Hot on the heels of their Miami Vice reboot announcement, NBC is bringing back The Munsters with Seth Meyers producing and Odd Mom Out creator Jill Kargman writing the pilot. But can a revival of a classic 1960’s horror sitcom ever work?
I tune into Late Night with Seth Meyers most weekday mornings for its A Closer Look segment. Seth is one of my major windows on the world when it comes to Trump and the political satirist is certainly a talented presenter and writer (along with presumably a large writing team.)
Yet, even with a resume including Head Writer of Saturday Night Live and a modern-day relocate to Brooklyn, I believe a Munsters reboot will always be doomed for failure.
In addition to The Munsters Today (which despite the fact I thought I dreamt it ran for three seasons between 1988-’91) five years ago, the network screened the Bryan Fuller-produced, Bryan Singer-directed Mockingbird Lane.
The Hallowe’en special starred Jerry O’Connell as Herman, Portia de Rossi as Lily and Eddie Izzard as Grandpa but was never ordered to series. Here’s why:
Mid-60’s California was a counter-culture where kids rebelled and experimented with sex and drugs. For the first time the world was ready for alternative families like The Munsters and The Addams Family after both orginated as newspaper funnies.
They were next stage of sitcom – a parody of the saccarine sweetness of “Hi Honey, I’m home!” sitcoms of the late 50’s and early 60’s (although Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie contained supernatural elements, they were still largely stories about happy, nuclear families with a gimmick.)
Also, as well as the success of these two horror sitcoms, being a moment in time, I imagine there success also hinged on the chemistry between the writers and actors.
Updating The Munsters to hipster Brooklyn won’t be enough on it’s own and Kargman is going to have to come up with something highly fresh and almost unrecognizable if this reboot is to have teeth. I’l believe it when I see it.
Expect The Munsters‘ unaired pilot to hit torrent streams in 2018.