For the past few years, it seems that every new television season brings at least four remakes of older television series. While the practice of remaking shows may have made sense in an era where no one could re-watch the old version, nowadays, it doesn’t make sense. Do you really want someone to reinterpret an old favorite when you could easily watch the original in reruns, on DVD, on Netflix, or through less legitimate services on the internet? Probably not.
To be fair, there are a few successful remakes. The most unlikely was Hawaii 5-0. No one, except CBS saw it being successful, yet it averages around 10 million viewers. Dallas is successful because it is just the Ewing clan 20 years later, so it’s more like a continuation than a remake. Out of all the remakes in the last 10 years, Battlestar Gallactica, which took the original concept and made it darker, was probably the most successful. However, the success of all three shows is the exception to the failure of most modern remakes.
You’ve probably heard about NBC rebooting The Munsters as a one hour drama. Now, Entertainment Weekly reports the show’s name has been changed to Mockingbird Lane, which comes from the family’s iconic address, 1313 Mockingbird Lane.
This cannot be a good idea. The Munsters does not belong as a drama. The original show is remembered as a goofy sitcom. It was an alternative to The Addams Family. Mockingbird Lane just seems like NBC’s desperate attempt to cash in on a classic show. The only similarities between the two shows will be the characters names and probably personality traits, since the actors chosen do not look like the original cast members.
While Mockingbird Lane may be inspired by The Munsters, there is no good reason for NBC to make such a big deal about the connection between the shows. The two shows will be completely different from each other. I would even argue that it would have been smarter for NBC to change the names of the characters, remove any reference to the original show, and just advertise their unusual new drama, so that people would judge Mockingbird Lane on its own merits and not automatically assume it will be inferior to its 1960s counterpart.