Separate names with a comma.
Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by DeWilson, Jan 23, 2020.
I would prefer to not have any TV show destroyed for any reason. Not since the DuMont disaster.
I'm kidding but that's by far the worst show I've ever seen. Munsters Today makes My Mother The Car look like Masterpiece Theatre.
Dear Neil, I feel the same way about the Brady Bunch. Today's Disney Live Action Kid and Nickelodeon shows (not cartoons) make the Brady Bunch look like Shakespeare. Been saying that for years.
Is MONSTERS TODAY officially gone, or did back-up copies turn up somewhere?
I think a kine of one or two of the VT Jack Benny Programs did turn up on that official box set a few years ago.
Rich Man, Poor Man
Well, when I was a kid, I watched the original on WTBS and skipped the new one. On videotape and in color, it lacked the atmosphere of the original. And also, Fred Gwynne and Al Lewis were still alive and apparently wanted no part of it. That was disappointing when you consider that Universal could get practically all the surviving Leave it to Beaver cast back together. Except their show was not reliant on special effects or heavy make-up. This show was built around them being frozen in time and then being unfrozen in the 1980s, yet they all looked different since they were all recasts! Even my 5-year-old mind thought, "that's not Grandpa Munster, that's Officer Simpson from Gimme A Break!"*
I doubt there would have been as many first-run syndicated shows in the late 1980s had the networks not gotten so cancellation-happy in the late 1970s and had a series of industry strikes not torpedoed several potential hits.
But I will say this for them: they actually ran a year longer than the original (was that because of a contractual obligation from the stations that aired it?) while Bryan Fuller's recent attempt to re-reboot it as Mockingbird Lane went nowhere.
*Similarly, Fred Gwynne was the original choice for George Gaynes' role of Henry Warnimont on Punky Brewster. Soleil Moon Frye was already cast, and when the producers paired them together in a screen test, he couldn't hold it together when she said "hey, aren't you Herman Munster"? This is actually in Brandon Tartikoff's autobiography: The Last Great Ride.
Fred Gwynne wanting nothing to do with the new series shouldn't come as a surprise as the man almost nearly detested anything having to do with the Munsters. Al Lewis, on the other hand, embraced his association with the series, and I thought that I read somewhere that he was upset that Universal didn't approach him for the show. Since he was doing his Grandpa character for hosting duties on TBS's Saturday morning B horror movie airings, I wouldn't put it past him to do a new Munsters series, quality control issues and all.
When the show was streaming on Hulu around eight years ago (early 2010s), I watched a few episodes and to say that it was a pale imitation of the original would be giving it a compliment. Oddly enough, due to its late 1980s styling, it actually felt more dated compared to the fairly timeless 1960s original.
Personally, I prefer to think of Fred Gwynne as Officer Francis Muldoon!
Wow! He’ll always be Herman Munster to me.
Gary “the Munsters was underrated in my opinion - in my personal Top 25 Favorites of all time” O.
My first exposure was Munsters, but once I saw Car 54 I was hooked. My favorite written sitcom of this era along with the Dick Van Dyke Show.
And this image of him from the Christmas episode just puts me on the floor completely (in response to the dumbest thing Gunther Toody ever said!)
Ah! I thought you quite literally wished for it to burn up (another figment of my autistic mind taking things literally).
It's too bad that Gwynne's 1987 pilot Jake's M. O. never sold. It had possibilities
I can remember when I (unwisely) saw "Fatal Attraction" and when he shows up in one scene I could literally hear the buzz in the audience going "It's Herman Munster!"
If you want to sample some of his lesser-known work, he did a lot of "CBS Radio Mystery Theater" shows in the late 70s and all of those are on-line.
Which, I'm sure, is the reason he reportedly detested The Munsters. Typecasting like that (especially decades ago) can torpedo a career really fast. He fared better than most who get typecast, but I'm sure he missed out on a lot of roles because of that show.
My guess, though, is he probably had more of a love/hate relationship with it, rather than out and out resentment. Typecasting sucks, but being well-know for something that people like is good. Supposedly, he said this (in 1979): I was very lucky and it was great fun to be as much of a household product as something like Rinso. I almost wish I could do it all over again.
Gwynne also appeared in two Broadway musicals: Here's Love, based on "Miracle on 34th Street"; and Angel, a musical of "Look Homeward, Angel."
I recorded this when it was originally broadcast but that tape has long since vanished.
I once saw in a used-book store one of the children's books that Gwynne wrote and illustrated.
Possibly Universal wanted to dupe consumers into thinking they were getting more than they really were (Two seasons at the price of one!). Or just another example of Universal's bungling in their DVD releases.
Replacing the original Ellery Queen pilot theme with the NBC Mystery Movie theme. (In the original broadcast they were separate.) Also, using the syndicated version of the pilot titled "Too Many Suspects." The original was only titled "Ellery Queen." And for some reason the Universal logo, the last chance to hear the 1974-75 logo music, was silent.
There were three 90-minute Rockford Files, the pilot, the first season "This Case is Closed" and the fifth season "The Man Who Saw the Alligators." The pilot had originally been released on VHs where a new stereo-recorded theme replaced the original and all commercial breaks were edited out to make it look like a real movie with no breaks. Some surrounding music and a freeze frame of guest star Lindsay Wagner were also edited out. From reports I've heard, this is the version that is on the DVD. Since the syndicated version was expanded into a two-parter (with obviously different edits and extraneous scenes added) this was the only chance to see the original as it originally aired. Likewise "This Case Is Closed" was also expanded into a two-parter for syndication and this was the version included on the DVD. Another blown chance to see the original. "The Man Who Saw the Alligators" started as an hour episode, was expanded to 90 minutes before the original broadcast then edited back to an hour for syndication. It is unknown whether the syndication version is the same as the originally-intended hour episode and after the treatment of the other two episodes I never bothered to discover what version(s) is included on the fifth-season DVD.
Besides not releasing the final four years of Alfred Hitchcock's series in the USA, the series is very inconsistent. Some episodes feature the American version of Hitchcock's remarks, while some apparently feature the British ones (my favorite in the episode "Nightmare in 4D" when the announcer only allowed Hitchcock to say one word ("a word from our producer") before switching to a commercial is not on the DVD but can be seen on the MeTV broadcast.)
Some episodes allow Hitchcock to mention the commercials while other have his comments edited since there are no commercials on home video. A couple of episodes have the Bristol-Myers sponsorship displayed on the opening credits.
One episode ("Your Witness") has a "phony" closing theme like what used to be heard on Nick-at-Nite reruns.
Even in the original syndication, some episodes of the 5th-6th season had an alternate theme that accompanied an announcer's mention of the sponsor (with the sponsor name crudely cut out). Of course, this theme is not included at all on the DVD.
One episode ("Sybilla") has the new closing theme inexplicably changing to the old closing theme right in the middle!
Some episodes have the middle bumper included (the AH caricature) while most edit it out. A couple of episodes, including the premiere, have the complete music of the bumper but the video remains black.
After Revue switched to a separate logo at the end, many episodes feature the logo while many others have it cut off.
One episode (the fifth season's "Specialty of the House") includes the new Revue logo even before it was originally broadcast in the sixth season. The Revue logo was already seen during the closing credits.
Many episodes feature a closing theme that doesn't end but just fades out. Although it may have been originally broadcast that way, it sounds phony.
In the series' only three part episode "I Killed the Count" in parts 2 and 3 Hitchcock returns after the commercial break to explain what happened in the previous episode. Apparently, parts of both the British and American recaps are included with the first one cut off in the middle and another version following with him saying the same thing slightly different.