The Munsters Today (1988-1991)
The Munsters was a sitcom about a rather spooky family that launched in America in the 60s. Rather curiously, it launched in the same month as The Addams Family, another sitcom with a spooky twist, meaning that they are frequently compared. It would run for a couple of years, and then it would be revived in the late-80s (although none of the original cast took part).
The Munsters Today was a sequel featuring Herman and Lily, their son Eddie, their niece Marilyn, and Grandpa, who all lived at 1313 Mockingbird Lane. The story goes that they were put into suspended animation when the original run ended in 1966, and when they were finally awoken they were rather surprised to discover that it is 22 years later, and they continue to have more adventures in the present day.
Herman was a monster, Lily was a vampire, Eddie was a werewolf, Grandpa was 400 years old, liked to make potions in the cellar and randomly turn into a bat, and they all enjoyed performing the opening theme that explained the new premise (that was arguably the highlight of the show). The Munsters Today was syndicated in the US where only a small number of TV stations were brave enough to show it.
In 1990 the show came to the UK (in the LWT region at least). The scheduling was rather interesting, I remember that it was usually shown in the post-ITV Chart Show slot on Saturday afternoons, where it was aimed at a younger audience, who were the only ones that could appreciate it really. I also remember The Monkees and The Partridge Family were shown in this slot, along with many other unusual shows over the years.
I hadn’t seen the original version of The Munsters at the time of watching this, but it is considered by many to be far superior, and I suppose it is, although I did enjoy this version, and looking back makes me realise that it was one of the few imported sitcoms that I enjoyed on ITV, along with Dinosaurs and Out Of This World (that I both reviewed a while back).
Despite the fact that this was clearly a low-budget production, somehow The Munsters Today stretched to 73 episodes (even more than the original run!), so they definitely milked the idea as much as they could. There were also a few guest stars taking part, and the show did win some awards for its makeup design (but not for the actual acting unsurprisingly), and there has been no DVD release.
The Addams Family was also revived in the 90s (first as some films, and then as a cartoon and a TV sitcom), this was much much successful, and I plan to review the sitcom sequel soon. Maybe after this run, they should’ve put The Munsters back into suspended animation, but this time for about 1,000 years to guarantee that there would be no more revivals.