Until yesterday, I had never seen “Moonlighting.” Now I have.

The first episode at least.

Much comedy. Much fast witty dialogue. Some action-adventure. The clothes are fantastic and very very 80s. Cybill Shepherd is gorgeous. Bruce Willis is handsome, and his suit is sharp. I have always liked double-breasted suits.

I liked “Moonlighting,” but I had trouble getting out of my head to just sit and enjoy it. I kept thinking, “Is Bruce Willis supposed to be charming here? He kind of seems like an asshole. How would the 1985 audience perceive him?”

This morning, I concluded that the 1985 audience would have perceived him exactly as I did, and they too would have wondered whether he was really as big an asshole as he sometimes acted.

This was Willis’s first role of any stature, about two years before “Die Hard.” He was truly an overnight success. Until “Moonlighting” hit he was a bartender and sometime stage actor who had previously done one guest role on (I think) “Miami Vice.” He’s in his 20s here, already starting to lose his hair but still in possession of most of it. And such a babyface. It was a little painful to watch him here, so young, intelligent and fast-talking, knowing that real-life 2023 Bruce Willis is far along in dementia.

The other star, Shepherd, was considered old by 1985 standards. She was 35 then! Heavens! The people of 1985 were idiots; Cybill Shepherd was stunning. Also, she’s great at the witty banter, and—like Lucille Ball—she’s a beautiful actor with no compunction about doing physical comedy that makes her look ridiculous.

On the downside: The show could’ve been better if the villains had any kind of backstory. They are stock 1980s villains. A boss wears a bespoke suit (with a collar pin—nice 80s touch there) and speaks in an educated manner. He has a giant, nonspeaking henchman. Another villain is a punk rocker with bad skin.

The stunts were phony.

The show suffers from having been shot for smaller, lower-resolution TVs of the 1980s. Much of the time I could see Bruce Willis’s makeup slathered on. One of the villains seemed to be a 35-year-old man wearing old-age makeup.

But overall, thumbs up. I’ll keep watching. I think I’ll enjoy it more over time.

I think Julie enjoyed it without reservation. She watched the series when it first aired, but said she’d never seen the first episode.

“Moonlighting” and “Miami Vice” were the two iconic TV series of the 80s. I didn’t watch any primetime TV in that decade; I was a college student in the first part, and then a daily newspaper reporter, and spent my evenings doing other things. 1985, the year “Moonlighting” debuted, was a particularly big year in my life.

I’d never seen “Miami Vice” until relatively recently either. I thought that was fine. Watched one or a couple of episodes, but did not feel compelled to continue.

Mitch W @MitchW