Sure, it looks like the Addams Family, but...
Ask anyone who knows the Addams what stood out about the show, would certainly rank their house right behind the wonderful characters, including Gomez, the nutty businessman, loving mother Morticia, disturbing Uncle Fester and the kids Wednesday and Pugsley, but this series eliminates the house! Instead, the Addams spend this show travelling the U.S.A. in their gadget-equipped creepy camper, driven around by their monstrous butler Lurch. Their itinerary sends them on the same silly paths taken by shows like Scooby Doo or The Brady Bunch, with stops in places like Nashville, Kentucky, New York and Hawaii, as well as two trips out West, showing how limited the concept is.
Each and every stop along the way sees the family come across some kind of thief or swindler who takes advantage of them, only to get busted in the end. These bad guys come straight out of central casting, with one being the brains, and the other the moronic sidekick. They are so generic and stereotypical that if you told me there were only three character designs and two voice actors for the villains over 16 episodes, I'd be able to offer no argument at all. It's just part of a seeming lack of effort in the series, resulting in a mish-mash of a show, from the Addams' Flintstones-like use of service animals to the effort to avoid drawing legs while characters walk. On the plus side, the painted backgrounds are actually quite nice.
If anything serves as a symbol for what's wrong with this show, it's got to be Gomez Addams, essentially the star of the series. He may not have been the first representation of Gomez, but Astin put his stamp on the character, with a confident, yet child-like and wild-eyed personality. In fact, for all of the Addamses, it was the performances of each actor that really sold the characters. And while Ted Cassidy (Lurch) and Jackie Coogan (Fester) returned for the cartoon (with a young Jodie Foster providing Pugsley's voice), the show went dramatically wrong when casting Gomez, as they ended up with a bad imitation of Jackie Gleason's performance of Ralph Kramden's bad acting on The Honeymooners. Though Gomez is certainly naive and trusting, you have to be able to believe he's also the head of the household, and with this voice, combined with the creepy pug-nosed character design, you can't picture him as Morticia's equal. Combined with the uninspired storylines, it makes for a disappointing entry in the Addams' canon.
The audio is presented via Dolby Digital 2.0 tracks that are good for the most part, but oddly, later episodes suffer some drop out in the music during the opening titles. Otherwise, the audio is clean, without any issues with distortion.
The Bottom Line