Revuesday: Frankenstein's Monster's Monster Frankenstein

Netflix, David Harbour, and Arrested Development. That sounds like a dream come true. Right now, David Harbour is hotter than Tom Cruise making his own Tik Tok video and the world needs to see him every chance they get.

What better way to show him then in a mockumentary where he plays his own father and his own son?

David Harbour Jr, the father of David Harbour the III, did an obscure experimental TV drama in the 80's called Frankenstein's Monster's Monster Frankenstein. It was dark, broody, mysterious, and completely non-sensical. think of Dark Shadows meets Twin Peaks. David now wants to learn who his late father really was through the lens of this awful soap drama.

The comedy comes in two forms. The TV show FMMF is painfully cheesy, full of non-nonsensical plot holes, and lots of David Harbour Jr. breaking character to speak to a fourth wall that doesn't exist. He acts opposite the young 80's hot shot, Joey Vallejo, and the indifferent female star, Monica Fulton. David Jr. has a seething hatred for Joey's success that shows up as constant passive aggressiveness. Fulton is just there to do long awkward pauses and over dramatic sweeping gestures. Alfred Molina pops up in the play to deliver a poetic sea captain line about the weather.

While the soap is the backdrop of David Jr's crumbling career, DH the 3rd works to uncover who his father really is. Talking to old directors and show runners points to his dad being a shady person, possible killer, a liar, and a man of many vices. The rabbit hole goes deeper with each revelation until DH can't handle who his fictional father was.

The Arrested Development story writers went full obscure in this 32 minute drama, using their love of awkward tension, fast cuts, flashbacks, and off color side projects. At one point David Harbour Jr. reveals that he is really Frankenstein (or the monster) and everyone commits suicide on the set as the finale. Another scene has the Frankenstein monster forgetting that he only grunts and having full conversations (and make out sesh) with Monica Fulton.

What makes this work is David Harbour playing the straight man, while his co-stars commit to the insanity. His reaction to his documentary falling apart is why we love him. He is like your dad, but when he gets disappointed it is funny and adorable. Plus it's only a one-off 32 minute project. The comedy is so left field and out there that I don't think this would work as a series.

Those who laugh at this will "understand" Arrested Development humor and just want to see Hopper. Others will stare at the screen cockeyed and return to looking up articles on their phone. My favorite scene is when Alfred Molina hosts his own show, The Actor's Trunk, where stars of the FMMF "display" their acting skills by using props in the trunk. It's so dry and painful.

My one irk with the series is that it was PG-14, but there was a sprinkling of F words. Not as much as any premium drama show on Netflix, but it was my understanding that more than 1 bumped you up to an MA rating. I definitely don't want my 14 year old hearing that many F bombs.

This series will not win any students from Julliard, but you can't deny it scratched two very weird itches. David Harbour and more Arrested Development.

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