Director: Lawrence Dobkin
Writers: James Allardice and Tom Adair
Cast: Yvonne De Carlo, Al Lewis, Beverley Owen, Butch Patrick, Fred Gwynne, Linda Watkins, Neil Hamilton, Richard Reeves, and Jerry Mann
Composer: Jack Marshall
Air Date: 11/26/1964
After a lonely Grandpa feels left out by his family, the goofy vampire contacts a matrimonial agency and requests a mail-order bride named Lydia Gardner (Linda Watkins). Though Grandpa’s new love interest turns out to be a black widow working for a con artist, Lydia ends up with a surprise of her own while wandering the Munster abode during late-night hours.
By combining a clever premise with well-executed slapstick, “Autumn Croakus” results in another highly entertaining outing of The Munsters. Additionally, viewers who have been subjected to the horrors of online dating will enjoy this episode for obvious reasons.
When the Munster patriarch refuses to introduce himself to Grandpa’s bride-to-be, the final outcome of Herman’s resistance can be predicted rather easily. Nevertheless, the absurd circumstances that prevent contact between Herman and Lydia prior to the final scenes will amuse fans of screwball comedy, even though such antics have become routine by this point in the series.
Occasionally slow pacing and weak puns hamper the quality of an otherwise ingenious offering.
As with a great majority of The Munsters episodes, “Autumn Croakus” presents a situation in which the eponymous family gets taken for a ride as a result of their astonishing naivety. Thankfully, writers James Allardice and Tom Adair managed to implement the above scenario in such a way that the bad guys receive their comeuppances through a series of zany events stemming from Herman’s oblivious behavior. In particular, what makes this episode stand out among other similarly themed outings is that the subject matter, though conceived over fifty years ago, still remains relevant thanks to the advent of online dating in recent decades.
“Autumn Croakus” is another outstanding season one entry that benefits from intelligent writing as a complement to pure slapstick. Audiences who appreciate The Munsters for its kooky spin on everyday situations should view this episode for the aforementioned reasons, whereas those who wonder how an online dating disaster would have turned out over half a century ago need look no further.
Overall Quality: 9/10
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