More on Moonlighting Jump the Shark Debate:
Email we have received
Received Jan. 2003 from an AOL user whose name is not known:
"For myself, the "JTS" moment on Moonlighting was when Maddie left David . . . then married a complete stranger. I mean, what WAS that??? I realize Shepherd was pregnant X2, and couldn't be in as many scenes, but come on! Then she divorced that guy, then LOST the baby? ... Oh, I still watched; it just wasn't the same."
Received Sept. 2003 from Rahmani:
"I think Moonlighting jumped the shark when the two characters had to get it on while Cybill Shepherd was pregnant. (Similar to Maris and Niles getting on when that actress was pregnant.) It's just wasn't sexy at all. I think it's difficult for a man who is not the husband to pretend to be in lust with someone who is in the family way. The scene was also way overdone what with the breaking of items...I just didn't believe it at all. Having the baby die wasn't a great idea either.
I really think it was the ongoing spat between the two actors that seeped into the way they played the characters and kept them from realizing a satisfying love scene. Moonlighting's first three seasons were spectacular but it died due to fame..."
Received Nov. 2003 from Chris:
"My reaction was that the shark jump took place with the messy Annie storyline late in the fifth season. That was like the straw that broke the camel's back for me. I didn't think there would ever be an episode of Moonlighting that I didn't want to watch, but if there were it had to be one of those three episodes with Annie in them. The Annie storyline perverted everything about Moonlighting that the fans loved and even after the awful storyline where Maddie married a stranger and even lost David's baby, I still was interested in the show and watched week after week. But then I really got disillusioned with the show late in the fifth season when they brought in Annie as a rival to Maddie for David's affections, a rehash of the Sam love triangle from the third season. Been there. Done that. It just ruined the whole show."
Received Jan. 2004 from DJ:
"I am going to agree with the ones who think that Maddie losing the baby caused the downward spiral on this show. Losing a baby is a serious, tragic thing to happen and completely turns the show around from a light comedy to a serious soap opera plot. I think having a baby and still being silly detectives in a screwy relationship would have kept the show on the right track. Having a baby die and then trying to split them up again just derailed everything."
Received May 2004 from Paula:
"I think that Moonlighting jumped the shark with Big Man on Mulberry Street. I should probably say (quickly) that I think that Big Man and Atomic Shakespeare are probably some of the best television there has ever been, and I loved the trilogy episodes and To Heiress Human. But things changed after All Creatures Great and Not So Great. Moonlighting was this fun romantic, detective show--very easy on the nerves, and for me the tone of the show changed with Big Man. I think this would have been wonderful, if the show had kept it up, kept moving forward--a different type of show, but still wonderful. I know that when I watched the series straight through, I felt different as a viewer with Big Man. I don't remember laughing much after All Creatures. Smiling yes--laughing no. So for me that's when Moonlighting Jumped the Shark."
Received March 2006 from Steve Bailey, Webmaster
As for "A Womb with a View," I thought it was one of "Moonlighting's" best episodes. It's received a lot of flak, but that might be due mostly to its sad subject matter. I recall a "Moonlighting" writer--it might have been Karen Hall--being quoted in Rolling Stone at that time, saying that the miscarriage was a last-ditch effort to jettison the show's soap-opera elements and get the writing back on track. It was too little too late, of course, but it was still a typically great Glenn Gordon Caron tour de force.
The episode that burned my butt was when Maddie finally returned to Blue Moon, only to tell David that she had married Walter. We sit through all these months of separation, just to find that she's gotten married to some near-stranger she met on the train going home?? No matter how you slice it, it made Maddie look almost psychotic. I was so incensed by the episode that I wrote a letter of complaint to Glenn Gordon Caron. To his credit, Mr. Caron sent me a polite reply, stating that if I'd just hang in there a little longer, there'd be a "nice surprise" of a plot pay-off. I guess the surprise was the huge dip in subsequent Nielsen ratings.
Oh, and for anyone who had any stake in the show by 1989, the last ten minutes of "Lunar Eclipse" was a nice raspberry to the fans as well.
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