When I first learned that there would be a reboot of the classic series The Munsters, my initial reaction was obviously “WHY?” But then something interesting happened: Bryan Fuller jumped aboard the project, followed by Eddie Izzard (who I love). Why would they attach themselves to something that would suck?
Well, they didn’t. After watching the pilot episode of Mockingbird Lane, I discovered something wonderful: the show is bloody (pun intended) brilliant. And I loved it.
In fact, I thought it was so well done that I hope that it gets an actual shot on t.v. As it stands now, the airing of the pilot episode is a test for NBC. If people like Mockingbird Lane and watch it (and talk about it, like I’m doing here), there’s a chance we’ll get more. And we want more. In fact, we need more. To say that Mockingbird Lane is unlike anything else on television is an understatement.
Yes, I realize that’s a bold statement. The horror genre is running rampant on television now. It seems there are vampires, werewolves, ghosts, zombies and witches on every single channel now. And shows like American Horror Story are winning Emmy’s! The horror genre is hotter than ever and so, we’re seeing an awful lot of it now. But a lot of it is just a re-hash of everything else that’s currently airing.
But not Mockingbird Lane – this show is definitely part of the horror genre, but what sets it apart is a very macabre sense of humor. I laughed throughout the pilot episode, while at the same time cringing at the fact that I was laughing at some pretty gruesome jokes. That’s the beauty of this show – it mixes horror with humor and it does it wonderfully.
Of course, this is all due to Bryan Fuller’s touch. If you have ever watched the wonderful Pushing Daisies (another series I feel that was not given a fair chance), you’ll notice a lot of similar elements: the sound, the music, the use of color and even the costumes echo all of the wonderful weirdness that Pushing Daisies gave us. If you’re a Pushing Daisies fan, you’ll love Mockingbird Lane.
Yes, Mockingbird Lane is a reboot, but only in a very broad sense of the word. The only real likeness to the original The Munsters is on the surface – everything else feels brand new and different. And that’s a testament to great writing, direction and acting.
The cast, too, are about perfect. Charity Wakefield is stunning as Marilyn, the bright-eyed and much-shunned Marilyn Monroe look-a-like. And Wakefield’s chemistry with Eddie Izzard (Grampa) is fantastic.
And on to Izzard himself. As Grampa, he is easily the scene stealer of the show. As Grampa, he handles sinister and cheeky with one deft touch of his vampiric fingertips and does it with a smile on his face and an evil glare in his gaze. His scenes are by far my favorite in the pilot episode.
I was, though, surprised by Jerry O’Connell and Portia deRossi as Herman and Lily. Of all the actors attached to this project, I originally thought they were miscast, but the show has such a unique direction that they both give us a brand new take on two iconic television characters.
Finally, Mason Cook as the confused Eddie Munster is nothing like Butch Patrick, but still has a sense of naivete and innocence that Patrick possessed in the original series.
While we’re on the subject, be on the look-out for a cameo from Patrick, as well. It’s a nice shout-out to the original series.
To sum up, I believe that Mockingbird Lane would be a great addition to horror television because it’s not like anything else out there. And that is a very good thing. Let’s hope NBC figures this one out.