NBC has officially passed Mockingbird Lane, a remake of the classic TV series The Munsters, but decided to recoup some of its money by airing the pilot, which reportedly cost $10 million. The pilot managed to finish 2nd in its time slot, despite the lack of promotion.
The neighborhood goes to hell when it gets a family of Munsters: Grandpa (Eddie Izzard) is Dracula himself, Lily (Portia de Rossi) is Dracula’s daughter, Herman (Jerry O’Connell) is a Frankenstein monster, Eddie (Mason Cook) is a werewolf, and Marilyn (Charity Wakefield) is the black sheep, which in this case means being normal.
There are lots of nods to the original series such as the title, which is a reference to the street where the Munsters lived, Herman’s Frankenstein neck bolts are briefly shown in silhouette and there’s even an appearance by Spot, the infamously reclusive dragon that lives beneath the stairs.
This modern re-imagining is much darker than the original, particularly the special effects that feature a hefty amount of blood and guts. Despite the gore, there’s a strong family vibe to the show.
Herman is determined to keep his heart, which is his last original part. Grandpa is just as determined to replace it. He gives a very unscientific explanation that Herman’s heart his literally breaking from love.
Most of the story focuses on Eddie, who just wants to be normal but is actually a werewolf unbeknownst to him. His parents are reluctant to tell him the truth and instead simply pick up and move after a “baby bear attack.” However, Grandpa wants Eddie to embrace his in Munster.
The goofball slapstick and cheesy puns have been replaced with decidedly darker humor like when a real estate agent tries to talk the family out buying the house of a serial killer. “There may be dead homeless people in the walls,” he warns them. Marilyn simply says, “Then they found a home after all.” In another scene, Herman lectures Grandpa for eating a mountain lion while naked. Grandpa replies, “The lion was naked. It seemed polite.”
Watch the pilot below and don’t forget to tweet #MockingbirdLane to bring this show back from the dead!