Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Where Are The Monsters?

The Bryan Fuller(Dead Like Me, Pushing Daisies) and Bryan Singer (X-Men, House) Munsters reboot, which is now called Mockingbird Lane, has cast Eddie Izzard as Grandpa (read the article HERE). That means it’s moving forward and will likely start production soon.

I'm not looking forward to it.

I have to be frank; I haven’t liked what I’ve heard about this show so far. The show is an hour long dramedy (hour long drama with some comedy) and the characters will look normal as they try and fit in with the rest of the world. That means none of the iconic makeup that made the original show stand out.

The charm of The Munsters was that they did stand out against what was considered “normal” suburban Americans of the mid-1960s. Still, they didn’t conform and change themselves to fit in. What is a better social message, “be yourself” or “change yourself to fit in”?

(There are also people out there that say The Munsters was a commentary on racial discrimination in the 1960s, but that’s a blog post for another time.)

Another problem I have with the whole “monsters trying to fit in” concept is the BBC’s BEING HUMAN ALREADY DID IT, AND DID IT BETTER. We already have an Americanized Being Human on SYFY, we don’t need another one.

Network TV seems to like to keep their monsters in the closet. NBC’s Grimm, about a monster hunter, has the monsters in human form most of the time. When’s the last time you saw a monster, as a monster the whole time, on a TV show? The last ones I remember are Lorne and Illyria (who was only in part of the last season) on Angel, the Buffy The Vampire Slayer spin off. And that went off the air in 2004. Even in recent science fiction, aliens and monsters are few and far apart. Firefly and the rebooted Battlestar Galactica ditched all the aliens for all human universes. Sure Galactica had Cylons, but even most of the Cylons looked human.

As a genre fan, I want my monsters to be seen. I want to see fantastic creatures on the screen, not homogenized every day looking people. We all know the “monster hiding as a human” isn’t a clever metaphor devised by the writers to get across a point about society; it’s a cheap way to save money on production.

Until Next Time,

Stay Insane!!!

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