display | more...

One of the most interesting things about Moonlighting was it was one of the few TV shows (arguably Frazier was one other, as was the Mary Tyler Moore show) ever to take up the role that some movies had in the Twenties and Thirties, and (I've been told) some vaudeville had at the turn of the century: that is, media as (indirect) tutor of manners and style.

Maybe you weren't a socialite- turned- model- turned- sleuth, and perhaps you didn't have as cool a boy...er, workmate as Bruce Willis. But you could certainly, within a modest budget, dress and decorate very much like Maddie Hayes (albeit with lookalikes and adaptations), and with no budget at all, ape her manners. As much latitude as the character was given, she never stopped being ladylike, intelligent, and professional, in a way that sacrificed not a shred of her feminine charm. Although we see less of second-banana Agnes di Pesto, the same idea was in place: if you have to be an administrative assistant, why not capitalize on the position by wearing quirkier clothing, and cultivating a winning telephone persona, and a colorful outside life? This isn't Dallas, where every female wears Bob Mackie, nor 80's-era MTV, where the clothing might look nice, but wouldn't work in the workplace (I mean, you might have a mellow boss, but could you REALLY wear what Boy George did, on a regular basis? And 80's bosses were NOT mellow...), or, for that matter, the "woman in the grey flannel suit" look espoused by many of the movies of the era, but a gentle, engaging style that, with a few adaptations, could have suited just about any woman in business back in the day.

Bruce Willis and his opposite number, Bert, also have a winning style: just rakish enough to register as edgy, yet suave -- like Humphrey Bogart, he's "very much a gentleman, but not quite respectable". (I wouldn't have a no-furniture apartment though....)

All in all, when Moonlighting was on, I'd put on my Primo! (Giorgio clone perfume) put a gourmet frozen dinner in the microwave, pour myself a glass of wine, and ENJOY.