October 27th, 2012
10:45 AM ET
[Editor's Note: Stop reading this post now if you don't want to know what happened on the premiere of "Mockingbird Lane."]
Friday night may very well have been the final word on NBC's "Mockingbird Lane," which boasts one of the most expensive pilots this season.
This reboot of the classic sitcom "The Munsters" reportedly cost $10 million, and you could see every penny on screen. (And yes, the theme song survived.)
The show, written by Bryan Fuller – best known for short-lived gems like "Pushing Daisies" and "Wonderfalls – and directed by "X-Men's" Bryan Singer, mostly centered on Eddie Munster's coming-of-age.
Whereas most boys his age learn about the facts of life, Eddie had to learn that he's really a werewolf. (No, son, it wasn't a "baby bear" that terrorized your fellow boy scouts.)
The one "plain" member of the Munsters, niece Marilyn, was of course charged with finding the family a new home on 1313 Mockingbird Lane.
Jerry O'Connell's Herman Munster is the biggest departure from the original series, a dad who wants to do right by his family, if only his defective heart didn't keep getting in the way. (He is after all, the product of several dead bodies sewn together.)
Portia de Rossi's Lily Munster required the least amount of updating. Despite a couple of memorable entrances (her clothes are woven together by spiders at one point), there wasn't much for her to do. She mostly just worried about Eddie learning the truth.
Eddie Izzard stole every scene as Grandpa Munster (call him "D"), who is truly unapologetic for the family's lifestyle of eating anything or anyone, if it serves a purpose – and in some cases, hypnotizing the neighbors to help keep up the house.
Grandpa and Marilyn butting heads was interesting to watch. Despite her "plain" status, she's mostly quite supportive of the family's endeavors, but Grandpa isn't too fond of her.
Grandpa's scheme to invite Eddie's scoutmaster over in order to eat him didn't quite go as planned, since Lily objected, but Grandpa transformed into his natural, demonic-looking self and scared the poor guy. (He fell down into the basement and died.)
So, Eddie learned the truth from Herman. Herman got a new heart, and the scoutmaster's blood made Grandpa look 30 years younger. Plus, Eddie got a new pet dragon, Spot.
Dark humor? You bet. Though "Pushing Daisies" dealt with death, this show takes it a good deal further. And I have to guess that's what made NBC uncomfortable.
It's unlikely that we'll see more of "Mockingbird Lane," but stranger things have happened (season two of "Breaking In," anyone?). What I saw was a show that absolutely deserved a second chance. It wasn't the best pilot of the season, but it was far from the worst. If we get to see a second episode, I'll definitely check it out.
What did you think? Would you like to see more "Mockingbird Lane?" Share your thoughts on video, or comment below.
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