R.I.P. Progress Report #8

The purpose of R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril VII is to enjoy books and movies/television that could be classified (by you) as: Mystery. Suspense. Thriller. Dark Fantasy. Gothic. Horror. Supernatural. Or anything sufficiently moody that shares a kinship with the above.

I have to say, R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril VII has been great. I don’t comment much, but I’ve visited and added many new blogs. It’s been a joy to celebrate the dark genres with you all!

Mockingbird Lane (2012) – Reruns of The Addams Family and The Munsters were pretty influential to me. My love of the spooky/kooky comes from them. Barry Sonnenfeld’s The Addams Family (1991) and Addams Family Values (1993) were spot-on reboots, capturing the macabre nature of the Addamses. The 1998 The Munsters Today didn’t work as well. The Munsters, despite their quirks, were a 60s family on a 60s sit-com. The Munsters Today needed to update both, but didn’t. I was dubious when another reboot was announced. With Jerry O’Connell as Herman? And…Eddie Izzard as Grandpa? I was heartened by the involvement of Bryan Fuller (Pushing Daisies, Dead Like Me) and Bryan Singer (X-Men, Apt Pupil), but then sort of forgot about the series. Until it showed up on Hulu’s front page.

Mockingbird Lane is not The Munsters. There’s no way you could do the goofy, innocent comedy that was the fish-out-of-water family living at 1313 Mockingbird Lane in the 2010s. Instead, this is a lush, macabre, funny family drama. Herman and Grandpa don’t get along and disagree on how to raise Eddie, whom Herman fears is more Munster than Herman is. Lily is, of course, caught in the middle between her father and her husband. Eddie is going through some changes, many exacerbated by moving to a new neighborhood and a new school, and  poor Marilyn is the black sheep of the family. Despite their differences, they’re all reliant on one another. Especially when Marilyn needs to do the “day” work and Herman needs the occasional new body part that Grandpa can, uh, obtain and install.

There are nods to the original show, especially in the decoration of the house and Marilyn’s very blonde, very fifties outfits, but the series isn’t afraid to move past the original. It’s certainly more graphic with Herman’s awake and very open-hearted surgeries and a scene where the just-out-of-coffin Lily is dressed by a host of spiders (winning the EWW! award from me). The acting is good. Eddie Izzard makes it feel like this version of Grandpa was written just for him. Jerry O’Connell is utterly sincere and a tad sappy as Herman, but he is the heart of the show. If he didn’t care, we wouldn’t either.

This show hasn’t been greenlit by NBC. The pilot reportedly cost $10 million and NBC is understandably unsure about it. If I had never been a fan of the original, how would I feel about a horror/comedy/drama about two vampires, a Frankenstein’s monster, a pubescent werewolf, and a girl living in suburbia? The pilot is open-ended and characters like Lily and Marilyn don’t get much of a story. Honestly, I’m not even sure where the story might go. But it would be an awfully fun ride.

If you’re in the US, you can watch Mockingbird Lane on Hulu.

Since it’s October, this post is also a part of Blogger Dressed in Blood!

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2 thoughts on “R.I.P. Progress Report #8

  1. I totally have to check this out. I hadn’t even heard about it, but it sounds awesome!! I can’t find an e-mail for you, but you won Bloggers Dressed In Blood! Email me at realsteph at thefakesteph.com and we’ll work out the details. I’m flying to LA on Sunday (kind of last minute) and fingers crossed I hear back from you in time to send out your books before I leave.

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