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Every neighborhood has that one family that’s just a bit… off. Maybe they like to do family tai chi every morning on the front lawn or race their lifted trucks up and down the street in the middle of the night. Or maybe they’re just a weird hodgepodge of affable monsters from the Universal pantheon who have a bit of trouble fitting in with the so-called “normal” folks around them. Such was the premise behind the classic television sitcom The Munsters. The show has been tagged for a remake by NBC and, according to the review of the pilot on Moviehole, “the show could be one of the highlights of 2012.”
The new The Munsters won’t be the quirky, sometimes corny sitcom of the 1960s. As reimagined by Bryan Fuller (of Pushing Daisies fame), The Munsters will be an hour-long dramedy focusing on Eddie Munster’s struggles as a young werewolf and considerably “hips up” some of the characters. Instead of Fred Gwynne’s doofy and lumbering father, Herman Munster in the new series “is more of a stud – albeit one with scars.” His failing steampunk heart seems to be a fairly significant plot point, as his need for a new one conflicts a bit with his wife’s desires for him to keep it. Grandpa has similarly seen a shift away from the goofy nature of the original character, this time toward something more imposing: “Think ‘Grandpa’ from ‘The Lost Boys’ mixed with Lestat.” This updated Grandpa does/has indulged his vampiric nature before and has “special powers” over humans. Lily (the mother, also a vampire) and Marilyn (the only human, “think hotness”) seem fairly similar to their original incarnations. One of the other big shifts is the seeming centering of Eddie, the youngest Munster, and his coming to terms with the fact that there is a “difference between being a Munster and being a monster.” The family deals with problems unique to their situation (such as the bloodlust of many family members) and those similar to “normal” folk in a kind of Parenthood-meets-Anne Rice situation.
Apparently, the show is “equal parts sweet, silly and suspenseful”, keeping with the unique sentimental yet macabe sensibilities of Bryan Fuller. Fuller is credited as having come up with the story for the new series and Bryan Singer is both directing the pilot and executive producing the series. The review at Moviehole mentions some nods to Fred Gwynne and the original series in the pilot that should please fans of the original series, but that the direction of the new series strikes a good balance between sentimentality, family drama, and the supernatural that (with the right casting) should result in a “real winner”.