Moonlighting (1986/1987) – It’s a Wonderful Job, and The Straight Poop

Maddie (Cybill Shepherd) gets to riff on It’s a Wonderful Life in this episode written by Debra Frank and Carl Sautter. It debuted on 16 December, 1986.

Maddie begins to regret (again) taking on the Blue Moon Detective Agency. The staff are unhappy, everything seems to be going badly, Maddie wants out. So her Guardian Angel, Albert (Richard Libertini) shows up and shows her what life would have been life for her, David (Bruce Willis) and the agency had she not taken over the business.

As the episode begins it seems that Maddie is really not a fan of Christmas as all, channeling a little Scrooge in the holiday special. David makes the argument for a little bit of relaxation, and that she shouldn’t make the staff work through Christmas (and she won’t if they get their work done). The guardian angel, of course, gives her a new perspective, at least for an episode or two.

The episode includes a reference to the television Hart to Hart, who have taken over the offices in the altered reality. So there’s a little It’s a Wonderful Life, and A Christmas Carol in this episode, and it seems David makes out ok in the altered reality, marrying Cheryl Tiegs.

Still, by the end of the episode, Maddie makes it through the holiday special, and realizes that maybe she could be a little more compassionate, and celebratory when it comes to that time of year.

Happy Holidays Blue Moon Detective Agency!

 

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The Straight Poop gets very meta very quick, It was written by series creator and showrunner Glenn Gordon Caron and first hit the airwaves on 6 January, 1987.

A journalist, Rona Barrett, playing herself, comes to the Blue Moon Detective Agency to figure out why there hasn’t been any new episodes. There are nods to the behind the scenes troubles, as it’s mentioned that Maddie and David have been fighting.

And so we get a bit of a clip show, as well as a very theatrical, meta feel to the show as we go ‘behind the scenes’, kind of. It’s a lot of fun, and puts the characters, and perhaps the actors on the spot.

There’s a fun appearance by Pierce Brosnan, which was a nod to Remington Steele and his potential casting as David originally.

There are moments not only with Maddie and David, as well as Ms. DiPesto (Allyce Beasley) and Herbert Viola (Curtis Armstrong), and it’s the last time the series is actually this meta. It’s still fun, after this, but the shark is coming, and they are getting ready to jump it.

Next week, more casework from David and Maddie and the Blue Moon Detective Agency.

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