection to the popular Remington Steele series by having Pierce Brosnan hop networks and make a cameo appearance as Steele in one episode. The show also acknowledged Hart to Hart as an influence: in the episode "It's a Wonderful Job", based on the film It's a Wonderful Life, Maddie's guardian angel showed her an alternate reality in which Jonathan and Jennifer Hart from the earlier series were the owners of Blue Moon. Although Robert Wagner and Stefanie Powers did not appear in the episode, Lionel Stander reprised his role as the Harts' assistant Max.

Both Shepherd and Willis sang musical numbers over the course of the show. In "The Dream Sequence Always Rings Twice", Shepherd performed both "Blue Moon" in Maddie's dream sequence and The Soft Winds' "I Told Ya I Love Ya, Now Get Out!" in David's, while in "Atomic Shakespeare", Willis sings The Young Rascals' "Good Lovin'". Willis also frequently broke into shorter snippets of Motown songs. Both "Good Lovin'" and "I Told Ya I Love Ya..." appeared on the show's soundtrack album.

The episode "Big Man on Mulberry Street" centers around a big production dance number set to that Billy Joel song. The sequence was directed by veteran musical director Stanley Donen.

[edit] Production problems

The show was plagued by production problems throughout its run, and it became notorious for airing reruns when new episodes had not been completed in time for broadcast. The first two seasons of Moonlighting focused almost entirely on the two main characters, having them appear in almost every scene. According to Cybill Shepherd,

"I left home at 5 A.M. each day. Moonlighting scripts were close to a hundred pages, half again as long as the average one-hour television series. Almost from the moment the cameras started rolling we were behind schedule, sometimes completing as few as sixteen episodes per season, and never achieving the standard twenty-two." [1]

The delays became so great that even ABC mocked the lateness with an ad campaign showing network executives waiting impatiently for the arrival of new episodes at ABC's corporate headquarters. One episode featured television critic Jeff Jarvis in an introduction, sarcastically reminding viewers what was going on with the show's plot since it had been so long since the last new episode.

The episode, "The Straight Poop", also made fun of the episode delays by having Hollywood columnist, Rona Barrett, drop by the Blue Moon Detective Agency to figure out why David and Maddie can't get along. In the end, Rona convinced them to apologize to one another, and promised the viewers that there would be a new episode the following week.

Even with the introduction of co-stars to relieve the pressure on Shepherd and Willis, a number of other factors caused problems: writing delays, Shepherd's real-life pregnancy and a skiing accident in which Willis broke his collarbone. To counter these problems, with the fourth season, the writers began to focus more of the show's attention on supporting cast members Agnes and Herbert, writing several episodes focusing on the two so that the show would be able to have episodes ready for airing.

[edit] Ratings and decline

Although Moonlighting was a hit in the Nielsen ratings in its early seasons, the show's ratings began to decline after the season three finale, which infamously had Maddie and David consummate their relationship after three years of romantic tension. Moonlighting is popularly cited as an example of a television show jumping the shark due to the two sleeping together, which many felt destroyed the sexual tension that drove the show.

However many fans of the show and an equal number of critics dismiss the "They Did It" notion that having Maddie and David sleep together led to the show's decline. Instead they argue that the extremely subpar fourth season was what brought the show into an irreversible decline.

The biggest complaint deals with the way that the writers dealt with Shepherd's real life pregnancy, which was through a controversial decision to move Maddie away from David and have her visit her parents in Chicago for the bulk of the season. This robbed fans out of seeing Maddie and David interacting, which was at the heart of the show's appeal and robbed the show of its creative spark in the process.

When Maddie returned to Los Angeles near the end of the season, the writers tried to recreate the tension between Maddie and David by having Maddie spontaneously marry a man named Walter Bishop (Dennis Dugan), whom she met on the train back to LA. This was widely criticized as a cynical and poorly executed plot development, in terms of artificially creating a love triangle storyline to try and drive the conflict of the series which led to an even further ratings decline.

[edit] Cancellation

In the 1988–1989 TV season, the show's ratings declined precipitously. The series went on hiatus during the February sweeps, and returned on Sunday evenings in the spring of 1989. Six more episodes aired before the series was cancelled in May of that year.

In keeping with the show's tradition of "breaking the fourth wall", the last episode (fittingly titled "Lunar Eclipse") featured Maddie and David returning from Bert and Agnes' wedding to find the Blue Moon sets being taken away, and an ABC network executive waiting to tell them that the show had been cancelled. The characters then raced through the studio lot as the world of Moonlighting was slowly dismantled and another executive lectured them on the perils of losing their audience and how fragile romance is. The final scene was a message stating that "Blue Moon Investigations ceased operations on May 14, 1989 — and the Anselmo case[2] was never solved."

In a possible acknowledgement of the role the Walter Bishop storyline played in the show's decline, the network executive was played by Dennis Dugan, the same actor who had played Bishop, and was listed in the credits as Walter Bishop rather than by his real name.

As the show had not produced enough episodes to gain a syndication contract, following its original run it was not widely seen until its DVD release, although it occasionally appeared on cable channels (including Lifetime and Bravo in the U.S., and W in Canada) in the late 1990s. ABC1 carries the show in the UK.

[edit] Guest stars

In addition to the primary cast, several notable guest stars appeared on the series in one-time or recurring roles:

* Charles Rocket played Richard Addison, David's brother.
* Paul Sorvino played David and Richard Addison's father.
* Eva Marie Saint and Robert Webber played Virginia and Alexander Hayes, Maddie's parents.
* Imogene Coca appeared in one episode as Clara DiPesto, Agnes' mother.
* Mark Harmon appeared in Season 3 as Sam Crawford, a romantic interest for Maddie whose rivalry with David ultimately led to David and Maddie consummating their sexual tension.
* Brooke Adams appeared in Season 4 as Terri Knowles, a single mother for whom David volunteered as a Lamaze partner in preparation for the birth of Maddie's child.
* Virginia Madsen appeared in Season 5 as Annie Charnock, Maddie's cousin and a short-term romantic interest for David.
* R. H. Thomson appeared in Season 4 as Dr. Steve Hill, Maddie's gynecologist during her pregnancy.
* Whoopi Goldberg and Judd Nelson appeared in the Season 2 episode "Camille".
* Timothy Leary appeared in "Lunar Eclipse" as a priest David and Maddie consulted for advice on how to save Moonlighting from cancellation.

Droopy Snoopy

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can someone explain this to me?

Moonlighting Nightclub can boast of playing host to customers from all over the world during its many successful years, (we are fast approaching our 20th ANNIVERSARY!). Moonlighting has entertained many high profile guests and celebrities (see our photo gallery on this site).

The reputation of Moonlighting is still as strong as ever and our central West End location is an added attraction to our visitors from overseas and the elite of London’s black community.

Our Scandinavian visitors are made to feel welcome and comfortable in our relaxed and friendly club.

Moonlighting caters for all ages over 21.

In the past we have been associated with specialist events like Miss Soft & Beautiful and Miss Big & Beautiful, both of these events attracted much interest.

Moonlighting provides live on stage entertainment (when available) past appearances have included :- The Flirtations, General Levy, Glamma Kid, Mykyla, Shola Ama, Peter Hunnigale, Funky DL, The Blackstones, Mellissa Bell, Mariko, Heather Harwood, Gabriella, Angie Brown, Jennifer Phillips, Dickie BB, Ty Stephens and King Masco to name but a few. Gregory Issaacs and Dawn Penn have also appeared live on stage singing their legendary classic hits.

There are many live performances planned for the future please check back at this website for up to date information.
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I think you can't do it until after your intern year and whether you are able to do it or not depends on your residency's policy. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Probably. Varies from hospital to hospital and probably from dept. to dept. in a single hospital.

Those who can do it (aka aren't passed out from fatigue) swear by it since you make $50-75/hr.

I've heard of moonlighting in-house or at local affiliated hospitals, as well as at a "doc in a box."


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Probably. Varies from hospital to hospital and probably from dept. to dept. in a single hospital.

Those who can do it (aka aren't passed out from fatigue) swear by it since you make $50-75/hr.

I've heard of moonlighting in-house or at local affiliated hospitals, as well as at a "doc in a box."

You can stay in house and make up to 3000 dollars for a weekend call. It definitely depends on your hospital/residency program's policy on malpractice insurance. this used to be very popular but, with the new 80 hour work week enforcement, some hospitals will not allow you to moonlight citing fatigue, but it's really just that ... well if they used to get you for 100 hrs/wk on the same salary and now they're required by law to only get you to work 80, why should you get to make money (and a lot might I add) working for another hospital?

Oh and by the way, if a resident moonlighted 12 weekends per year at 3000 dollars per weekend, he'd make 36,000 which is very close to the gross sum he'd take home as a paid resident. Sucks, doesn't it?


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i think most people who do it are supporting like 3 kids or something.

That would be me (well, two, but we could count my hubby if we wanted).

I'll probably moonlight if I can handle it just to pay the interest on my absolutely outrageous student loans.

Winged Scapula

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That would be me (well, two, but we could count my hubby if we wanted).

I'll probably moonlight if I can handle it just to pay the interest on my absolutely outrageous student loans.

Be careful - because if you make a lot of money you won't qualify for financial hardships or deferments of your loans.
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