Moonlighting: An Oral History, a review by Tanya

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Moonlighting: An Oral History
Scott Ryan

288 pages
June 21, 2021

Amazon | Goodreads

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Where are all my 80’s TV watchers at? This is definitely a book for you! Moonlighting was the hottest show on TV during the mid-80’s it seemed. Before the time of DVR’s and recorded shows, I had to ensure I was home on certain nights of the week to watch all my favorites. And Moonlighting was definitely one of my favorites!

Cybill Shepard was so beautiful and poised and Bruce Willis was the bad, party boy with a heart of gold. Their chemistry on camera sizzled and I tuned in every week to watch circle around each other like Sam and Diane from Cheers.

Now, so many years later, I can barely remember what the actual show was about, just that I loved it. It was great to read this book and remember so much about the show that I had long since forgotten.

Apparently, there was A LOT of off-screen drama between the two co-stars. I don’t remember that at the time, but I may have been too young to pay attention.

This book looks at the most interesting episodes across all the seasons and provides insight and viewpoints from the writers, directors, producers, co-stars and special guests. What’s interesting to note is that the author directly calls out that this book is not a gossip column and he intentionally left out any gossip from his writings. Another interesting point, Cybill is part of the interviews, but Bruce is not. Hmmmmm

If you read all the way through, there is definitely some drama discussed that occurred between Bruce, Cybill and some of the writers/producers. I walked away with the impression that Cybill caused most of it (maybe her ego was a bit too big?). But there is also some great interviews pieces from one of the female writers who discusses how this was an old boys club (both Hollywood and the show) and that Cybill was in an environment where she was forced to stand up for herself to be treated as an equal. That puts a very different spin on the book as a whole and many of the interviews from the men on set.

And if you look real close, during the time that Cybill was pregnant, you can read through the interviews and see how often that was mentioned as a huge problem, and these are recent interviews. Yes, pregnancy can wreak havoc on a schedule. Yes, high-risk pregnancies can be even worse for schedules. But as I read through some of these interviews, that were given recently (in current society), and I could feel how upset everyone was at all the problems it caused back then, I can only imagine the amount of crap that Cybill, as a female lead, had to take from her employers and co-workers back in the 80’s. It was really eye-opening to me.

Overall, it’s a great book for fans of Moonlighting and for people that like to know what happens behind the scenes. It was a pretty big let-down for me that Bruce was not incorporated in the book. He was clearly well-loved by all of the others that were interviewed so it doesn’t make sense why he wouldn’t be included and the author did not address this specifically. Which makes me believe he didn’t want to take a stroll down memory lane with the rest of the cast and crew. Another hmmmm.

Thank you to #NetGalley and #FayettevilleMafiaPress for providing this book. I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy and all views expressed are my honest opinion.


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