As they say in television land, ABC’S “Moonlighting” is “hot.” Last year it paraded 16 Emmy nominations before the nation’s television critics (though it took only one home). After two years, the unusual program has established a loyal following and solid ratings among the top ten shows.

Its success is a combination of ingenious scripting and merry mythmaking. In a period when commercial television is filled with dull, predictable drama, “Moonlighting” is anachronistic. But it certainly does not hark back to a Christian era. It fits well with the golden age of the yuppie. Christians ought not to be so dazzled by the show’s entertaining qualities that they lose sight of its wicked message.

A Show For All Genres

In one sense, the program is a situation comedy, set in the offices of the Blue Moon Detective Agency. There the main characters, Maddie Hayes and David Addison, fall into mischief and complication. Various clients and staff (interesting characters all) oscillate from one room to the other as plots unfold and conflict builds.

In another sense, “Moonlighting” is a detective or mystery program. Maddie and David do solve crimes—though at times their methods are highly unconventional, as are the cases. In walk spies, adulterers, con artists, extortionists, and even egomaniacal parents. This is no world of the good guys and bad guys of stereotypical television. In their place are murderers and other heavies of the oddest sort, who are both laughable and lamentable.

The show’s producers use further fascinating and entertaining devices: an episode structured loosely after Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, iambic pentameter and all; episodes ...

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