A Spooky Sitcom Situation
The Munsters was probably my favorite show as a kid. That family was just so likable – even if they were a little weird. Plus, their familial relationships rang more true to me than Leave It To Beaver ever did, despite the fact that The Munsters were just as sweet and unreal to true life as the Cleavers. Interestingly, The Munsters was produced by the same people who produced Leave It To Beaver, so that explains the similar tones between the shows.
Though The Addams Family and The Munsters were both capitalizing on monster films come to sitcoms, The Addams were more wealthy gothic eccentrics who never left the house, while The Munsters were more blue collar and their humorous situations arose from interacting with the real world, the squares. Sadly, this show only lasted two seasons, but you can catch them on Netflix Instant Streaming.
Monster families cannot seem to catch a break! The Addams Family, airing in the mid-60s, only lasted two seasons as well. Despite The Munsters performing better in the ratings, The Addams Family had a bit more staying power, with the TV show spinning off into animated series, a musical and more recently, two movies starring Anjelica Huston. The best part when watching this sitcom isn’t how oblivious the family is to how strange they are, but what a great family the Addams are. Morticia is a good mother and Gomez is head over heels in love with his wife, while the children listen and play well together, even if the games are a little morbid. Though other sitcoms practice this as well, I feel like none quite get it as right and as believable as The Addams Family.
Lastly on our trip down memory lane, we stop by Bewitched. Unlike our other two shows, this series was on for eight seasons and was the longest running supernatural themed sitcom of the 60s and 70s! I guess the American consumer responded more to a pert blonde wife helping out her bumbling husband than a good-natured family who happened to be made up of monsters. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy this show, but it just doesn’t hold the same place in my heart as the Addams or the Munsters.
Bewitched ’s silly comedy with Darrin forever the victim of a spell that Samantha must fix is actually a nice change of pace from the time, showing the female in the more powerful role even if she is a suburban housewife. Samantha’s mother, Engora, provides a pretty constant antagonist and every girl can sympathize with the situation of having a mother who dislikes who she’s with!
The Addams Family and Bewitched are only available through Netflix’s disc program, but you can get your fix by watching The Munsters tonight on Instant Streaming!