Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Pilot Review: Mockingbird Lane

Mockingbird Lane (NBC)
Premiered October 26 at 8pm

This isn’t technically a pilot since the show hasn’t yet been picked up and is instead airing as a standalone special for the moment, but I don’t want to miss out on any prospective series after the awesomeness that was “Virtuality” on FOX a few years ago. This presentation, however, is hardly as compelling. Having seen creator Bryan Fuller’s previous series, like “Pushing Daisies,” “Wonderfalls,” and “Dead Like Me,” it’s easy to expect a certain level of color and campiness to his productions. That’s true here, but, unlike those extremely inventive series, this one tries too hard to mesh a handful of supernatural tropes into one story and ends up with a huge mess. There’s no consistency to the show’s tone, and it’s far too enthusiastic and energetic for its own good. I much preferred seeing Eddie Izzard as the unlawful owner of another house in FX’s short-lived “The Riches,” and Portia de Rossi and even Jerry O’Connell have both seen better television days. Cheyenne Jackson was a fun doomed addition, but yet another sign that this concept, a reimagining of the 1960s series “The Munsters,” just doesn’t quite work as well as it should. Lines like “I ate the lion naked because it was naked” and “I can’t be a vegetarian werewolf” fall flat, and the script, which should be clever and inventive, just seems like it’s trying to accomplish too much in an unproductive space. The ratings were strong leading into NBC’s successful “Grimm,” but I don’t think that this show has what it takes to be a full-fledged series. I’m much more excited about Fuller’s upcoming television take on Hannibal Lecter.

Pilot grade: C

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