The Munsters: Season 2
June 14, 2006
Note to reader: this piece is a not a complete review, as for some reason the PR company saw it fit to send disc 1 only, of the 6 disc, Season 2 box set, which makes it hard to give a full interpretation of the release. Please be aware that this sort of action also taints the final verdict.
In 1964, something strange happened when both CBS and ABC started broadcasting similar looking shows, that both thought they were hitting on something new and original. The “creepy” sitcom. ABC’s choice, The Addams Family and CBS’ The Munsters. Even stranger than that both shows lasted only two seasons and both ended within a week of each other.
The Munsters has a classic 2.4 family sitcom set up with a horror movie twist. Each member of the family is based upon a classic B-movie monster. The father Herman Munster is Frankenstein’s Monster, who works in funeral parlor and bumbles around the set like a 7-foot Frank Spencer. The mother, Lilly Munster is a dominant homemaker and looks like a vampire bride. The kids are made up of a Werewolf in young tyke Eddie Munster and the niece is a parody on the feeble Marilyn Monroe female dumb blonde type, named Marilyn, of course. Wrapping things up is the mad scientist, Dracula himself in Grandpa Munster.
The situations that the Munsters face are that of everyday normal family trails and predicaments, but what is “normal” to the rest of the world is weird to them and vice versa. They live in a spooky mansion and like the creepy squeaks in the door hinges, the dragon that lives under the stairs and use the vacuum to spread dust around the place.
Lasting 70 episodes in total the final 31 are on this box set. Disc One holds the first six episodes of Season 2, and run at approximately 25 minutes each, from bland static menu screens. Within these episodes viewers can see Herman getting lost at sea and being mistaken for a Russian Spy, Eddie running away from home to live in a cave and Herman compete in a Wild West Rodeo. Each episode starts off harmless enough but get odder and odder until the absurd conclusions, which includes Grandpa turning himself into a horse and bank robbers becoming pigeons. Although a really nice episode is here, in which Herman and Lilly both take extras jobs to buy each other a 1000th wedding anniversary present and end up working side by side with out knowing it.
The comedy is obvious and silly and in today’s market probably won’t produce many laughs. The Munsters fails to tap into its target audience effectively because it never commits to either eerie or bizarre and often mistakes weird for funny making the show difficult to digest.