Sunday, June 17, 2012

The many faces of Lilly Munster

Yvonne De Carlo as the original Lily Munster
 During the "Golden age" of television, sitcoms about gothic families were all the rage (I guess comparable to the vampire drama's of today).  While the Adams Family were the original gothic sitcom family, CBS had their own idea which went just a tad farther making the family actual monsters with "The Munsters".

The Munsters were a working class family which consisted of a Frankenstein monster for a father, werewolf for a son a "normal" niece (who they thought was weird) with the mom and grandfather being vampires.  The last line is the key as Lily Munster was an icon when it came to female vampires for a long time (and is a very popular Halloween costume even today.

Yvonne De Carlo
 From 1964 to 1966 and again in 1981 Lily was played by uber classic Canadian hottie De Carlo.  It was almost a shame that her looks were completely hidden under all that makeup but since the original series was in black and white, it was almost not noticeable.  Outside of the whole "being a vampire" thing, Lily is your typical sitcom housewife. Normally the voice of reason who solves everyone's problems.  Occasionally episodes would be based on her getting a job but those were all short lived.

Lee Meriwether
From 1988 to 1991 the role was taken over by former "Catwoman" Meriwether on the series "The Munsters Today".  In this version the family is awoken in 1988 after being put to sleep in 1966 (the final year the original show aired) by one of Grandpa's machines which was only supposed to put them to sleep for thirty minutes.  The premise was the families struggle to adapt to life in the late 1980's.

Veronica Hamel
Hamel would take the role in the 1995 film "Here Come the Munsters" which acts as a reboot prequel as opposed to a continuation of the original series like "The Munsters Today" was.  The film follows the families original journey from Transylvania to America explaining that the original trip revolved around finding the whereabouts of Marlyn's father Norman who went missing.

 Ann Magnuson
In 1996 the role would go to Magnuson in the made for TV movie  "The Munsters' Scary Little Christmas".  In this film the family must come together to save Christmas when Santa is accidentally brought to their home and transformed into a fruitcake by Grandpa. 

"Mockingbird Lane"
In 2012 NBC green lit a rebooting of the Munsters franchise called "Mockingbird Lane".  In a similar manor to where Dark Shadows which originated as a TV drama became a film comedy. The Munsters as well will be going through a genre change as it will be a 1 hour drama.  More than likely that means the family will be dropping their Universal monster movie looks in favor of a more darker, modern horror style look similar to what you'd see on True Blood.  From the sounds of the pilot episode which is rumored to be about Eddie Munsters struggles as his werewolf powers begin to appear, the show will pretty much follow a similar format as the ill fated ABC 2010 summer drama "The Gates" which featured similar plots with similar monsters but them all being in different households in a gated community and not the same family like the Munsters will.

Originally Mariana Klaveno ("Lorena" from True Blood) was scheduled to play Lilly but due to a scheduling conflict she had to drop out.    Recently a new Lily was cast.

Portia De Rossi
That's right, the sexy Aussie actress who is the current "Mrs Ellen Degenerous" will be going dark for the role of Lily Munster in "Mockingbird Lane".  While fans of the original series aren't fond of the idea in changing the shows genre, I personally can't wait to see the finished product as I was a fan of the show "The Gates" and see this as an opportunity to keep that idea going.  Imagine a dramatic story in which Lily the vampire housewife has to deal with her urges to feed on her neighbors.  Let's hope that NBC makes it happen.

1 comment: