NBC did something unusual Friday night October 26th. They broadcast the pilot of a rejected series titled “Mockingbird Lane” as a one off special since it fit in with the coming Halloween holiday. I was interested to see it since networks hardly show pilots of rejected shows anymore. I also wanted to see what the reboot did to a classic series I still love. I was pretty disappointed how it turned out and agree with NBC that the effort missed as a series.
The one off showing of Mockingbird Lane was unusual because networks rarely show unsold pilots these days like they use to when I was a kid. The summer months back then were filled with one time shows that had been pilots the networks rejected. Today reality shows fill the summers.
Usually I frown on TV reboots because to me it looks like the network is looking for an easy score rather than advancing the art. Instead of trying to rehash the old show use the concept and characters and give it a different title. At least “Mockingbird Lane” did that. I just didn’t like it.
The Munsters originally aired 1964-1966 but was a staple of the syndication market when I was kid in the 1970’s. It was black and white and full of slap stick and farce. The Munsters were cuddly monsters who tried to do the right thing but were misunderstood by the community who were frightened of them.
“Mockingbird Lane” was just too dark and gruesome for a show at 8 PM and one that was promoted by NBC as a sitcom. It gave me a Twin Peaks vibe if Twin Peaks had been a sitcom.
The show was created by Bryan Fuller (Pushing Daisies) and Bryan Singer (House) directed the pilot so the concept had some talent behind the scenes. I just think they both missed capturing the heart of the original.
I know the original had more sugar than gore but this new version people actually die in it. UGH! If I wanted to see deaths I’d watch a drama not light comedy
Maybe that’s what NBC wanted – jokey slap stick like the old show but they got a Twin Peaks instead.