Here's an Early Review of the Munsters that Airs Tonight!!!!!!!

Started by emazers, October 26, 2012, 05:47:58 PM

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Review: Mockingbird Lane
by Ryan Turek
October 26, 2012
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As a long time fan of The Munsters, I was skeptical about a reboot.  I mean, who wouldn't be? 

All I could do was conjur up memories of those truly awful made-for-TV movies that came along in the '80s and cobbled together remaining cast members trying to recapture the magic of the old series. 

On the flipside of that, however, as a fan, I always thought about how one could effectively pull off a contemporary representation of the Munster family.  There would have to be a balance of old and new sensibilities, after all, and that could get tricky.

Mockingbird Lane, NBC's reboot of The Munsters, I believe, effectively finds that balance, tapping into the goofy charm of the original series while bringing to the slab a healthy dose of modern genre elements and black humor.  For what it is, it works really well and it's a shame to see NBC merely pass the pilot episode off as a "Halloween special" with no future episodes waiting in the wings because what showrunner Bryan (Pushing Daisies) Fuller created in his labratory is promising, appropriately weird, funny and beautifully produced.

The central focus is Eddie Munster, a young boy who has lycanthropy issues but doesn't quite know that yet.  After an attack on a boy scout camp (in which Fuller and director Bryan Singer take a moment to lovingly tip a hat to Prophecy), the Munster family is forced to move to a new town and home - a gothic mansion notoriously known as the "hobo murder house."  While they get acclimated to the neighborhood, Herman, Lily, Grandpa and the "normal one" Marilyn grapple with how and when they should break the news to Eddie that he is a werewolf.

Mockingbird Lane features a Munster family where everyone looks quite, well, regular.  And I completely understand the decision to go in this direction.  The original Munsters series was born out of the "monster kid" era, playing to a generation - raised on the Universal classic monsters - which has not been forgotten but is certainly not considered the norm in the genre today.  We're living in the era of The Dark Knight, where everything is "grounded" and "real" and "dark" (pardon my Hollywood exec lingo) and Mockingbird Lane certainly caters to that, however, it never forget its roots so we still get a Munster family that has its fun eccentricities.  We also get a good deal of monstrous transformations, bloodshed and make-up FX.

Mason Cook and Eddie Izzard (as Eddie and Grandpa Munster, respectively) steal the show.  I'm not really sold on Charity Wakefield as Marilyn just yet and Portia de Rossi as Lily, I feel, needed a bit more to do.  And Herman, here, is a radical departure from what we are used to but, to be honest, his representation fits perfectly with the tone of the show.  That said, Jerry O'Connell is a bit dry, however, when it comes to any criticism with the cast, I feel anything I say is a bit unfair because a show, moreover the actors/characters, needs time to develop and breathe.

Sadly, it doesn't seem like anyone involved in Mockingbird Lane is going to get that chance so what we're left with is an entertaining celebration of the macabre.  This isn't The Munsters by way of True Blood or American Horror Story, think of this as more in line with The Addams Family films - something for all audiences that has its strange lil' heart in the right place.

Mockingbird Lane airs tonight (Friday, October 26th) on NBC, definitely give it a look.


I actually enjoyed this show tonight.  Color me impressed. 


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the ugly insect

Thought it was great. Pretty much what I've come to expect from a Bryan Fuller show. Writing was excellent with a nice dose of clever jokes and dark humor.  Love the little nods to the original series as well. Sad that NBC Universal just dumped it on a Friday night with such short notice as a one off special where it probably won't find an audience. 

Monster Bob


I recorded it to DVR, but I'm not sure how to get it off of there.  I'm sure NBC will have it on their website.
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John Tucky
X-O Facto
"If you go through life without any expectations, you'll never be disappointed."


While it wasn't total crap, there were some things I didn't care for. The giant-bat Grandpa was a bit overdone. Spot was really mishandled, I felt. Marilyn really served no purpose, what with the rest of the family looking "normal." But, it wasn't disrespectful of the original, either. I think I'd have watched this, had it gone to series. Maybe it still could?
"That's either a very ugly woman or a very pretty monster." - Lou Costello

the ugly insect

Ratings numbers are already out. Looks like it did pretty well considering how NBC just dumped it on Friday night and had 2 weeks to promote it.  I'd love more episodes just so we get enough to justify a blu ray/DVD release. Anyway here's the story.