What if M&D had seen themselves as Katerina and Petruchio?

Marlena

Well-known member
I just watched Atomic Shakespeare tonight on Hulu. I love this episode. It is funny. It is clever. It is sweet and romantic.

However, and I may be stirring the pot here with my opinion, but hey, that's okay. A little banter's not a bad thing, right?

Here goes...
I do not love the way the episode begins and ends with the young boy who wants to watch Moonlighting, but his mother tells him he can't because he has schoolwork to do. My reason is that it is the boy imagining Maddie & David in the roles of Katerina and Petruchio, and not Maddie & David imagining themselves in these roles. I think it creates a disconnect. Probably why I didn't care for this episode when I first watched it as a teenager.

I think the episode would have had more meaning if - whether it be in a dream sequence or simply a scenario where they each pictured themselves as these characters - if at the end of the episode David & Maddie looked at each other much in the same way that Kate and Petruchio do. Maddie is able to look past David's chauvinistic behavior and see him for the kind, caring man that he is. And, David is able to acknowledge how intelligent Maddie is and that she deserves more of his respect.

I know what you're thinking... that they already did a dream sequence in TDSART and they can't do that twice. I agree. So, I think what I would've done would've been to have created a scenario where Maddie & David had to read The Taming of the Shrew for a case. Maybe a client comes in all dressed up in his Renaissance Festival costume and they strike up a conversation about Shakespeare's play. Something like that that would've led the viewer straight into Padua and then out again to a somewhat changed and more considerate Maddie & David.

Thoughts?
 
Starting with the boy was the show taking on the elephant in the room. Remember back then new episodes weren't a regular thing. Lots of reruns while fans waited for new episodes. I like the way they took on the criticism head on and just had fun with the episode. Kind of hard to be mad at someone when they acknowledge the problem and then make a good joke about it. If I'm remembering right "Big Man on Mulberry Street" was the episode right before this one and having it be a dream right after that episode seems a little redundant. Besides, meta commentary wasn't really a thing back in the 80s. Now it's done all the time, but back then it was one of the things that made Moonlighting different than all the other shows.
 
I just watched Atomic Shakespeare tonight on Hulu. I love this episode. It is funny. It is clever. It is sweet and romantic.

However, and I may be stirring the pot here with my opinion, but hey, that's okay. A little banter's not a bad thing, right?

Here goes...
I do not love the way the episode begins and ends with the young boy who wants to watch Moonlighting, but his mother tells him he can't because he has schoolwork to do. My reason is that it is the boy imagining Maddie & David in the roles of Katerina and Petruchio, and not Maddie & David imagining themselves in these roles. I think it creates a disconnect. Probably why I didn't care for this episode when I first watched it as a teenager.

I think the episode would have had more meaning if - whether it be in a dream sequence or simply a scenario where they each pictured themselves as these characters - if at the end of the episode David & Maddie looked at each other much in the same way that Kate and Petruchio do. Maddie is able to look past David's chauvinistic behavior and see him for the kind, caring man that he is. And, David is able to acknowledge how intelligent Maddie is and that she deserves more of his respect.

I know what you're thinking... that they already did a dream sequence in TDSART and they can't do that twice. I agree. So, I think what I would've done would've been to have created a scenario where Maddie & David had to read The Taming of the Shrew for a case. Maybe a client comes in all dressed up in his Renaissance Festival costume and they strike up a conversation about Shakespeare's play. Something like that that would've led the viewer straight into Padua and then out again to a somewhat changed and more considerate Maddie & David.

Thoughts?

All I remember is thinking how mean the mother was for not letting the poor lad watch 'Moonlighting'. We all needed our fix! Thankfully, I was 21 when this was broadcast in the UK in 1987, so it couldn't have happened to me. And my mother was never that mean anyway. I get your point, but yes, it would have been too similar a concept to 'Dream Sequence'. I think it worked better as the boy's fantasy.
 
I do not love the way the episode begins and ends with the young boy who wants to watch Moonlighting, but his mother tells him he can't because he has schoolwork to do. My reason is that it is the boy imagining Maddie & David in the roles of Katerina and Petruchio, and not Maddie & David imagining themselves in these roles. I think it creates a disconnect.
Marlena,
It may disconnect "The Taming of the Shrew" from David and Maddie, but it connects the viewer to David and Maddie through the boy. He is us. He wants to see Moonlighting, and he wants to see David and Maddie together.

I can understand your wanting to see David and Maddie see themselves together... even if in another life. We all wish(ed) for that. But... I like what they did with this one. It beats bringing viewers (dedicated or otherwise) into the show via quick interview clips, as they did to open MTTC.

Just my 2¢,
Ryan
 
YES! I knew I'd stir things up around here with that post. ;) I love Atomic Shakespeare. Just wanted to get that straight. From start to finish, it's an excellent episode. And I do agree that we would not have wanted another dream sequence. It was just that I was watching it last night and it occurred to me that it really has no connection to David and Maddie. A Womb With A View treats Atomic Shakespeare as though Katerina and Petruchio were past incarnations of Maddie and David. But how can that be if they were just the imaginings of a little boy?
 
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A Womb With A View treats Atomic Shakespeare as though Katerina and Petruchio were past reincarnations of Maddie and David. But how can that be if they were just the imaginings of a little boy?
They weren't just his imaginings. That Katerina and Petruchio were past incarnations of Maddie and David is a truth confirmed by Jerome that made it all the easier for the boy to see.
 
Marlena,
I think your idea of David and Maddie seeing themselves in those roles could have been achieved by having them attend a live stage performance of "The Taming of the Shrew" together. The camera pans over their shoulders and into the onstage world, the play is acted out, and then the episode ends with them looking at each other a bit differently (as we know BW and CS could have delivered) and maybe even offering a few words to that effect as they leave the theater. It would have worked, but I'm happy with the different approach the writers took of using the boy and his homework to represent us viewers... especially since real-world responsibilities are currently preventing me from indulging in Moonlighting as fully as I wish I could.

Ryan
 
Marlena,
I think your idea of David and Maddie seeing themselves in those roles could have been achieved by having them attend a live stage performance of "The Taming of the Shrew" together. The camera pans over their shoulders and into the onstage world, the play is acted out, and then the episode ends with them looking at each other a bit differently (as we know BW and CS could have delivered) and maybe even offering a few words to that effect as they leave the theater.
I really love your idea, Ryan. I can picture it perfectly.
 
Atomic Shakespeare is my favorite episode of Moonlighting. Who doesn't want a wall of throwing vases? I actually liked how the episode opens with this poor kid being sent off to read Taming of the Shrew when all he wants to do is watch his favorite show. I was the kid at the beginning of Atomic Shakespeare. I had two weaknesses in 1986. Moonlighting & Monkees reruns. My mother had no problem denying me Moonlighting. I made sure all my homework was finished early on Tuesdays. I was 11 so I can't remember what kind of homework I had. How complicated could it have been? String theory maybe. That was part of the 5th grade curriculum in 1986, right?

Since I started rewatching Moonlighting, I have come across a number of things that give me pause, but I have a difficult time finding fault with Atomic Shakespeare. I did have the same question Marlena had after watching Womb with a View. Actually, I had lots of questions after rewatching Womb with a View like why I am torturing myself? Jerome's explanation seemed a little convenient, but I'll forgive it as long as I never have to see a grown man in a onesie again. I like the idea of David & Maddie as two souls barreling through the ether & colliding on occasion. Sometimes it's a glorious union like in Atomic Shakespeare & sometimes they crash & burn. It would be interesting to see David or Maddie triggered by a reference to or a visual from Taming of the Shrew. Something that might change how they view each other, but I don't need it, unless Marlena or Ryan wants to write about, then I'm all in.
 
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