The Munsters - The Complete First Season
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Dad Herman (Fred Gwynne) was a Frankenstein's monster, mom Lily (Yvonne DeCarlo) and Grandpa (Al Lewis) were vampires, and son Eddie (Butch Patrick) a little wolf-boy. Munster niece Marilyn was inexplicably normal, which prompted much worry from the other members of the family (she was played in early episodes by Beverly Owen, who left to get married, and then by Pat Priest). The plots revolve around typically tortured sitcom situations: Herman must lose weight to fit into his old Army uniform, Herman has insomnia, Herman takes dance lessons from a crooked instructor. (As that list would suggest, 6'5" Fred Gwynne's wonderfully agile slapstick and Borscht Belt comedy made him the center of the show.)
What distinguished The Munsters from Father Knows Best was the Universal horror-movie lineage and the ghoulish one-liners (the latter growing a bit tedious after a while). The three-disc DVD has all 38 first-season episodes in excellent transfers, a 15-minute pilot with different actors as Lily and Eddie, and no extras or commentaries. High points include "Hot Rod Herman," which features the tricked-out Munster Koach and Drag-u-la (boss wagons both), and "Eddie's Nickname," the one where Grandpa gives Eddie a potion that causes the boy's beard to grow (a weirdly memorable image, if you're a kid). The show was either pure kiddie farce or a radical comment on the absurdly unreal world of sitcoms. Either way, if you grew up with them as an alternate TV family, you can't help but have warm feelings for the Munsters, as clammy as they are. --Robert Horton
Top Customer Reviews
The set's package design is somewhat inspired. The outer box opens "coffin-style" to reveal the disc-holding "digipack" inside, as the flipped-open box top has the table of contents on it with only the episodes plus the unaired pilot listed. The episodes are spread across 3 double-sided discs. Here's a list of the season 1 episodes:
The Munsters Unaired Pilot
My Fair Munster
A Walk on the Mild Side
Tin Can Man
Herman the Great
Knock Wood, Here Comes Charlie
The Midnight Ride of Herman Munster
The Sleeping Cutie
The Munsters' Family Portrait
Grandpa Leaves Home
Grandpa's Call of the Wild
If a Martian Answers, Hang Up
Bats of a Feather
Don't Bank on Herman
Dance With Me, Herman
Follow That Munster
Love Locked Out
Come Back, Little Googie
Far Out Munsters
Munsters on the Move
Movie Star Munster
Herman the Rookie
Country Club Munsters
Love Comes to Mockingbird Heights
Lily Munster, Girl Model
Munster the Magnificent
Herman's Happy Valley
Hot Rod Herman
Yes, Galen, There Is a Herman (aka My Friend Herman)
38 episodes plus the unaired pilot, that's ALOT of Munsters!
The Munsters was created by Joe Connelly and Bob Mosher, the same team that brought Leave It To Beaver to television. Beaver was the quintessential American family sitcom of the late 50's - early 60's. Connelly and Mosher helped to establish all those nostalgic family sitcom cliches we've all come to love (or hate) in Leave It To Beaver then they went on to totally parody them in The Munsters. The first season opening credit sequence of The Munsters is a great example of the way they parodied the typical family sitcoms of the time. You see Lily Munster, housewife and mother, sending her brood off for the day in the same manner June Cleaver and Donna Reed did. Lily hands each of her loved ones their packed lunches or school books as she pinches their cheeks or gives them a little motherly kiss.
Although The Munsters was considered much less sophisticated than its 60s creepy TV rival, The Addams Family, it is overall a much more entertaining series to me. Although the subversive quality of The Addams Family continues to make it an entertaining series to watch as an adult, I have to admit I didn't enjoy it as a child. The Munsters with its broad comedy and more obvious monster characters was much more fun to watch as a kid. It's worth pointing out that even though Morticia and Gomez Addams had a fiery sexual relationship on screen, Lily and Herman Munster may have been one of the only 60s TV couples to have been seen sharing the same bed (rather than the customary twin beds).Read more ›
Having seen these episodes for the first time now (with my friend) I found the series both entertaining and heartwarming and was happy that the episodes are also geared toward instilling ethics and moral values. Whatever challenges the heroes of these episodes may be facing, they always act with integrity, and even though the main character - Herman Munster looks like Frankenstein and is rather clumsy, his good nature makes him a very lovable character. He is a wonderful example of what makes a human being worthy of love and respect, regardless of the physical appearance and whatever quirks one might have.
This complete first season set, features all 38 episodes from The Munsters first season on CBS. Also featured is the color pilot episode, "My Fair Munster", which features different people playing the characters of Lily and Eddie.
Some VHS tapes have been released in the past featuring this color pilot, but only the first 5 minutes of it. Well, rest assured, this color pilot episode is fully intact. It is the original first pilot of The Munsters, in all it's colorful glory.
Here's one thing you should look for, as you watch this set, take a look at the make-up change from the first 13 episodes. The Munsters are not as dark, and the sandy look in their faces, disappears. Not to return again, until the very beginning of the second season, because episodes from the early first season re-ran during the summer of 1965, so they had to had some extra darkness to the Munster's faces, until about 10 weeks into the second season.
Another thing to watch for in this Season 1 set, is that the first 13 episodes, were almost filmed in the dark. There is almost no light or contrast in the very early episodes like "Autumn Croakus," "Munster Masquerade," "My Fair Munster," and "A Walk on the Mild Side." It is not a DVD problem, it's just how the original early episodes were filmed, as to establish a light tone, and not have children scared away.
Also, take a look at Al lewis' widows-peak. It changes from episode to episode, and eventually is no longer drawn in with a pencil. They finally get him a widows-peak wig to wear in "Munsters on the Move.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Bring back the golden oldies with Herman and his family on The Munsters! Great television series that the entire family with love! Thanks and GOD Bless!! :)Published 4 days ago by Lace
I missed these episodes during the 60's so I decided to purchase it and remember the good old laughs.Published 25 days ago by Francis A. Dabu
I wish kids of these days would get a chance to watch something like this. The Munsters were a hoot. Fred Gwynne was a phenomenal actor with big credits to his name. Read morePublished 26 days ago by By CJs Pirate
What a find when I discovered that a childhood favorite was available on Amazon! I have watched the episodes over and over again but do not ever get tired of watching because they... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Norma Bushorr
A good attempt. I must be biased, this was one of the founding shows of this type, but I've seen better. It's still good for nastalga. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Edward C. Jones III
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