The Moonlighting Effect – why Simon and Viv wouldn’t work…

The ‘Moonlighting Effect’ was coined after the circa mid-80’s romantic comedy show ‘Moonlighting’ starring Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd. They had TREMENDOUS chemistry and held viewers in their grasp as one of the very first ‘will they, why f9cking won’t they’ couples. Heated fights and unbelievably written dialogue that ‘Maddie and David’ just nailed every week – till they finally did it. The show never recovered from the tail spin and died a horrible death – thus coining the phrase for future romcon couples ‘the moonlighting effect’. Where sexual tension is finally given into, ruining an outstanding show because apparently no writer out there can write a decent scene for the fictional couple without it sucking balls.

Other examples:

Mulder and Scully
Booth and Bones
Chuck and that blond girl
Castle and Beckett (they’re on their way)
Sam and Diane (Cheers)
Monica and Chandler (Friends – this worked but they stayed together)
Donna and Josh (West Wing)

It’s rare when a tv couple survives the ‘effect’. Best not to mess with sexual tension in television.



  1. A Cruise to Die For (Alix London Mystery) by Aaron Elkins | Rosalind Hartmann | Paranormal Action Adventure Fiction Author - [...] agent and their awkward romance. I’m not a huge fan of partners jumping into bed – the Moonlighting Effect…

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.