Thursday, November 01, 2012

Mockingbird Lane

Previously I expressed skepticism about the reboot of the Munsters. After viewing the pilot, NBC apparently decided to pass on the series but showed the pilot as a Halloween special.

Mockingbird Lane, as the series was renamed, turns the original premise on its head. In the original show the characters looked like classic Universal monsters but acted like regular people and seemed unaware that they were unusual. They thought of themselves as being a normal working-class family and many of the plots could have been rewritten for normal shows.

In the new show, the Munsters know that they are unusual. One of the plots involves Herman getting up the nerve to tell Eddy that he is a werewolf.

Herman looks fairly normal except for all of the scars. Unlike the original, he is smart. He goes through hearts so often that his chest has a zipper. Another of the plots involves getting a new heart for Herman.

Lilly is a sex symbol (rather ironically since the actress who plays her is gay). She still worries that when Eddy was born she wanted to eat him instead of nursing him.

In the original series, Grandpa looked like a vampire but acted like a mad scientist. In the new series he is a vampire who has been obtaining in order to set a good example for Eddy. He has decided to start drinking again and decided that Eddy's scoutmaster would be a good place to start as well as a potential heart donor for Herman. He also bakes cookies infused with his blood so that he can enslave the neighbors.

Eddy wants to be normal and is very upset when Herman finally tells him that he is a werewolf.

At one point Grandpa and Marylin are explaining the cycle of life to Eddy. They are in a hunting blind, watching a deer and explaining about the deer dying and fertilizing the ground for the next generation of deer. Then a cougar kills the deer.

"Does anything kill cougars?" Eddy asks.

A giant, winged creature swoops down on the cougar and Marylin answers, "Sometimes Grandpa does."

The show is expensive and stylish but it is also violent with a dark side that was never in the original. Given the production values, I doubt that NBC could have made money on it. They probably spent more on the special effects for the pilot than on the entire original series.

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