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Just some comments, rather than a review. One thing that made me cringe
was when Morticia would sing in "Japanese". I'm kind of surprised that
she didn't pull her eyes into a slant while she sang. Different times,
Edwardian children would have been raised by a nanny and only seen after dinner, just before they were put to bed. But being a modern, post war nuclear family would meanthat kids figured more prominently in day to day life.
I'm still trying to recreate their decore in my home, on a limited budget. A jackalope, stuffed armadillo, a small shark in formaldehyde, and other such geegaws are my tribute to the Addams.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The Addams Family, based on the cartoons of Charles Addams, took itself
more seriously than the Munsters. It was more youth oriented too.
John Astin and Carolyn Jones were only 34 when they started this show. That was years younger than Mr. & Mrs. Munster. It shows on this series. The shows got better as they went along.
Surprisingly the Lurch, was younger too. This show has more imagination than the Munsters, but creates a totally different, cartoon type of feeling.
The cast did not have have quite the track record as the Munster's but their energy gave it a different feel. As a twin to the other by accident, this on has it's points, especially pointed out by the Thing.
I don't get it. I was a kid of about 10 or so when this was being shown. There was a lot of junk on TV even then with just 3 channels - nothing like the tons of junk on now - but stuff well below the quality of this show. Case in point, the pretty mindless Munsters, which lasted longer than this show. Astin as Gomez, Carolyn as Morticia, Coogan as Fester, I could go on and on about TV's most unusual family and their orchestrated toy train wrecks, odd meals and even odder household pets. So why did it all end so quickly? Were the jokes too sophisticated for the viewers? I don't know, but I know we watched it to the bitter end of its run and well into syndication. This is being shown on This TV locally so keep an eye out for it, one of the top 10 television gems of the 60's.
It's funny, but when I ask friends my age who was the best TV dad of the 1960s, I often get the answer 'Gomez Addams' or if I mention him, they then agree with me wholeheartedly. He was a radical and wonderful husband--and the Addams', believe it or not, were a very healthy family that could be emulated. Now I am NOT recommending folks have pet lions, eat eye of newt, have model trains that blow up, sleep on beds of nails and the like. I AM recommending you look at the relationships between the characters. Mr. Addams truly loves his family. But, more importantly, he was the first husband who loved his wife sexually. He adored her--setting a wonderful example for the kids. The same can be said for Mrs. Addams. While her libido didn't seem quite as strong, it was VERY strong for a 1960s woman--and she was a loving and gentle mother. As for the kids, despite being total weirdos, they were really decent kids. All in all, the show wasn't just comedy and weirdness but a fantastic prototype for how the American family could or should be. This is why I adore this show. Sure, it makes me laugh but it also influenced how I later became a husband and father--and often makes me ask myself WWGD--what would Gomez do? Well written, funny and fun.
The Addams Family always has been one of my favourites. The costumes and sets look sumptuous and the photography to me hasn't dated. The music was iconic when I first was familiar to the series and it still is. The stories are always interesting, and I have never found the laughter track inappropriate or annoying. The cast are superb and perfectly suited to their characters, you won't find a better Gomez or Morticia than John Astin and Carolyn Jones, and Jackie Coogan is born for Fester. Wednesday and Pugsley are adorable and genuinely look as though they care for one another, and Lurch is a character you are amused by and feel sympathy for. The humour also works wonderfully, the writing is superb and the slapstick is subtle and appropriately weird and surreal. All in all, this series is a classic and always will be. 10/10 Bethany Cox
The Addams Family TV show was based on a series of cartoons started
back in the 1930's and authored by Charles Addams for the New Yorker.
Whether or not Addams intended for there to be some kind of
Depression-era message on the idle rich being scary in more ways than
one I do not know, but it does seem like that is one of the messages
trying to come through all the dark humor. What I do know is that a
show this offbeat and creative would never get aired on network TV
today, and even if it did, the minute it got successful the network
suits would start tinkering with it and ruin it.
The Addams' are portrayed as a close knit and happy family - in fact they rarely have contact with outsiders other than the children attending school. They appear completely human, but they eat food that seems completely inedible by any normal human being and they each have their own peculiar qualities that seem beyond those of normal humans such as Uncle Fester's ability to generate electricity. If they do have visitors, they are usually other family members from some remote area who display these same characteristics. The show never explains the origin of the Addams' or their great wealth - that's just part of their intrigue. There are a few episodes here and there that reference popular culture as it existed then such as "Lurch the Teenage Idol" which pokes fun of the early Beatles and similar rock bands of the time. For the most part, though, the show is pretty much timeless and thus is still funny today.
... Actually, one should compose all this when in a very Gothic mood or
life phases. To all Goths: be thee greeted.
... Where should one begin? With the everlasting Elk's Head over their fire-place or with the gorgeously Elvira-like looks of Morticia, the house's lady, or with any other creepy, individual, Gothic or eery detail in their house?
... Or with the fact which is told, not shown, that this family keeps monsters and other things, among them a cut-off, living and moving hand as a servant (which is always shown and a part of the family, for one thing), in their cellar?
An important fact is surely that Gomez, the family's patriarch, has got a lot of money from inheritance, he also dabbles in stocks, but rather unsuccessfully, and prides himself in any financial loss - also a strong sign and mark stone of their spirituality, and big part of the whole Gothic setting and genre. They got money, so they can in fact afford to lose it, which shows also a lot of elitism, an old form even of some kind of aristocratism, but purely carved out in the hooded, dark from the outside, but innerly most goodly shape of a very small part of society, a marginal phenomenon in the sixties as well as again in the late two-thousands, a kind of relic of old intellectuals as depicted somewhat evillish in the eigthies movie "Gothic", also, it's quite important to know that the author of "Frankenstein", Mary Shelly, hung around with Byron and other chaps who were quite outside from normal society, kind of even "above" it, as one could entitle it.
It's a political and social issue, rather a real conflict, that is shown most precisely throughout the whole masterpieces of the episodes of the original sixties bw series. There have been many remakes, some of them rather really bad like the new colored series, some of them too much overly goth-styled, yes: goth-decadently made movies like the one from the early nineties, where Morticia suddenly speaks a superb french when in the original, she is lovingly American, a true good American, unlike maybe the majority of "normal", "civile" people, as well as Gomez is.
This is the only real, true thing. I am a mega goth, a "Grufti", as we call it in German, a "Gruft" being a crypt, some eery cellar where the bones of the ancestors lie. ... .-)
... I am also musician and love Bauhaus and their "Bela Lugosi's Dead" and play and sing it myself. I will also do some rock covers of the Addams' anthem.
Mind always the care put into each character, the love and light inside all darkness as it may seem from outside to people who in fact are a lot darker than the Addams. Each word they say is always a monument to Gothic culture, to good comedy with authentic thought in the background, rendering the show through and through endowed with not only grace, but depth.
Can I possibly give any more commendations and compliments, yes outcries of admiration?
... For me, all this "gothic" is more than some joke. It's my life. When I first read Poe and then Lovecraft... I shan't ever forget the delight in the obscure, my young, now a little older, still burning curiosity towards the unknown, also the supernatural, the mystical, the true field of intellectual activity, as is - at least for me - not, never only the study and book rooms, where its occupants simply and banally dry out in the dusty, life-apart, yes delusional air of pseudo academy. Oh, how this sounds now again as if Poe himself could have written it, of course better than my humble version. The one who strives outside of the normal is the pioneer, the true progressive one.
It's indescribable how progressive the Addams are. All goth put aside, they are a field example for good morals and ethics, even also politically, but lets stick to educational stuff for now. They are so tolerant. They understand all the creatures that just look evil. Shall anyone come right here and tell me they'd be any kinda "evil", the Addams. Not true. Nowhere.
... It's the world that stands upside down. It's the Addams who are in fact really "normal" or "good", SO is it, say what you will. Gothic forever - Bela Lugosi's undead (I really got some Hungarian grand mother, rest in peace, and personally, I am anti-Zionist, BUT still Jewish, and 9 tenths of my family have been gassed in Auschwitz and Bergen Belsen along with the rest of the 6 million Jews who were killed and tortured by Hitler and his followers.
... So, this series is not only for me, but to any good human being more than "just" some kind of style-fulfilling, call it "gothic" or "eery" series. much, unimaginably much more than that. Because the Addams stand for the victims.
Recall that point once where some other visitor says something about Salem, a place where they "burned witches", as he says it? Then, Morticia takes up a really decidedly gloomy posture and just says "Oh, I'm happy they don't do that anymore..."
-- Of course, it's hilarious and I laugh out loud all the time. But:
The witches were no witches. They were pagan or Jewish, harmless plant healer women. It's just an example of how the evil inquisition destroyed the lives of more than many thousands of innocent, hard-working people, as later did the Nazis.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Audiences have always been divided between the Munsters and the Addams Family. Certainly it was easier to sympathize with the Munsters, who underneath their grotesque appearance were basically a sympathetic blue-collar family while the Addamses were wealthy eccentrics whose lifestyle was like something out of a Bunuel movie. Still, the Addamses had their good points. They were a close knit family with strong values; like the Munsters they were actually quite traditional underneath their macabre appearance. Gomez (John Astin) was an educated, cultivated businessman and entrepreneur who provided his family with an enviable lifestyle but who was always kind and generous to those less fortunate than himself. Morticia (Carolyn Jones) was a Gothic beauty who could have been painted by Goya (it's no surprise the Addamses were Spanish). Uncle Fester (Jackie Coogan) was hilarious, but the character I identified with the most was eternally grumpy butler Lurch (Ted Cassidy, a fellow Texan). While I liked "The Munsters" better, I will always have a soft spot for "The Addams Family."
Okay, the Addams family is not for everybody. It was kind of the first family on television to be different. First, you have a beautiful seductive mother, Morticia, with lovely long black hair and dressed often in black, and her equally strange husband played by John Astin. Carolyn Jones devoured the role of Morticia that you didn't recognize her at all later on in her years. Mr. and Mrs. Addams have two children, a girl named Wednesday and a son who were both equally strange. Their home had characters like Uncle Fester and their home was equally frightening as well as enchanting. This show is perfect for Halloween marathons. While the Addams' family was strange, it showed that not all families were like the others on television like the Cleavers, the Nelson, and others. My biggest complaint is that they cancelled the show prematurely which didn't let it grow and the reruns are never tiresome.
I had heard of but never seen 'The Addams Family' until 1974 when
I.T.V. screened repeats on Sunday mornings. I took to it straight away,
as did most of my generation. People who think 'The League Of
Gentlemen' are doing anything new should be made to watch this; it was
unusually dark by the standards of U.S. television. Amusing though the
Addams family undeniably are, they nevertheless possess a vaguely
John Astin headed up the cast as 'Gomez Addams', whose idea of fun is watching toy trains crash. The late Carolyn Jones was sublime as 'Morticia', while former child star Jackie Coogan lit up the screen when he put light bulbs in his mouth as 'Uncle Fester'. Ted Cassidy made a huge impact as 'Lurch', despite having very little to say.
'The Addams Family' debuted on U.S. television at the same time as 'The Munsters', but this is my favourite. Once you've heard that insufferably catchy Vic Mizzy theme, you just can't get it out of your head!
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