The central focus is Eddie Munster, a young boy who has lycanthropy issues but doesn't quite know that yet. After an attack on a boy scout camp (in which Fuller and director Bryan Singer take a moment to lovingly tip a hat to Prophecy), the Munster family is forced to move to a new town and home - a gothic mansion notoriously known as the "hobo murder house." While they get acclimated to the neighborhood, Herman, Lily, Grandpa and the "normal one" Marilyn grapple with how and when they should break the news to Eddie that he is a werewolf.
Mockingbird Lane features a Munster family where everyone looks quite, well, regular. And I completely understand the decision to go in this direction. The original Munsters series was born out of the "monster kid" era, playing to a generation - raised on the Universal classic monsters - which has not been forgotten but is certainly not considered the norm in the genre today. We're living in the era of The Dark Knight, where everything is "grounded" and "real" and "dark" (pardon my Hollywood exec lingo) and Mockingbird Lane certainly caters to that, however, it never forget its roots so we still get a Munster family that has its fun eccentricities. We also get a good deal of monstrous transformations, bloodshed and make-up FX.
Mason Cook and Eddie Izzard (as Eddie and Grandpa Munster, respectively) steal the show. I'm not really sold on Charity Wakefield as Marilyn just yet and Portia de Rossi as Lily, I feel, needed a bit more to do. And Herman, here, is a radical departure from what we are used to but, to be honest, his representation fits perfectly with the tone of the show. That said, Jerry O'Connell is a bit dry, however, when it comes to any criticism with the cast, I feel anything I say is a bit unfair because a show, moreover the actors/characters, needs time to develop and breathe.
Sadly, it doesn't seem like anyone involved in Mockingbird Lane is going to get that chance so what we're left with is an entertaining celebration of the macabre. This isn't The Munsters by way of True Blood or American Horror Story, think of this as more in line with The Addams Family films - something for all audiences that has its strange lil' heart in the right place.
Mockingbird Lane airs tonight (Friday, October 26th) on NBC, definitely give it a look.