I grew up watching the original “The Munsters” as reruns on Nick @ Nite. I was always fascinated trying to figure out how a vampire married a monster and gave birth to a werewolf. Tonight The Munsters are being risen from the dead in a special called “Mockingbird Lane“.
You are first introduced to a Boy Scout troop camping in the woods. Boys being boys. The fat boy is being bullied because food went missing and he responds with very wimpy violence. Suddenly noises in the bushes and then screams and finally as the survivors silhouettes are running across the moon, you see a werewolf following them and then stopping to howl.
The next scene is the entire troop in the scout leader’s car as one of the boys says “Where’s Eddie Munster?” and you see a young, scrawny, naked 10 year old boy walk out of the woods looking very confused. You assume that this is Eddie.
The introductions begin when Marilyn (played by Charity Wakefield), the un-Munster, buys a creepy house, that once belonged to a serial killer & is set for demolition. Even though the real estate agent tries to talk her into just buying the lot ater the land has been cleansed, she insists on buying it As Is, despite the multiple bodies buried in the backyard.
Seeing Jerry O’Connell as Herman Munster was a bit of a shock. When you think of the character, Herman Munster, you don’t tend to think “dashingly good-looking”. But it didn’t take long for me to like this portrayal of Herman. While O’Connell is definitely a better-looking Munster, it is his caring personality that comes across when he tries to be fatherly to a frail-looking Eddie when trying to answer questions about why they have to keep moving and his “body changing”.
Portia De Rossi as a dark-haired Lily Munster was, not only stunningly gorgeous in her morbid spider designed dress, but was enchanting as a worried mother and sexually-fulfilling wife. When she made her first appearance all I could think was “DAAAMN! Ellen is lucky!” de Rossi’s costumes, alone, make her look like the dark beauty the character is supposed to be. She is certainly a different type of Munster. de Rossi showed amazing acting chops when she tried to explain to her son about “The Circle of Life and why it is okay for Grandpa to eat a lion.
But the person that stole the show, was the most dramatic of the entire cast, world famous comedian/actor Eddie Izzard as the eccentric, Grandpa. Whether it is making blood slaves out of the neighbors using cookies, or sizing up Eddie’s Boy Scout leader‘s innards for replacement parts, Izzard was calmly in charge as the newest vamp on the block. Watching Izzard slowly dance by himself as he sips blood straight from the busted open chest of a recent victim.
If there is no other reason to watch the show, you should auto-tune your tv for Mockingbird Lane just for Izzard in a role that he was born to play.
I enjoyed the special and I really hope that they give it a try as a regular series. It was great to see a family unit, no matter how odd, working through family issues, with the same failures and successes as the rest of us. I like the new reboot and I think you should too.