Will Fall TV Finally Make the ‘Partners With Benefits’ Formula Work?

When ABC's 'Castle' returns next Monday, it won't just be murder the characters will be investigating, but whether or not we can finally lay the 'Moonlighting' Curse to bed for good

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Bob D'Amico / ABC / Getty Images

When ABC’s Castle returns to the small screen next week for the show’s fifth season, the show will still be about wisecracking mystery novelist Richard Castle, played with no small amount of tongue-in-cheek charm by Nathan Fillion, teaming up with hard-nosed police detective Kate Beckett to solve bizarrely themed murders on a weekly basis. For many fans, however, the biggest threat to Castle and Beckett this year won’t be when the pair finds themselves face-to-face with some irrational killer who can’t be stopped by a quip or well-timed observation from a supporting player. Rather, by allowing Castle and Beckett’s Will-They-Won’t-They flirting to finally reach some level of consummation in the finale of the previous season, the show will now have to deal with something even more ridiculous than subcultural psychopaths: The dreaded Moonlighting Curse.

I say “ridiculous” because the Moonlighting Curse is one of those strange pop cultural things that doesn’t necessarily stand up to investigation all that well, but nonetheless has a large swathe of people in its thrall. It gets its name from the slow collapse of the 1980s comedy drama Moonlighting — the show that made Bruce Willis into a star and gave Curtis Armstrong something to do after Revenge of the Nerds — which, according to the curse, started when Willis’ David Addison and Cybill Shepherd’s Maddie Hayes finally made the leap from sparring partners to sexual partners. That one simple change to the series’ dynamic, says the curse, was enough to send it spiraling towards cancellation. As a result of Moonlighting‘s fate, conventional wisdom has claimed that any attempt to allow your two lead characters to actually get together romantically is just asking for trouble. After all, if it could happen to Bruno, it could happen to anyone.

Bruce Willis as David and Cybill Shepherd as Maddie on Moonlighting

ABC / Getty Images

Castle‘s creator and executive producer Andrew Marlowe isn’t one of the true believers when it comes to the long shadow cast by Moonlighting, however. “I’m not someone who believes in The Curse of Moonlighting,” he told reporters earlier this year. “Moonlighting fell apart because [the producers] couldn’t meet their delivery dates.” Indeed, none other than Moonlighting creator Glenn Gordon Caron has often admitted that timeliness became an issue as the show went on. “The show was really difficult to do,” he told the Chicago Tribune back in 2005. “A lot of discord centered around that — working 14-15 hours a day, and the way I worked, pages came very late.” So late, in fact, that yes, episodes regularly missed deadlines, and it wasn’t uncommon for episodes of Moonlighting to be replaced by re-runs at the last minute. With audiences never quite sure whether or not they’d be getting a new episode or a re-run until they tuned in, it’s hardly surprising that fans started drifting away. Factor in Shepherd and Willis both reportedly losing interest in the series for various reasons (her newborn children, born during the show’s fourth season, and his increasingly successful movie career, respectively), and the show’s cancellation seems more the fault of multiple events and less of viewer backlash against David and Maddie ending up in bed together.

(MORE: Top 10 Shows That Overstayed Their Welcome)

If all of that is true, you might be thinking, then why does the Moonlighting Curse even exist in people’s minds and the Internet at all? You actually have Moonlighting itself to thank for that one, in a roundabout way. In the series’ final episode, 1989′s “Lunar Eclipse,” Maddie and David end up talking to a fictional ABC producer responsible for canceling the show who explains that “romance is a fragile thing,” firmly placing the blame for the show’s death on the (by that time, amazingly soap operatic and convoluted) affair between the two. Add to that, the reality that — creatively — the show really did stumble after Maddie and David hooked up. For various reasons, some outside their control (Shepherd’s pregnancy reducing her workload, for example, or Willis and Shepherd’s rumored dislike for each other), Moonlighting seemed to have a problem with the idea of actually letting the two characters be a couple, leading to a last-minute reversal of the entire idea at the end of the next season as Maddie ended up marrying another man that she had literally met the night before. Romance may be a fragile thing, but so is the audience’s patience.

Bearing all of this in mind, then, it’s as if Castle – and any other show that wants to try and pair off its leading characters — has a fairly simple “How To” guide to follow… or, at least, signposts warning them away from the things to avoid. Commit to the Relationship, one would say, lights flashing around it, while another would read simply Meet Your Deadlines. Pretty basic, common sense stuff, right? After all, it’s not as if Moonlighting was the only time in television history where the idea of “Will They? Won’t They?” relationships threatened to overtake a popular series. Who amongst us doesn’t recall the moment when we realized that we really didn’t care about Ross and Rachel in Friends anymore — we were far more invested in the Monica and Chandler storyline and wondered if it meant that Phoebe and Joey would have to hook up as well? Sitcoms may be the natural home for this kind of thing, really; think about the number of seasons of How I Met Your Mother lost to whether or not Ted and Robin were fated to be together or if JD and Elliot in Scrubs were meant to be. Each of these series failed to commit to the pairings when they initially happened, and the characters and shows suffered as a result.

There are also plenty of examples of shows that have managed to pair characters successfully. NBC’s Chuck brought the title character together with Sarah by presenting it almost as an inevitability from day one — now there is being committed to a plan — much in the same way as the Jim and Pam pairing in The Office felt like a force of nature. These characters, we were taught, belong together because they don’t make nearly as much sense apart. (This idea — that audiences prefer the characters together than not — is what saved the Niles and Daphne relationship in Frasier despite the almost obscenely long lead-up to the relationship actually happening, I suspect.) Here then is another lesson: If you portray your desired pairing as being the clear best of all available options, then your audience will end up wanting it to happen as much as your characters do.

(MORE: Stay Single and Don’t Change: Life Lessons From TV’s Season Finales)

And yet, I find myself wanting to advise caution even if these simple steps are followed, if only because today’s television audience isn’t the same beast as the one that watched Willis and Shepherd flirt, fight and metatextualize their way through five seasons of television way back when. For one thing, contemporary television creators have the new math of Shipper + Internet = Potential Disaster to deal with. For those unfamiliar with the term “shipper,” let’s go to the dictionary definition: “A fan devoted to a particular couple/pairing in a fandom. Usually fanatical.” While shippers are, in many respects, nothing new — a glance at certain sections of 1970s fandom for Star Trek reveals that many were very fascinated with the relationship between Kirk and Spock, for example — they have in recent years gained not only their own identifying term, but also a particularly upfront role in certain fandoms (Exhibit A, Exhibit B) that gives them cultural credibility where they had previously been more easily ignored. Add in the megaphone that is social media, and the likely potential for deafening backlash for any change to a relationship status quo becomes a worrying prospect. On the one hand, that plays into the first of the signposts above — Stay committed to your relationship plans even when Twitter is calling for your head. The sheer volume of a particularly vocal section of your fanbase so attached to one very specific idea of what “works,” however, can’t help but breed a certain conservative nature in those telling the stories. Why would you change anything if you know it’s going to get you shouted at?

The most obvious answer to that question is that changing nothing is going to get you shouted at even more. With the obvious exceptions of the Law & Order franchise and to a lesser extent, the CSIs and NCISs of the world, television series have moved away from a static format where everything status is returned to quo at the end of each episode in order to more easily facilitate syndication re-runs out of order. Nowaways, it’s all about story arcs and things happening that have, if not permanent impact, then after-effects that last for some period of time before simply fading into the background of a show’s mythology. The audience wants to see stories that “count,” and that tends to translate into something that forces the characters to have to go through some kind of evolution or epiphany to demonstrate the importance of what’s happening. Not only that, but the acceptance of, and demand for, story arc structure places a renewed emphasis on the importance of closure on threads, arcs and plots, and that means that the idea of your two lead characters not addressing their mutual attraction ends up being far more unsatisfying than whatever potential outcome could come from ‘fessing up to each other. If those responsible for shows would be damned if they do, they’d almost certainly be far more damned if they don’t.

If Castle‘s creators lose faith in the wisdom of their leads getting together, they only have to look to Fox for inspiration. That network’s own Will-They-Won’t-They murder series, Bones, finally took the plunge itself at the end of the 2010-2011 season, allowing the spectacularly named Temperance Brennan and Seeley Booth to not only consummate their relationship, but have a kid together as a result without massively derailing the show. (Admittedly, the real-life pregnancy of Emily Deschanel, who plays Brennan, may have played more than a small role in the decision making there.) The trick for Bones — and for Castle, too — is in admitting one truth that very often gets ignored in fiction for the purposes of happy endings: Those sparky, bantering relationships don’t suddenly change dynamics just because you sleep together; they just get more complicated. If Castle manages to repeat Bones‘ success with moving its two leads into a committed relationship without dulling either character’s edge, then perhaps we can finally conclude that the Curse of Moonlighting has gone the way of the Curse of the Bambino.

MORE: The Top 10 TV Episodes of 2011: The Best and the Rest

43 comments
Jen
Jen like.author.displayName 1 Like

I'm disappointed in the number of people who feel, to them personally, Booth and Bones' relationship wasn't "handled correctly" (Read: How *I* wanted it) and so now believe that they are the authority...and the majority.

It also seems as if the number of Castle fans bashing Bones on "the right way to do it" haven't even seen their couple together, so your assumption that Castle has a leg up is baffling to me. In my opinion (and as a fan of both shows, FYI) last season of Castle was cliched to the extreme. It brought nothing new to the table, and the rain-soaked confession at the end of the finale? Could not have been more cliched if it were written by a fan fiction writer. But that's what Castle's shipper fans wanted, so it worked for them. And that's great. Television is subjective, and just because I thought the last season of Castle was disappointing, doesn't mean it was to everyone. That's the problem with many of the commentators here. You believe your opinion is the majority when, in fact, it is not. Everyone sees each show differently and to believe your opinion is the standard is incredibly self-centered. Internet posters are a tiny, infinitesimal, miniscule minority of the fan base of any show. Not the majority by any stretch of the imagination.

Yes, Bones lost a few fans during season 6, but they gained more back. They still have great ratings. So to claim "most Bones fans quit watching" is entirely incorrect and a little childish. Just because *you* took your ball and went home doesn't mean everyone did. The rest of us decided that we wanted to see Hart's story, not the cliched, idealized, inane ramblings of a 19 year-old girl who has never been in a real relationship. Hart did it his way and it worked for most fans...clearly, otherwise the show would have lost many of it's viewers, which it most certainly did not.

The most fascinating thing to me, in this whole list of comments, is that the majority of them are Castle fans bitching about Bones, instead of cheering on their own show. It's possible to like both shows (I do...for now) and not bash one or the other. People like different things, and the fact that many of you can't accept that, and truly believe that your opinion is the gold standard, says more about you than it will ever say about Hart Hanson, the cast and crew, or the Bones fans that continue to watch and love the show.

rita sanchez
rita sanchez like.author.displayName 1 Like

I can't believe this. Every time Bones and Castle are mentioned in the same article, it always end up like World War III... It's bashing and hating. Always the same arguments. "Bones sucks because we didn't see them get together" "Bones sucks because it was rushed". A worth-watching tv relationship shouldn't be about sex. If you're looking for that, go to HBO or FX, there's plenty of that there for horny teenagers. There was also no rushing in that part, since they did talk about getting together way before the season 6 finale LIKE FREAKING ADULTS! As for Castle, I see some bashing too, rarely but I see it. "Castle copies Bones all the time". There are some similarities but the relationships are very much different. 

Both sides, GET OVER IT. Bones is great. Castle is great. You have your opinion, no need to be bitter.

jess777
jess777

All Bones Comment pages always have Castle blah, blah, blah Castle fans feel a bit like the mormons at the door trying to convert us LOL :) are Castle fans still claiming Castle isn't a ripoff of Bones my conclusion is It must be.I've never seen Castle and i very much doubt other shows comment pages (eg grey's anatomy)are bombarded with all this Castle.Bones is now going into season 9 and 3rd year BB together can't see that as a fail.  Might checkout castle but some of it's fans have put me off a bit.These shows are a journey enjoy and let enjoy.PS love your comment you're right on the money. :)

Maria Ferreira
Maria Ferreira

I disagree about "Bones" being an example to follow, as honestly I don't think it was well handed... IMO, it turned into a lame show, at least in season 7. But I'm pretty sure "Castle" will be better handed...

AbbyBazil
AbbyBazil

I like the article, except the look to Bones to see how it's done. I read somewhere the idea that it’s because a show’s lead stars get together, thereby losing it’s sexual tension, is the very moment the show’s popularity declines. It was before my time, but apparently it was very popular, or at least up until the moment the lead characters got together, then it all jumped the shark. Then, for decades to come, there’s great concern in bringing the main leads together for fear the show’s quality and of course the ratings, will suffer a substantial hit. I wonder if it’s possible for Castle to avoid the curse. I mean, Caskett only just had that delicious kissing scene at the end of the fourth season. We need to see how they handle the union in this up coming season. Other dramedy romance didn’t fare too well with their leads.

Bones: It was a long wait before they get together (5 seasons), and when they do, we find out that it happened off screen and results with her pregnancy. Next season they’re suddenly together and I’m at a loss as to how it happened. I literally thought I missed somthing important.

Roswell: I’m sure anyone who’s seen this show can attest to the phenomenal chemistry between the leads, but the "Moonlighting Curse" strikes again. The leads get together and another girl gets in the way to keep them apart (to build tension, I guess), and if that wasn’t bad enough, the girl who gets in the way gets preggo with the guys baby. If this show had better writers, it could have gone much further, but they do eventually get together, like two episodes before it ends.

Friends: Ross and Rachel get together, break up in one season, followed by quickie on and off again, on again, break it off, wait 5 seasons, and get back together in the last episode. Even the baby couldn’t keep these two together when Rachal had her, but suddenly at the end, Ross sees the light? Oh well.

X-Files: Whatever these two have here is all off screen. I think they kiss once… in the movie. This union always seemed neutral to me. I like seeing them together but they never go further than that. It's like they only bring Mulder and Scully together just to bring them together. There was also a baby here that Mulder couldn’t be around for.

House M.D.: House liked Cuddy since his college years. There’s plenty of build and when they finally get together, they last no more than one or two seasons, though I’m inclined to say only one. Although House did try his hardest, Cuddy ultimately decided he’s not the best thing for her, or her adopted baby.

I’m sure there are more shows, but you get what I mean. I should mention that I do like or love these shows. I have faith in Marlowe and Co. and their ability to tell a story, and I know it looks bleak, but is it too naive to think Castle will be the exception to this curse? Are there other shows that do it right? I can’t think of one show that I like more than Castle, that’s done or is doing it right.

Beckstle
Beckstle

I don't think it's naive, but only because it's Marlowe. This is a writer who does his homework rather than simply follow industry beliefs. In his interviews he talks about researching what has and hasn't worked, which is how he concluded that the Moonlighting curse is a myth. He's shown to be meticulous on continuity as well as honest in his interviews. He is very clear that the story he wants to tell is the the story of building a successful relationship, including the kind of work it takes to do so. He's also mentioned that his own marriage to executive producer and writing partner Terri Miller is a bit of a model for the Castle relationship. They are NOT divorced. With all these various factors I would say it's a good bet that he will in fact pull off telling one of the greatest TV love stories of all time.

Beckstle
Beckstle

If the Fox show Bones offers Castle anything like inspiration, it's in the form of errors to avoid. Bones completely missed their window of when allowing the characters to become a bonafide couple made sense. At the end of their season 4 they did a cliche "sudden brain tumor" and dream sequence to stall the characters from facing the obvious. They then rebuilt from that, creating an arc where the female lead was clearly preparing herself to accept being in a romantic relationship - only to completely crash that with a scene that had no connection to what either character had been through over their last 4.5 years. Then they took a page from Moonlighting: split the lead characters up and sent them to be not just in different cities, but different COUNTRIES. Then when they were once back in the same city they introduced an out of nowhere third party whom the male lead had recently met and moved her into his apartment. While the first two resets cost the show some fans, this last one had fans AND TV critics dismayed. They have never fully recovered the from that fiasco. Had the lead actress not become pregnant the showrunner's original idea was to have them sleep together and then NOT become a couple. Again, another "great" idea from Moonlighting. He is on record as not wanting to write them going through the stages of a beginning offical romance and pats himself on the back for skipping all that stuff. Thus the viewers never get to see them resolve the issues brought up by the miserable third party storyline, nor see them reach the conclusion to be together - a moment which fans had been waiting to see for over six seasons.

The current storyline has the few diehard fans cheering, but far more have left it for good. Despite the "they're having a baby" storyline, for many viewers it's been too little and too late.

Castle's showrunner Andrew Marlowe is the first one to really go back and look at the so-called Moonlighting curse and realize how completely bogus it is. Had Bones done the same they too could have avoided repeating many of Moonlighting's errors. Instead the show fell right into them. Although the Bones is still on, like Happy Days, it is definitely surviving as a post "jumping the shark" show. Meanwhile, Castle is poised to become the show that really marks the end of the TV industry's belief in the ridiculous and untrue "Moonlighting Curse."

rynogeny
rynogeny like.author.displayName 1 Like

Wait...Bones lost most of its fanbase? Wow. Let me tell everyone who watched the other night that they shouldn't have done that. 

It's true. Some people, who wanted to see a very specific story - not the one Hart was telling from the beginning, mind you, but a very specific story they had in their heads - quit watching, either after S2, S3, S4, S5, or S6. And they're fully entitled  and correct to do so. (Why they still need to spend so much time trumpeting that is a puzzler.)

The harsh truth for them is that no, they weren't a majority, and that Hart's story worked fine for a lot of others - enough that the show's solid heading into S8. 

Marlowe went a different direction with Castle, one which has yet to be proven. And that works for a lot of people that the Bones direction didn't work for. And that's fine, too. (Newsflash: Castle doesn't work for everyone.) 

So...two shows, two different ways of getting the leads together. It's not surprising if they don't both work for everyone. They don't need to. Castle fans should be focused on enjoying their show, not hating another one, and it says a lot more about the fans than it does the shows that that's not the case. 

I respect people who love Castle and no longer watch Bones, until they begin hating on Bones. That just screams immaturity to me. Sorry. Meanwhile, I hope Castle succeeds, because while it does nothing for me, I have friends who enjoy it.  

Some Skinny Chick
Some Skinny Chick like.author.displayName 1 Like

I agree with everything you said. I will also add that those claiming the way Brennan and Booth got together was unsatisfying were not paying attention to an amazing episode. I feel they wanted the consumation of the relationship actually shown.

For me, the death of the squint followed by what was one of the most amazingly acted, emotional episode by far of the series was more than enough. He ordered her to his apartment so he could protect her, an admission that he loved her and was over his hurt feelings. She has already confessed in an equally brilliant episode that she loved him. Then, she climbed into bed with him.

If people can't read between the lines on this one, they're watching the wrong show.

And you want suffering? Try being an X Files fan if you want to see the worst way ever to dance around the consumation of a relationship. And still, I even forgive that. Why? Because showing it all has never been what either show was about. Sometimes showing too much is the surest way to derail a show.

Beckstle
Beckstle

I agree with you about the X-files; until Bones I didn't think anything could top that story disintegration. However X-files merely stalled their leads, leaving them in limbo, yes, but they never destroyed the connection between them. What Bones did was smash that connection into bits - breaking the center that was supposed to hold. As cute as Christine is, there is always the sense that the only reason Bamp;B are together is because a moment of comfort sex got her pregnant. Family is important to Booth, so of course he's going to want it to work - but his CHOICE was a certain blonde who left the country. For alot of viewers Brennan getting her "friend" Hannah's sloppy seconds is just not a love match. Despite the great performances by the actors the facts of the actual story still destroy the magic. Not for everyone of course, but for people who watch TV shows keeping the story arc in mind, Bones just doesn't work.

Beckstle
Beckstle

Never have I expressed the idea that my opinion was the only opinion. In fact, I made a point to say that not everyone has a problem with the way Bones has gone. Absolutely there are people who like the show and have no issues with the story.

However, the article is talking about Castle amp; the Moonlighting curse. Bones clearly made some similar choices in their story that Moonlighting did, and those choices also resulted in a serious defection of fans and a lower number of viewers. Using it as a successful model of how to break the said curse is simply not an accurate representation.

rynogeny
rynogeny like.author.displayName 1 Like

Look, this is going to sound harsh, but since you're doing your best in your comment to dismiss the opinion of everyone who doesn't agree with you, I feel a bit entitled. 

Others feel the same as you. It's a perfectly valid opinion that, IMO, represents a rather narrow view of both love and story.  But the fact that you believe your opinion is the only one, and of necessity, 'right' does not, in fact, make that so.

Apparently, you wanted the very cliched, narrow view of love that is most often portrayed on TV. You're not alone in that, though you're not as much the majority as you'd like to believe. That's fine. People want what they want.  

I don't think love always fits in neat boxes, and believe that showing that was part of the point of Hart's story.  No, Brennan isn't sloppy seconds, and they're not only together for Christine.  Hannah was necessary for the story because Brennan and Booth are both more complicated than people who wanted a simple story were ever interested in seeing.  

I know someone whose real life followed the same trajectory that Booth and Brennan did - not quite getting together, a separation, a third party, a rejected proposal, marriage to the first person. They've been happily married for a number of years now, and are very much in love.

Real life is often more complicated and beautiful than many of the people who were so upset by Hart's story seem to be able to appreciate, but that doesn't mean that no one was able to.  

As I said in my original comment, I sincerely hope Castle succeeds, because many of my friends enjoy it. It doesn't work for me. I won't go into the details, because I don't see the point in bashing someone else's show. 

Each to their own. The shows are not a threat to each other, but Castle fans who feel the need to hate and bash Bones (and by extension the people who love it) come across as being threatened by it, and do nothing for their own show as a consequence.

MoonlightingCurse
MoonlightingCurse like.author.displayName 1 Like

huhu so many bitter Castle fans... Did the article hurt your ego? well, that's what Castle gets from being such a copycat... too bad, it can never be like Bones, not even close... Talk about chemistry? seriously? your actors are not even close. Stana is such a trying hard shipper. pfft!

Melody Baker
Melody Baker

'dI say something but all of the Castle Fandom posters on this article have said it all. I might add....well stated!  Castle is Castle. Bones is Bones and it is really absurd to mention a defunct series that was mired in discord, poor management and sub-par writing.   9/24/12 - Castle premier....and then all will be right in the world. :)

Mari
Mari

sorry double post.

Mari
Mari

Oh I thought your article was going so well til you mentioned Bones as a good example of how to. I dropped Bones at season 6 with the awful Hanna storyline, when Bones into tears told Both that she liked him and he just told her that "he's with Hanna now". And then BOOM out of nowhere she's pregnant and they're moving in together. NO. Just no. 

I'm so glad Castle has Marlowe as a show runner. I could never think he would do something like this. He knows what character development means. 

vamperstien
vamperstien

Bones definitly did not leave viewers satisfied, like you said, as long as their banter was still there, I would have been more or less happy, but straight away we we introduced in a completly different situation, skipping over all of the excellent tension, and their relationship just distergraed. However Anglea and Hodgins, who had a bit of will they won't they in the first few seasons, I really enjoy their relationship, because we didn't jump striaght in, we were slowly adjusted and got to see them grow, so it made it seem more natural, and less jummpy

Charissa
Charissa

Hodgins and Angela (except for that awful long period of time where we thought they were done for good) and the Squinterns are the only reason I tune into Bones anymore! 

Susan Krisha
Susan Krisha like.author.displayName 1 Like

Seems as though all the Bones naysayers are disappointed more because there was no big sex scene between Bamp;B than the actual story being told. If one was only watching the show for the sex,  rather than the characters, then I can understand the frustration. Also, please beware Castle viewers. The new season has not begun. I wish you luck.

rcwblessed
rcwblessed

HiYa, SueK! Long time, no see!

Susan Krisha
Susan Krisha

 rcwblessed,

That would be lil ole me. Did you have a different handle on the BY? You can tweet me @silky103. Love to meet some oldish friends.

Susan Krisha
Susan Krisha

 HiYa rcwblessed. Sorry but can't quite place you. My bad.

rcwblessed
rcwblessed

Sorry, it's probably my bad! I thought you were SueK from the former "Bones Community" website. I seem to remember her using a jacket avatar, sometimes. 

Rebekah90
Rebekah90

I don't think it was the lack of sex scene that has annoyed fans so much as a disregard from the producers to give the audience what they had been asking for for years. I for one am not in the least bit interested in a Booth and Brennan sex scene, however, I still wanted to see how they came to terms with their relationship, how they told those at the Jeffersonian (and their reactions), and how they developed into the easy routine that we were later to see. For me, it was important to see how the next part of their journey developed, not just to see some sordid sex scene. This is what I feel we missed in both the three month time jump and the immediate jump to Brennan's pregnancy announcement. I don't want to be told after the fact, we loyally follow these characters and thus it makes sense that we should be there for their life changing moments (as we always have been in the past). Missing out on even a morning after talk was a huge error on their part for many fans, all of whom have been tarnished with the 'need for a sex scene' brush, ignoring the real issues that they have with the program in its current form. 

jess777
jess777

The problem is really life got in the way emily deschanel was pregnant at the time and starting to pop out they did not want her to do a sex scene .

rita sanchez
rita sanchez like.author.displayName 1 Like

"I still wanted to see how they came to terms with their relationship" You saw it. They came to terms with their relationship way before they got together. Sometimes, they don't need to explicitly say everything you want to hear. The whole point of bringing the baby in the picture was to not fall into the cliche of the new relationship because THEN there's usually nothing left to expect and the audience gets bored. So they have to create useless and out of character relationship drama to rekinkle the spark that has already died. That's what's the moonlighting curse really is.The fact that they became parents so soon is not what killed the show, it's what guarenteed the show a season 8 with 26 episodes and probably a season 9. If Castle gets a season 9, then good for the fans. Really. Now they're in the fifth season, they're together. They probably are gonna live together or get engaged by the end of the season or season 6. What's next? 

Rebekah90
Rebekah90

I know it's not the opinion of everyone but for me a close friendship and a relationship are two completely different things. They may have been in a pseudo relationship already, but the second they become physically involved there must be things to talk about, especially having waited that long. 

Booth had just come out of a serious relationship with another woman and Brennan had rejected him before, having seen these characters previously it seems unlikely that fears about their new physical and exclusive relationship would not even be discussed. It is this talk that I would have liked to see on the screen, just a two minute discussion so that we would know that they were both serious about this. It might be implicit, but for me this kind of talk is far too important to ignore. 

Furthermore, introducing an immediate pregnancy (and falling pregnant after one time is one of the biggest TV clichés I can think of) led many fans to worry that they were only together because of this, I don't know about others but I want a WTWY couple together for each other, not forced together because of pregnancy. I know this is not what the producers have intended, but this is the way many have seen it portrayed. 

There are so many different avenues of relationships to explore that, I don't think a couple simply getting together necessarily means that the show will get boring. Good writers know how to retain this excitement and build on it, for me the Moonlighting Curse has always been an excuse for lazy writers to avoid writing for couples as it may be a little harder (although still doable). 

I know this is not the opinion of all the fans by any means, however I know that there are many who have been very disheartened by the past few seasons. While I still watch and enjoy the show, this doesn't mean I don't have issues with it. For me I have always thought the end of season four was the perfect time to get them together and it was going past this point that led to a decline in quality as it became clear that it would be ridiculous to keep them apart any longer (indeed throwing Hannah in the mix and sending them off to different parts of the world seemed to be done purely as a means to keep them apart for longer, rather than being organic to the story). Again I know this is not the opinion of all fans, and some have been perfectly satisfied, but for me, even though I enjoy the show, I still have some major issues with it that I cannot just overlook. 

Maria Ferreira
Maria Ferreira

Exactly! I also couldn´t care less about a sex scene (in fact, what I loved the most in Castle s4 finale is that there was none, but it was beautiful and perfect).

I felt "betrayed" because until the moment that Bones told Booth she was pregnant, it looked like they weren´t together after that night...

Jen
Jen

You're using Bones as an example of how TO?!  No. Sorry. Bones lost the majority of its fanbase because of HH's decision to skip the most excitingly romantic part of a relationship play out onscreen!   Castle, up to this point, has hit all the notes perfectly.  They have great writers who keep the banter fresh and the actors keep the chemistry sizzling and I have no doubt they'll continue to do so regardless of the fact that they're an official couple now.  Just look at the dismal premiere ratings Bones displayed!  You call that a "success"?

Rebekah90
Rebekah90

I don't think one can successfully argue that Bones is a show which managed to avoid the Moonlighting Curse, indeed it avoided putting its two main characters together for so long that one could argue it managed to create a curse of its own - one in which a show that waits too long to put their will they/won't they couple together ends up becoming stale and the plotlines more ludicrous as producers do all they can to avoid giving the audience what they actually want (under the guise of a suggestion that the audience don't know what they want - insulting to many intelligent viewers).

Furthermore, telling Castle producers to look to those of Bones as a 'How-to' avoids mentioning the numerous mistakes made in putting Booth and Brennan together. Fans don't want to see a couple get together and then skip months to the 'middle', oftentimes the most exciting part of a relationship is after that initial kiss or first date. Bones producers, through skipping ahead three months AND introducing a pregnancy not only failed to give this 'first kiss' moment (barring the two previously that amounted to little in the long run) but also skipped through this initial excitement leaving long term viewers feeling let down and betrayed, having invested 6 years and being given very little back. 

Castle producers would do well to avoid the mistakes of both Bones and Moonlighting, giving a fresh view on 'will they/won't they' couples demonstrating that a show does not need to skip the excitement of the first few months, pulling immediate pregnancies  to take focus away from the couple in order to avoid any ridiculous curses. Bones, for many, fell foul of the Moonlighting Curse and it is for Castle to show that it does not have to be this way. 

Adrianna2
Adrianna2

Amazing article! Thanks...

I'd agree with Janna - Bones is not a good sample how to handle relationship. I stopped watching when Boot came back from Afghanistan with blond reporter. Didn't work with her - moved to Bones? It's not what I expected to see at all.

Castle is different story! Well done ! Tension, emotions, love ...I am looking forward seeing them together, interested in show even more then was .

Please, send this article to NCIS! How more annoying and boring can get bringing on new love interests just to delay great event - Tiva? Instead of following the plot of the show' each episode viewers are waiting to see them together!

camille hernandez
camille hernandez

There is no curse! I believe Castle showrunners are handling the Castle and Beckett coupling beautifully and the viewers are honored to have been around to witness the transformation and growth from cats and dogs to lovebirds. I love Bones for the show that it is, not for Tempe and Seeley's relationship. The cases are great, the bodies/bones gave me nightmares for a bit but it's a great show to not risk waking up to skulls and flesh every night. I gotta admit, i felt shortchanged when Bamp;B suddenly became expectant parents, i thought i missed episodes, turns out we all missed the ride.

Adrianna2
Adrianna2

Amazing article! Thanks...

I'd agree with Janna - Bones is not a good sample how to handle relationship. I stopped watching when Boot came back from Afghanistan with blond reporter.  Didn't work with her - moved to Bones? It's not what I expected to see at all.

Castle is different story! Well done ! Tension, emotions, love ...I am looking forward seeing them together, interested in show  even more then was .

Please, send this article to NCIS! How more annoying and boring can get bringing on new love interests just to delay great event - Tiva? Instead of following the plot of the show' each episode viewers are waiting to see them together! 

Sophia
Sophia like.author.displayName 1 Like

So glad to see Bones getting the kudos it deserves - it's long been my favourite show and never fails to entertain and move me. I think the way they got Bamp;B together, while keeping interest in the relationship alive has been very clever - they always leave the audience wanting more. 

I suspect Castle might fall foul of the error of showing the audience too much too soon,  they'll soon get bored of the cliché love scenes with little character depth.

Bones is going into its 8th season, and it's still superb. Well done them.

Maria Ferreira
Maria Ferreira

I'm sorry, but IMO that´s the opoosite of what you said. I totally lost interest in "Bones" and the main caracthers relationship due to the way they put Bamp;B together.

On the other hand, I`m totally into "Castle" and looking to see where Camp;B go from here...

rita sanchez
rita sanchez like.author.displayName 1 Like

Of course you're a new Castle fan. Every bitter ex bones fan is a castle fan... Enjoy spreading the hate!

mig991
mig991

It is all about the writing. Castle has stayed consistent and it has felt organic how these characters have gotten together. Not too soon, not too late. Just right.

Mr. Marlowe has said all the right things about his

characters and I can't wait to see where he takes them.

Travis
Travis

What I think is so funny about this, is as a 27 year old, I've never heard of the show Moonlighting until people started talking about it and the 'curse'. And then whenever I do research to see why if fell apart, all the evidence leads to behind the scene problems with the shows producers and writers, and Willis and Shepherd moving on to other projects. I've never found any evidence suggesting it was the two leads hooking up that ruined the show. Plus, wasn't there a writer's strike during the show's run. That  could have hurt it, and a similar strike more recently derailed so shows as well. So yeah, I don't think there really is a curse, just scared writers who can suck it up and tell the story they want. As long as Marlowe and company are committed to the story they want to tell and tell it, then everything will be fine.

Janna G
Janna G

I would vehemently argue... that Bones in fact has been massively derailed by the way that they handled their characters getting together. I found that it left audiences confused, frustrated and ultimately wondering why they were still watching. The character of Temperance Brennan has been stripped of the quirky character intelligence that made her so fun to watch. Brennan and Booth are now an "old married" couple and I am far more interested in the supporting characters than watching the two of them "be together" mostly because it is boring. It also was poorly done. Notably leaving out the consumation of their relationship.

Castle has been a FAR better show from the start and specificially beginning with the writing. Which has been OUTSTANDING. Some of the best pieces of television (IMO) ever created. Marlowe and Edda are nothing less than absolute genius when it comes to storytelling. They have always stayed true to the characters and that is what makes Castle so delightful to watch.

SamNasri
SamNasri

Frank explained I am impressed that a person able to profit $4749 in one month on the network. have you seen this(Click on menu Home)

Fleur!
Fleur!

I couldn't agree more. Whoever says Hart Hanson and Co. handled the Bones/Booth relationship well is either blind or a blatant liar. It was very poorly done. I used to be a fan of the show, a huge fan, and I felt so betrayed at the end of season 6 that I just couldn't watch anymore. Not even a kiss and it turns out that Brennan is pregnant. My first reaction was "Seriously, Hart Hanson? First that awful Hannah storyline and now this?". They skipped the best part! I'm tired of hearing the Emily-was-pregnant excuse. There's just no excuse for this crappy development of the story.

What they did on Bones wasn't SUCCESSFUL. Quite the contrary. They didn't show us what we obviously wanted to see. Fortunately Mr. Marlowe has far more respect for the fans. I'm extremely grateful for it.