Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Munsters (Pilot)

The greatest single thing about the invention of DVD, some would argue, is the ability to view extras like the unaired pilot of The Munsters - which is so damned endlessly fascinating one doesn't know where to start in discussing the differences between it and the show that eventually made it to air.

First, it's in color. We've seen the original cast in color before (the 1966 film Munster, Go Home! was in color), but Munsters was always a show that worked better in black and white.

Instead of Lily, we have Phoebe. Now Joan Marshall was DECENT with a capital-D (especially for 1964 or whenever this was shot)... but Yvonne DeCarlo as Lily was so much better suited to a show like this.

Happy Derman (?) is Eddie. The producers made the rather interesting choice of depicting Eddie as a feral lunatic. It gets old real fast - and one wonders how it would have possibly worked in a series.

Fred Gwynne - so brilliant as Herman in the series - plays the role completely differently here. Something's off with his make-up, too. (Is his neck a slightly different color than his face?)

Did I mention also that the pilot is desperately unfunny?

The first part is here, and the second part is here. If I recall correctly, there is no real story to this, and it ends abruptly after 15 minutes.