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NBC’s ‘Mockingbird Lane’ is Morbidly Delightful New Vision of ‘The Munsters’ – Review

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October 29, 2012

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NBC’s ‘Mockingbird Lane’ is Morbidly Delightful New Vision of ‘The Munsters’ – Review

NBC’s “failed” pilot, Mockingbird Lane, premiered this past Friday with a mixed reviews coming from all of the internet. The strongest complaint against the series seems to be who it’s target audience is, with most targeted viewers not likely to know the original Munsters series this reboot is based on. Not being a huge Munsters fan myself, I can honestly say that it didn’t prevent Mockingbird Lane from being horrifyingly enjoyable.

Written by Bryan Fuller (Pushing Daises) and directed by Bryan Singer, Mockingbird Lane exhibits Fuller’s taste for strong dialogue and dark comedy. Though the comedy is a bit dry, Fuller does find the same gleefully ghoulish tone he used on Pushing Daises which manages to create the appropriate level of weirdness these characters deserve. Speaking of which, the characters have each gone through some pretty radical changes. Herman’s flat-top forehead, along with Eddie’s pointed ears and widow’s peak, have replaced by Jerry O’Connell’s subtle stitching and Mason Cook’s… bowl cut.

Perhaps the biggest distinction between the new cast, however, is Eddie Izzard’s performance as Grandpa. Long gone is Al Lewis’ comical doting and hair-brained scheming in exchange for Izzard’s snide, unholier-than-thou sarcasm and well-calculated manipulations. Some might say the pilot revolves around Grandpa as he pulls all the strings, both within the Munster family but their new community as well. All of the major (and bloodiest) scenes feature Izzard’s Grandpa front and center.

Marilyn (Charity Wakefield) and Lily (Portia de Rossi) play more minor, but necessary roles in the pilot that differ less from their 60′s era counterparts. Overall, these are unquestionably “human” monsters rather than the classic archetypes found in the original series. It’s a unique, if not an altogether modern, take on the characters and one that I think would be worth seeing more of. The ending, while appropriately morbid, was a bit unexpected and precedes a more heartfelt closing scene that references Eddie’s “pet” which again begs the question who this series is aimed at. Whoever their intended audience is… count me in!

Watch MOCKINGBIRD LANE on HULU now!

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About Author

Rondal

Rondal is the Editor-in-Chief of Strange Kids Club and a creative instigator who tackles each day with Red Bull-induced enthusiasm and a mind for adventure. Rondal has written for other sites including Rue Morgue, Fuel Your Illustration and Bloodsprayer. His obsession with horror movies, 80s animation and action figures is considered unhealthy by medical professionals.

  • http://toyriffic.blogspot.com/ BubbaShelby

    I watched last night and LOVED it!

    I grew up on Munster re-runs and was very surprised that so many aspects of the original series were retained – Eddie’s pet dragon ‘Spot’ most of all.

    All of the characters behaved just how I expected them too, with a modern twist. Of course Grandpa kills and drinks blood – he’s a vampire! And our patchwork-man Herman breaking down on occasion – genius! A vegetarian werewolf – show me more!

    The show was spectacular and I would love to see it become a weekly series, which is precisely why NBC won’t greenlight it. Here’s hoping someone else does.

  • http://www.rqarcade.com The Rube

    My only problem with it was the music. It was more or less a rehash of the original 60′s theme that played nonstop throughout the pilot. I’m thinking it was either to create levity for certain scenes, branding purposes or because overspending that NBC needed to get their $$$ worth out of the score. The only true thing about the series that was missing (which my inner circle has been complaining about in great lenght…) is that Herman didn’t say his signature DARN! DARN! DARN!

    Other than that one silly complaint, I thought that thye did a really good job. I really liked the jokes about Granda’s drinking problem and the comment about his exwives. Also I really like it that it had noisey neighbors, which was very commomn with 60′s shows like Bewitched, Addams Family, and I Dream of Jenie… something that always cracked me up.

    I enjoyed it and hope that NBC will reconsider to make this intoa weekly show.

  • http://unpurecomic.tumblr.com bPOWER!

    I wholeheartedly hope and pray this gets picked up and becomes a hit. Jerry O’Connell and crew were awesome. I know it’s a long shot, but I can wish

  • Joanna

    I’m in saying I wish NBC would pick this up. (Especially since they’ve been making some spectacularly bad decisions since the Olympics…) Also, Grandpa in bat form reminds me of a fleshy hellbeast from “Van Helsing”. :)