Frankenstein’s Monster’s Monster, Frankenstein makes as much sense as its title. It’s not easy to figure out is it? Well, that pretty much sums up this Netflix special.
Frankenstein’s Monster’s Monster, Frankenstein is a mockumentary starring David Harbour as both himself in the present time, and his Father in various guises. From stage actor (“and THAT’s how I got into Juilliard!”), to a pastiche of late Orson Welles, his Father was quite the character. Current Harbour wants to know more, because how could digging into your Father’s past and hiring an auditor go wrong at all? As he does we’re left to wonder, who is the real monster?
The entire thing is preposterous and barely coherent, but Harbour’s clear enjoyment just about manages to hold things together. The 32 minute run time is an odd thing, seeming either too short or far too long; I really can’t tell. A cast including Alfred Molina doesn’t have the time to do anything bar ham things up to the extreme. If it had committed to being full length, or been trimmed down to a skit, it may have worked better. Watching actors purposely avoid the camera, trip over scenery, and struggle with doors is funny though. It’s these scenes, replete with howling women and stilted proclamations regarding ‘Checkov’s gun’, where the show shines.
This whole would have been a complete mess were it not for Harbour. Is there much point it all though? Tricky, as it’s hard to guess what it was going for. If it has fully embraced the poorly executed theatre show on screen I’d have liked it a lot more I think. As a result it’s inoffensive and mildly interesting, which doesn’t feel like what it was aiming for.