Saturday, October 27, 2012

Trapped on Duty Night Two: Mockingbird Lane

Night two of duty was a bit more interesting.  Northeastern University has a tradition that they call the "Underwear Run."  At the "Underwear Run" 500+ students gather to run around the area to run around in their underwear (basic concept).  I always find it ironic that this event always takes place the same weekend as Parent's Weekend, but its a fun tradition to watch students get amped about.After watching hundreds of people running around in their underwear I went back to my apartment to catch up on a week's worth of missed television.  Yet NBC had aired something Friday night that caught my attention, Mockingbird Lane.

Remember the the television series The Munsters? When I was younger this was one of my favorite television shows, I loved Herman, and thought he was hilarious.  Fred Gwynne was the man behind the bolts.along with Yvonne de Carlo as his wife Lily, Eddie their son and resident wolf, Lily's father who was commonly referred to as Grandpa, and Marilyn the black sheep who was not any form of Monster, was Lily's niece and Grandpa's granddaughter. The show ran from 1964 through the end 1966.  In the show's initial run it had low ratings, but this show soon found popularity in syndication making it a classic along with an unforgettable theme song.

After the show was cancelled its popularity in syndication spawned five films, and updated television series entitle The Munsters Today, which ran from 1988-1991 (longer than the original series).  The new series started with the family waking up after grandpa had done something to put them all to sleep, they all woke up in the 80s and had to adapt to modern day life.  Beyond the hokey idea, the concept for this show was always fun, and now with the present reboot of the show there are a lot of places to go with this new series,

Mockingbird Lane was a special one night episode, NBC has not officially picked this show up, but they should!  The series comes from Bryan Fuller.  Fuller has an impressive track record with quirky/sci -fi shows, Star Trek: Voyager, Dead Like Me, Wonderfalls, Heroes, Pushing Daisies, and the soon to be aired Hannibal.  Fuller wrote the script for the episode pilot while his other partner in crime Bryan Singer (and executive producer) directed.  Singer has worked on films like The Usual Suspects, X-Men, and Superman Returns.  Together these two form a dynamic duo behind the scenes, and created one fun episode to watch last night.

The modern day reboot of the Munsters starts with scouts in the woods, as they are attacked one by one  by a "baby bear" you soon find out that there is a wolf howling at the moon who turn back into a young Eddie Munster.  Eddie does not know that he is a werewolf he thinks he is "normal" like his cousin Marilyn (who is seen as different by her family, especially grandpa).  The family moves to 1313 Mockingbird Lane after the incident where we get to see the new Munsters.

In this version Grandpa is a little bit darker player Eddie Izzard, there are constant jokes (for those in the know) about the way they call this person grandpa.  You get to see Grandpa as giant vampire bat eating a lion (very different).  Grandpa has made Herman in true Frankenstein form because no man is good for his vamp of a daughter Lily.

While I thought this idea sounded a little silly in the beginning, the episode was pretty fun.  Fuller and Singer have used an incredible television concept from the past and made it even better.  The original series was campy, and fun, and this modern retelling does not let go of the initial fun/camp of the original series.  Izzard is the standout performer, but this episode wasn't necessarily about standout performances, more about paying homage to the original.  The new reboot is fun, and hopefully NBC has the smarts to pick this up and make it a series.

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