Director: Gene Reynolds
Writer: Richard Baer
Cast: Fred Gwynne, Yvonne De Carlo, Al Lewis, Pat Priest, Butch Patrick, and Dom DeLuise
Composer: Jack Marshall
Air Date: 1/13/1966
When Herman is “disfigured” by a bolt of lightning, Lily takes her husband to Dr. Dudley (Dom DeLuise) for a plastic surgery consultation. Meanwhile, Grandpa decides to study Herman’s original blueprints (a souvenir from Dr. Frankenstein) with the intention of returning his son-in-law to “normal.”
By transforming Herman into a hideously deformed monster (i.e. a regular human being), “Just Another Pretty Face” earns its reputation as the most iconic episode of The Munsters. Especially worth praising are any scenes featuring Fred Gwynne without makeup, which will undoubtedly result in a surreal and memorable viewing experience for fans of this series.
After removing the bandages from Herman’s face, Dr. Dudley reacts with awe over what he considers to be a miracle. At first, Herman and Lily interpret the doctor’s response to be one of disgust rather than amazement—a humorous example of the upside-down reality in which the Munsters live.
While attempting to endow his son-in-law with a “handsome” visage, Grandpa straps Herman to a table and hoists him into an electrical device. Though played for laughs (Grandpa compares the situation to Herman’s first haircut), the scene outlined above is a nostalgic and suspenseful tribute to the 1931 version of Frankenstein.
(Spoilers beyond this point)
Herman turns into a woman before reverting to his original self, leading to a somewhat childish finale.
Lily, Grandpa, Eddie, and Marilyn continue to support Herman after his “accident,” demonstrating a permanent familial bond rarely witnessed in modern television shows.
For playing off the Munster family’s lack of self-awareness, “Just Another Pretty Face” should be applauded. Also commendable, the experiments of Grandpa serve as a kooky, delightful homage to the mad scientist movies that inspired his character.
Overall Quality: 10/10
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