Last month we received a sneak peak at the sweet and “lovely” Marilyn Munster (played by English actress Charity Wakefield); now, after much anticipation, NBC is finally introducing us to the rest of The Munsters of 1313 Mockingbird Lane.
Since it was first announced that NBC would be remaking CBS’ iconic black and white sitcom, The Munsters, one of the biggest questions was what would the quirky family – based on classic Universal Studios movie monsters – end up looking like in this updated version. Showrunner Bryan Fuller (Pushing Daisies) indicated that although the new series will be “darker and edgier” the overdone makeup and costumes of the characters will be heavily toned down to be more human.
For those unfamiliar with the classic 1960s Munster series, that’s okay: Mockingbird Lane may follow a similar story, but is not a years-later continuation like the recently-revived Dallas. Mockingbird Lane follows the lives (and afterlives) of the seemingly ordinary all-American Munster family, who reside in the big house on 1313 Mockingbird Lane, and all appears normal expect for the fact that the family are actually “monsters.” Herman (Jerry O’Connell ) the family patriarch (who is also Frankenstein) runs the household with his vampire wife, Lily (Portia de Rossi).
The couple’s only child is the precocious young Eddie(Mason Cook) a gentle boy scout and budding werewolf. Horrified to learn about his true nature, Eddie refuses to eat meat, which puts him into conflict with his vampire Grandpa (Eddie Izzard) at dinner time. Living with the cadaverous family is thier sweet and normal cousin Marilyn (Wakefield), who – while accepted by her extended family – is viewed as “plain” and “ugly” – a fact the rest of the family doesn’thide.
Check out the new stylized photos from NBC’s upcoming Mockingbird Lane (click to enlarge):
Bryan Fuller – creator of adored but short-lived dark TV comedies like Pushing Daisies, Dead Like Me and Wonderfalls – says he’ll be taking the new series in a much different way from the lighter sitcom style of the previous Munsters show. When asked just how dark Fuller would be taking Mockingbird Lane, the writer had this to say:
“The Munsters actually do what monsters do. They eat people and they have to live with the ramifications of being monstrous. It’s like grounding it in a reality because the half-hour was a sitcom, we saw the monsters: they were monsters on the outside and weren’t monsters on the inside. For us, they’re monsters outside and inside, and we get to double our story.”
“Everything is a metaphor for something that you can identify with in a relationship. The fact that Herman is in a constant state of decay and he’s married to someone who doesn’t age. We get to play with all those insecurities. The fact that he was made by his father-in-law and then has to live up to those standards; he’s always trying to find his own identity.”
Some might say taking the Munsters to a level where they are actually consuming human flesh is far too ghoulish for the much-loved freakish family, but for those who are acquainted with Fuller’s previous cult-hits know how easy it is for him to fuse the most macabre situations with effortless humor and charming characters that are easy to fall for.
Catch The Munsters redux Mockingbird Lane on NBC when it debuts next year.