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The Munsters Season 1 Episode 1 ‘Munster Masquerade’ Review

the-munsters Written by: Matt Molgaard Original Air Date: September 24, 1964 The first episode of The Munsters was what most would likely label the ideal pitch. “Munster Masquerade” established a comedic and self-aware tone promptly, and home viewers took an immediate liking to the series. It was light hearted, satirical but not cruel and it toyed with and manipulated the popular golly-gee family mold that truly thrived in the 1960s. It also showcased memorable work from a group of refined performers that included Fred Gwynne, Al Lewis and Yvonne De Carlo.

The Munsters was a fine alternative to The Addams Family (an excellent show in its own right), which ran concurrently and offered up what is essentially the exact same premise. There was a warmth about the series that I still find endearing and that sensation is as evident as it ever was in “Munster Masquerade”.

The inaugural episode puts Marilyn, Herman and Lily’s niece, in the spotlight. Tom Daly, who’s been courting the attractive young lady leaves her nowhere to go but the spotlight (she’s perfectly balanced; tough but ladylike, resilient but susceptible) after inviting her and her awkward family to a masquerade ball hosted by his parents. Things start off relatively smooth, but unintentional insults begin to buzz about the room, the discomfort seemingly gravitating to the lovable but aloof Herman Munster. “Grandpa” is also in for an interesting night… but he’s always in for an interesting night, which becomes apparent within three or four episodes. The question becomes rather simple: will the growing friction between the Munsters and the Dalys call a premature halt to Marilyn and Tom’s relationship, or will it only help to bring them closer?

I love the subtle humor that’s interwoven with the blatant punch-lines. It’s a fine mix that, while a bit dated, still summons chuckles 50 years after initially airing. The chemistry between each member of the Munster family is pitch-perfect, and every personality earns just enough attention to command care for the entire group (I’m still partial to little Eddie Munster) in equal measure. Toss in some awesome, awesome set pieces and you’ve got a top notch vintage piece that still feels timeless.

I’m a freak for The Munsters, so look for me to cover each and every last episode to ever air. “Munster Masquerade” is a killer launch, but this series just got better as it progresses. It’s too damn bad Batman came along and stole the Munster thunder!

 

About The Overseer (2283 Articles)
Author of Say No to Drugs, writer for Blumhouse, Dread Central, Horror Novel Reviews and Addicted to Horror Movies.

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