That Boy Ain’t Right

Here are some things: 

  • People have asked for a print or poster of the Sesame Street comic. You can click “Buy a Print” under any comic and get a very nice, high quality print mailed to you in regular or gigant-o-size.
  • If you are at NYCC right now, head over to booth 950 (Blind Ferret) and buy some of my stuff why not?
  • Here is the most recent HE Podcast: Episode 90 “BONE TOKENS!” 
  • Dallas Fan Days is next weekend and I am going to be there in the artist alley. Not in the main hall, but up on one of the higher floors (four, I think) where all the celeb panels are held. I will have books and shirts and sketches.

DO NOT get me wrong. I have enjoyed immensely every Bryan Fuller created show I’ve ever seen (especially Dead Like Me and the cancelled-by-fox-after-only-4-epsisodes Wonderfalls). All I’m saying is the guy has a particularly morbid ouvre. It shouldn’t come as a shock that your shows keep getting cancelled when the subject matter typically concerns the two main thing the average American’s don’t want to have to face: mortality, questioning of their belief systems concerning God and the possibility of an afterlife. This illustrates, however, just exactly how watered down the “average American” forces all of our art/media to be. Wonderfalls and Dead Like Me were highly introspective and unreasonably creative shows that deserved mass audiences. They were shows that, while not forcing you, certainly ASKED you to think about “the big questions.”

I can’t say I was looking forward to The Munsters reboot, Mockingbird Lane, but I was at least going to give it a chance considering its pedigree. I’ve only read the synopsis and seen the promo images, but it just seemed like a needless grave-robbing (pun entirely intended [puntirely puntended]) of a once-popular franchise. Now the series has been canned and the pilot is going to air as a Tv movie sometime around Halloween. I’ll still watch it, but I’m not expecting a miracle. Is it completely insane that I think a modern Adams Family reboot would work better than The Munsters? They were just dark and ghoulish without being actual Draculas and Wolfensteins and what not. Seems like there would be far fewer limitations in bringing them into the modern world and having the show be sustainable without having to be sensational or ultra-campy.

 COMMENTERS: What’s your favorite TV series that delved into the darker side? Is there a show that mixed horror, comedy and relatability better than others?
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45 Comments

  1. If you enjoy macabre comedy (though the little I've seen from Fuller is rather more cheerful-comedy-in-a-macabre-setting), any opinion on the UK's League Of Gentlemen and Psychoville?

    • Yes, in both shows the punchlines were telegraphed so hard you'd have to be blind and stupid not to see them coming, and I gave up watching Psychoville when the stupidity of the wanna-be serial killers made me yell at the TV.

      • It takes awhile to get into it, but it's the creepy characters that kept me watching. LOG was better than Psychoville, but I did have a soft spot for Dawn French and her doll.

  2. Dead Like Me was fantastic, and I always forget about it when listing off shows. Perhaps because it's not as big in "geek culture" as things like Battlestar or Firefly, or perhaps because it just wasn't as flashy. That theme song made me want to actually learn to play bari sax, though.

    • Yeah, it was geared more towards kids or the whole family…it was fun. Shot in Canada and featured some Canadian actors, but the quality of the show is good, I swear!

      • I'm talking about the New Addams Family with live actors. I haven't seen any of the animated series except one episode of Scooby Doo, and some Gold Key comics based on the 60's/70's cartoon.

    • "NBC execs also reportedly weren't on board with Fuller's attempt to recreate the feel of Pushing Daisies" is the most disappointing thing I've read all week, given how much I loved Pushing Daisies. As for mixing horror, comedy and relatability… Supernatural, maybe? Not sure how it would score in terms of relatability, though. Not many people are professional monster slayers. Same with Doctor Who. Best mix of scares and laughs on TV, but "relatable" might be pushing it.

    • You don't need to watch the last season. It devolved into an unrelentingly depressing shell of the show it once was. Six Feet Under at its best was uplifting and poignant even though it was about all about death. It made you feel like going out and being alive. By contrast, the last season was just a dark, unpleasant slog that made you feel like committing suicide. I began to wonder who the hell the writers thought was actually going to watch and enjoy what they were putting on the screen.

      If you want an idea of how poor the writers' instincts were towards the end, go to Youtube and search for "Narm". That's it in a nutshell.

      The finale though, is completely different. It's still the best series finale I've ever seen.

      • I personally thought that the last episode of 'Six feet under', was one of the most touching/hartwarming episodes from any Tv show I have ever seen.
        Watching all characters die of various old age ailments was the perfect ending to this show.

        I cried, and it felt good.

    • Sure it was, in it's own way. I mean, no one dies, but watching Jay go slowly insane while she is controlled by some otherworldy force she can't understand and that has no concern at all for her safety or sanity is pretty dark. In a silly kind of way. I really loved that show. : )

      • Yeah I didnt mean "dark" as in "spooky." More as in "the bleakness of just trying to figure out how to be a good human person."

  3. Wow, it looks great! I'd love to see it

    Hmmmm, I've only seen with Dead Like Me and watched it all on Netflix, so I don't know about Fuller's other shows. I have heard about Pushing Daisies, though. Maybe I'll check it out later. As for the question,I guess I'd have to say Buffy/Angel? I'm not really sure how many shows exist that fit in that criteria

  4. Maybe this is yet another instance of me completely misinterpreting something despite a lifelong love for it, but to me one of the most important things about the Munsters, and the most important distinction from the Addams Family, was that they weren't just strange people who looked vaguely normal with a hint of the macabre. They were fucking monsters that scared the shit out of people upon sight, even though they acted like the goofy, way-too-happy-and-loud, D&D-playing Mensa family down the road you hate running into at the grocery store, and that was funny.

    I always preferred the Addamses, but still enjoyed the hell out of the Munsters. It was like The Ninja Turtles and Captain Planet… Yeah, one kicked a whole lot more ass and was clearly more meaningful and socially aware, but you still watched the silly environmental show anyway.

    I'll admit, the trailer looked better than I thought it would. But it still seems to completely miss that big point from the show: Innocent people saying "Holy shit, these people are Monsters, run!" while this poor, misunderstood family runs after them with a delicious, non-people-filled pie yelling, "No, please, we just want to be friends."

    Again, maybe I'm wrong, but a "my strange family member is going to eat you" joke would make more sense coming from Wednesday Addams than from Eddie Munster.

    Speaking of Eddies: In that promo poster, Grandpa actually looks a lot more like Eddie Pepitone than Eddie Izzard.

    • Yeah, looking at the photos of the New Munsters, why would anyone be afraid of them. And today's society is more tolerant of people who are a bit different, then back when the original Munsters was made.

      I've been watching some original Addams family and Munster recently, still enjoy them even if they are a bit silly. Nobody can make faces like Fred Gwynne! OMG, and I realized that my aunt's voice is a dead ringer for Yvonne De Carlo's…kind of eerie (my aunt is living).

  5. I'm a great fan of Pushing Daisies. I have the series on DVD. I realize now that when they cancelled that show was when I gave up on TV. I haven't been able to care enough about a series since to make the effort to watch on a regular basis.

  6. Tim Burton manages to make creepy, unsettling things work but there isn't much questioning of God….so why can't people be as enamored of Fuller?

    I love all of Bryan Fuller's tv series: Wonderfalls, Dead Like Me, Pushing Daisies, and the Amazing Screw on Head. I think Wonderfalls got killed because it was competing against Joan of Arcadia, a show which had you questioning belief systems. I preferred Wonderfalls, but Joan was an okay show.

    Fuller was no longer a producer, just called a "consultant" on the second season of Dead Like Me. I do not recommend the Dead Like Me: Life After Death, which Fuller had no part of. It is an awful mess. They recast the Daisy role, and Mandy Patinkin wasn't in it either.

    The imdb blurb for Hannibal is: "Explores the early relationship the renowned psychiatrist and his patient, a young FBI criminal profiler, who is haunted by his ability to empathize with serial killers"

    Wasn't that an episode of Fringe? A Professor and expert on serial killers, because he could of easily become one, and was one in another universe.

  7. TV series that delves into a darker side? Besides all the above mentions I would definitely say MISFITS!
    It's an awesome show with some great humor too….A MUST SEE!

    American Horror Story wasn't too bad either, I appreciate that it managed to creep me out for at least the first third of the season. Interested to see how it goes in it's second season.

  8. I might lose my geek card here, but I'm gonna have to go with the sadly short-lived Reaper. Not as much horror, but how much darker do you need to get when your main character has found out his parents sold his soul to the devil? Plus who can resist Ray Wise as that devil?

  9. There was an Adrian Pasdar vehicle in the early 90's called Profit. Only lasted one season because it was a decade ahead of its time. If it had been an HBO show this decade instead of a network show last one, its perversity and pitch black humour would have been a monster hit. Basically the protaganist is a high functioning psychopath single-mindedly making his way up the corporate ladder through blackmail, character assassination and murder while the hapless heroes try and fail to stop him. You fnd your self cheering for Jim Profit as he nimbly keeps one step away from the show's Scoobies while shtupping his step mother and sleeping in a cardboard box in his penthouse. Yes, it was a basic cable show. It's amazing it lasted even one season.

  10. For me I'd have to go across the pond and say Life on Mars. Don't go near the american version because among other things it lacks John Simm. His performance is astounding and the final scene with the Bowie song in the background just finishes it beautifully.

  11. Hiya, sorry to post this in the comments, but you're missing the "the" in "It needs some super macabre element like THE rest of his resume".

    Now, something I'm not sorry to post – I'm loving your comics! I've been slowly making my way through the archives and enjoying every bit of it!

  12. I downloaded a whole season of Wonderfalls, with an honest-to-goodness resolution ending. If you only got 4 eps of it, I recommend you do the same.
    It's clearly a spiritual prequel to Pushing Daisies, including Lee Pace and a *very* similar tone.

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