Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd had unbeatable chemistry on Moonlighting. In fact, their chemistry could be so volatile the show ultimately could not continue, although the success of Die Hard and other movie offers probably would’ve been an irresistible force for Willis regardless. At least there were five seasons of Moonlighting, all available on DVD and creator Glenn Gordon Caron is working on getting them available on streaming services. Until then, here are 10 other shows to capture the chemistry and comic mystery if you like Moonlighting.
If you liked ‘Moonlighting,’ ‘Remington Steele’ is another mystery rom-com
Pierce Brosnan got his big break on Remington Steele playing a pseudo James Bond like character. Stephanie Zimbalist played a private investigator who invented the fictional partner Remington Steele because clients wouldn’t take a female detective seriously. Then Brosnan shows up claiming to be the suave Steele.
The founder of Remington Steele Detective Agency now has to work with a con man usurping her own creation. They did solve cases together, all the while “Steele” getting her goat. The show also famously delayed Brosnan’s introduction as James Bond. He was cast in The Living Daylights but then NBC decided to order one more season. The show is now streaming on Prime Video.
If you like ‘Moonlighting,’ ‘Castle’ offers a modern day mystery banter
The recent long-running hit drama, Castle, was another blending of fictional mysteries and real-world crimes. Novelist Richard Castle (Nathan Fillion) teamed up with NYPD homicide detective Kate Beckett (Stana Katic).
Of course, in the beginning, Beckett doesn’t want some hack writer butting into real cases. But, Castle proves useful with his mind for connecting the clues. Castle actually stretched out the romantic tension longer than Moonlighting, but with eight seasons, of course they went there eventually. Castle is streaming on Hulu.
‘Bones’ had another crime solving duo
Bones was a procedural crime show that emphasized forensic anthropology. Forensic Anthropologist Temperance Brennan was nicknamed Bones because she could solve a crime by looking at the bones of the body. She teamed up with FBI agent Seeley Booth (David Boreanaz) and they solved crimes together for 12 seasons.
Brennan and Booth kept it professional for a while but the chemistry proved irresistible. Bones is streaming on Hulu, Freevee or Roku Channel.
If you like ‘Moonlighting,’ ‘Only Murders in the Building’ is your new comic mystery
Moonlighting had some inherently comedic cases, and derived a lot of comedy from David (Willis) messing with Maddie (Shepherd). Today, there’s a new trio of comedic crime solvers on Only Murders in the Building.
Arcania residents Charles (Steve Martin), Oliver (Martin Short) and Mavis (Selena Gomez) start a podcast to solve the murder of a neighbor. It proves so popular, as did the first season on Hulu, that they continue the podcast to solve other murders. Season 3 is coming this year to Hulu.
If you like ‘Moonlighting,’ ‘Veronica Mars’ does it solo
If you like the witty banter of Moonlighting, Veronica Mars (Kristen Bell) does it without a partner. Granted, Veronica has allies like her father (Enrico Colantoni), Mac (Tina Majorino), Logan (Jason Dohring) and others. But, while Veronica downplays the will they/won’t they (although it’s still there with some love interests), she maintains an acerbic wit against witnesses and criminals.
Veronica Mars began as a high school sleuth and graduated to college by season 3. In the later movie and streaming series, Veronica continued her witty observations while solving crimes as a grown-up. All four seasons are streaming on Hulu.
‘Elementary’ put a female twist on Sherlock Holmes
The CBS mystery Elementary posited a modern day Sherlock Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller). The twist was that Watson was Joan Watson (Lucy Liu). Elementary kept their relationship professional, though. Still, adding a woman’s intuition to Holmes’ genius kept Elementary going for seven seasons, now streaming on Hulu.
If you like ‘Moonlighting’ genre bending, get a load of ‘The Afterparty’
Moonlighting was groundbreaking in the way it challenged the format of hour long television. They did a Shakespeare episode and a musical episode, but every week broke the fourth wall. The Afterparty takes that even further.
In the Apple TV+ series, the afterparty of a high school reunion becomes witnesses to a murder. Every witness tells their version of events, which becomes an entirely different genre. There’s an action movie episode, a rom-com, a musical and more. Season 2 is coming so we’ll see what genres they tackle next.
‘Poker Face’ is another comic mystery
Poker Face just started on Peacock but it’s from Knives Out creator Rian Johnson and stars Russian Doll Natasha Lyonne. We can already tell it carries the witty mystery Moonlighting mantle, and Peacock already renewed it for a second season.
‘The Flight Attendant’ took the mystery international
Moonlighting was geographically limited to the Los Angeles area given that’s where the production was based. HBO Max’s The Flight Attendant gives you an international mystery with a healthy dose of irreverent comedy.
Since Cassie (Kaley Cuoco) is a flight attendant, her job takes her to exotic destinations. And HBO could afford to take the crew to some of them! Each mystery lasted a whole season, but Cassie was a smart mouth even to her CIA handler in season 2. Both seasons are streaming on HBO Max.
‘Bored to Death’ was another mystery comedy
Finally, HBO’s Bored to Death was another mystery comedy. Jason Schwartzman played a mystery author who tried his hand at solving real crimes based on the mystery books he’d read. Naturally, comic hijinks ensued. He also had help from comedic powerhouses Ted Danson and Zach Galifianakis. All three seasons are streaming on HBO Max.