I can’t blame the actors, writers, or show-runners, but Maddie Hayes and David Addison’s long-simmering, will-they-or-won’t-they courtship imprinted my still-developing brain in some unfortunate ways. On the show’s 30th anniversary, let us look at the ways in which Moonlighting doomed my adult relationships.
1. First kisses must be fraught with danger. They’re even better if preceded by an argument and/or insult, after one of us has stormed away and returned multiple times. Bonus points if the kiss takes place in a dark parking garage or other unseemly location where we really shouldn’t be. Then we will both deny that it ever happened.
2. Fighting is my favorite foreplay. Unless a prospective suitor will engage in heated verbal jousting sessions with me, he should probably just pack it in. I require a blazingly fast wit and prefer men who will competitively over-talk with me until we both can’t take it anymore. I’ll have none of that twee, “We finish each other’s sentences” crap. We will STOMP on each other’s sentences, break all the furniture in the house, and then, well, you get the picture.
3. No scruff, no love. Bruce Willis, when he still had hair on his head, ruined me for clean-shaven men. Scruff should be a red flag, but for me, it’s a clarion call. If you look like you can’t afford razors, I will probably follow you around for a few years trying to fix you. Also, if you have a wry sense of humor, dimples, a cocky stride, and a ridiculously sexy half-smile that turns up one corner of your mouth, I give up right now—you have won.
4. Only rapscallions with scathing wits need apply. If you don’t crack a cutting joke in the first thirty seconds, I will likely feel pretty meh about you. If you’re shy or you take a while to warm up, better luck next time. My crush on David Hayes begot my crush on Fox Mulder begot my crush on Sawyer from Lost. This pattern is inescapable, even in my personal life.
5. 16-year-old boys in adult male bodies are my thing. I know, I know—most men, regardless of age, would rather be playing Super Nintendo right now. But the ones I fall for tend to take Professional Immaturity to a whole new level. Remember the episode where Maddie dares David to act like an adult for one week? I could probably make the same wager with any of my exes and they would all lose.
6. Chemistry trumps everything. You can be totally inappropriate for me on every possible level. We can disagree on politics, have entirely oppositional world views, and I may find you a little bit repulsive and/or infuriating. But that just builds our out-of-control-sexual tension to its perfect boiling point, and even in those moments when I am truly, really fed up with your bullshit, I will probably still want to have sex with you.