Another Munsters Remake

There have been a number of attempts over the years to bring back The Munsters, the short-lived but still beloved 1960s sitcom about a family of kooky monsters.  The Wayans Brothers tried to resurrect the show as a major motion picture recently, but it amounted to nothing. Now NBC is pursuing a possible television revival in the hands of Bryan Fuller, the mind behind the creative Pushing Daisies, and fan-favorite Guillermo Del Toro, whose vision displayed on Hellboy and other films might be a perfect match to bring this franchise back to life.

The original series was typical of the outrageous, trippy, high-concept television comedies of the 1960s.  I think being in black-and-white gave the show a nice, moody similarity to the Universal horror classics of the 1930s and 1940s, but some argue that one of the reasons The Munsters' ratings dropped was due to competition from popular color TV shows of the time.  But the color remakes that followed lacked the unique feel of the original.  The 1966 movie Munster, Go Home was a box-office dud, and the 1981 made-for-TV movie The Munsters' Revenge was equally uninspired.

The cast of the 1960s "classic" (Fred Gwynne, Yvonne De Carlo, Al Lewis, Butch Patrick, Pat Priest, and Beverley Owen in season one) also were perfect for the roles, and some of the subsequent casts in the sequels and remakes just did not do justice to the characters. There have been attempts to revive the show in various ways, but none have been truly embraced by mainstream audiences. Those shows include the 1973 cartoon The Mini-Munsters; the 1995 TV movie Here Come the Munsters starring Edward Hermann, Veronica Hamel, Robert Morse, Matthew Botuchis, and Christine Taylor; and the 1996 holiday TV movie The Munsters' Scary Little Christmas starring Sam McMurray, Ann Magnuson, Sandy Baron, Bug Hall, and Elaine Hendrix.

The most successful (if we can call it that) revival of the show was The Munsters Today starring John Schuck, Lee Meriwether, Howard Morton, Jason Marsden, and Hilary Van Dyke, but comparisons to the original show are not kind.

The new reboot is being billed as a "cross between Modern Family and True Blood."  Whether that equals quality is something that remains to be seen.  Maybe if they cast it right (with actor Brad Garrett in the lead for example) it might work. 

Television networks will continue to mine old shows in the hope of striking gold once again, so the remakes will keep on coming.  Hopefully the talent involved will be able to replicate the qualities in the original that connected with audiences instead of churning out tired retreads that are poor facsimiles of what we have seen before.


John said…
My very first thought after seeing the title of the post was Brad Garrett as shall we begin a debate over who else would be perfect for the cast?
Nick said…
Brad would be excellent as Herman Munster. How about Rose McGowan as Lilly? Jack Nicholson as Grandpa? Reese Witherspoon as Marilyn? That kid from Modern Family as Eddie?