tek's rating: ¾

Mockingbird Lane, on NBC
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So, this was basically intended to be a remake (or I'd say reimagining) of the old show The Munsters. However, NBC decided not to make the series, and instead aired the pilot as a Halloween special (five days before Halloween, 2012). It was created by Bryan Fuller, who's made other shows I've liked. And it has a good cast, including Jerry O'Connell as Herman Munster; Portia de Rossi as his wife, Lily; Eddie Izzard as Lily's father, "Grandpa"; and um... I guess that's all I know from other stuff, actually.

It begins with a group of kids in a Boy Scouts-like organization, on a camping trip. They're attacked by something which is supposedly a baby bear, but it's obviously something quite different. Later, we see a young woman named Marilyn Munster, who acts on behalf of her family to purchase a creepy old house (at 1313 Mockingbird Lane). Her family include Lily and Herman (her aunt and uncle), and their son, Eddie, and of course Grandpa. Grandpa and Lily are apparently vampires, and we soon learn that Eddie is a werewolf (a fact Lily and Herman want to keep from the boy, though Grandpa is very eager for him to learn the truth). Eddie was in fact the creature that unwittingly attacked his scout troop, which is why the family has now moved to a new town.

I have to say that everyone looks much more normal than they did in the old show. Herman in particular; on "The Munsters," he looked like Frankenstein's monster, but here... well, he does have scars and zippers and such, so perhaps he's still the least normal-looking, but I'd still say the difference between series is most noticeable with him. Anyway, I'm not really clear on what his story is; I think he's a werewolf, but also it's clear that Grandpa has given him any number of different body parts over the years. And now he wants to give Herman a new heart, though Herman would rather keep his original one. Meanwhile, Eddie wants to be normal, but he learns by the end of the pilot that he's not. The only really normal one in the family is Marilyn (though Grandpa considers this a flaw). But she does seem kind of Stepford-y. I should also mention that Herman and Grandpa are both a lot less goofy than in the original series, and Herman's not at all dumb or childish, as he originally was. Basically the family just seems to be trying to be normal, while still insisting that there's nothing unnatural or wrong about being true to their natures. Except Grandpa... he's the only one who seems to genuinely prefer evil, and is irritated by his relatives' attempt to be normal.

Anyway... I dunno what else to say. There were really good special effects, and it was sort of amusing. Kind of hard to believe it's supposed to be a drama, though it was definitely a lot less sitcom-y than the original series. Um... I guess the show had potential, and if it had continued past the pilot, I might have ended up rating it higher. But just the one episode isn't really sufficient to give me a feel of how much I'd like the series. I definitely think it doesn't work very well as a one-shot special, but as a pilot, it's okay.


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