Mockingbird Lane: The Munsters Move In
by Haylee Fisher (@haylee_fisher)
Let it be known that I am a huge fan of the original Munsters of the 1960s. I used to sit in front of my TV during Nick at Nite’s Block Party Summers of 1995 and 1996 and recap their shows for my own satisfaction. Granted, I was only 7 and 8 years old at the time so there wasn’t much substance to them, but I was obsessed all the same. (And let’s hope my recapping skills have improved since then.) I also used to watch Munster movies like Munster, Go Home and The Munsters’ Revenge over and over and over again until I had them memorized. So it’s safe to say that when a reboot was announced with Bryan Fuller, creator of one of my favorite shows of all time, Pushing Daisies, at the helm, I was a little excited. Well, more than a little excited.
His retooled version finds Eddie Munster (Mason Cook) entering puberty and with that comes changes he could never imagine. Namely the fact that he’s becoming his true werewolf self. After the family’s multiple moves because a “baby bear” kept attacking Eddie’s Cub Scout troops on campouts, they settle at 1313 Mockingbird Lane, the previous home to many grisly hobo murders. But these are the Munsters; would you expect them to live anywhere different?
Dad Herman (Jerry O’Connell) has a heart condition – namely the fact that he’s made up of old spare parts and his heart needs an upgrade. He’s just scared that any new heart he may receive won’t be able to love Eddie and his wife Lily (Portia de Rossi) as much as his current one. The two of them are also having a hard time telling Eddie who he really is, but I feel like even though Eddie states he wants to be a vegetarian, he would be accepting of his changes, especially because he knows his father is made up of parts from other humans and his mother apparently eats people.
Also known to eat people is Grandpa, played brilliantly by Eddie Izzard. When he was cast, I knew this project would be successful because I can’t imagine anyone else playing this kooky, humorous, and dare I say macabre character. His Grandpa has a closer relationship to cousin Marilyn (Charity Wakefield) than the original Grandpa, which lends itself to amusing character development.
When Eddie’s new Scout leader Steven (Cheyenne Jackson) shows up for dinner, I knew things wouldn’t end well, especially because of Herman’s search for a new heart and Grandpa’s noticeable de-aging every time he drinks blood. And I was right, and because this is a new Munsters, gory scenes such as Grandpa drinking Steven’s blood through a filter while he lies there dead with his chest open are a common sight.
While Mockingbird Lane was bloodier than the original Munsters, it was also funnier. There were many scenes that made me laugh out loud and would love to see more if it did get picked up to series. While its ratings weren’t astronomical, it did help NBC win the night, which gives me hope for a future.
One of my favorite things about the whole show was how visually stunning it was, but I wouldn’t expect anything less from someone who created the magical world of Pushing Daisies. But while Daisies concentrated on vibrancy and cheeriness, Mockingbird Lane is on the opposite end of the spectrum with darkness and shadows lurking around every corner.
The show seemed to play out like a movie and the hour went by very quickly – almost too quickly – and definitely left me wanting more. Did you feel the same? Would you tune in to this new Munster family every week? I, for one, loved it and would love to go on this adventure with the Munsters of today!
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars