Bryan Fuller returns to TV with a much anticipated reboot of “The Munsters” called “MockingBird Lane.”
Truth be told, I’ve never seen the original, but the reworking from Fuller has me Netflixing the 60’s sitcom.
NBC aired the pilot as a special on Friday night. Bryan Singer directed, lending his expertise to Fuller’s brand of cute, creepy, fun.
The pilot opens with a “baby bear” attack on Eddie Munster’s (Mason Cook) camping troop. The family quickly moves into the home of a hobo serial killer in a different town, where we are introduced to Marilyn (Charity Wakefield) and Herman (Jerry O’Connell). The episode continues it’s dark, zan,y fun adventure as Grandpa (Eddie Izzard) and Lily (Portia de Rossi) make their spectacular special effects appearances.
No review of” MockingBird Lane” would be complete without mention of the special effects in the special. They were spectacular. The moments of movie magic took the show right off the small screen and into the realm of fantasy. I especially enjoyed Herman’s heart surgeries. As he lies conscious during the operation, Herman does not seem surprised to find his heart, broken, unzipped and exposed. Meanwhile, Grandpa conducts the surgeries heartlessly, without care for any pain or death he may be causing.
Izzard as Grandpa is brilliant. He stole the show for me. There is an entire bit about how Gramps may start drinking that gets funnier as the show goes on. It’s no surprise Izzard is the comedic genius of the cast to anyone who has seen his stand up. Each line and scene is delivered with the impeccable timing of an actor who perfectly understands humor.
However, the breakout star for me was Cook. He is adorable as the most innocent and youngest Munster. If the show is allowed to continue, watching Eddie grow in this loving, albeit terrifying, home would be a delight.
Once again, de Rossi brings her beauty and cold charm to the screen. Her most memorable scene is when she comforts Eddie, reassuring her son that he is loved. She is breathtaking as both a loving mother and cold-hearted monster. I love de Rossi in any role, and this one certainly takes advantage of her cool grace.
O’Connell as Herman is fantastic. He is quite literally the heart of the show. It’s nice to see a character so in love with his wife, son and life. The writing does a nice job of not quite straying into overly sweet sentimentality while keeping him grounded in the reality of “MockingBird Lane.”
Wakefield, at times, came across as stilted, particularly when sharing scenes with Izzard. However I’m dying to see how Marilyn’s relationships could evolve with her family. Her condition, humanity, keeps her from the love of her aunt, uncle, cousin and grandpa. Her choice to live with the Munsters, who admit to not quite loving her as much as they perhaps should, is intriguing and certainly provides plenty of material for upcoming episodes.
If NBC has any sense of decency and love for the cult audience, they will keep this gem of dark humor.
NBC has the pilot episode of MockingBird Lane streaming online for free. What did you think of the show? Leave your comments below!