I have to admit, I really was anxious about watching Monsters again. There’s a lot of things from your childhood that just don’t hold up over the years.
But I liked it. The season had a quality issue, especially in the beginning, but this is a show pitched at people who like B movies and practical effects, and who were kind of accustomed to rubbery monsters anyway. The kind of person who immediately knew who Dick Smith was, and why it was a good thing he was attached to the show.
It is a show that is better for its constraints. It was a network television show over a quarter of a century ago, which meant that there was a lot they couldn’t show. There wasn’t much money, and at half an hour minus commercials, there wasn’t much time. And that works. Horror is one format where extending the length usually doesn’t help the concept, and tight constraints can produce fine work.
Contrast this with Masters of Horror, which had little limitations on content, a higher budget, and higher profile contributors, but had equally uneven episodes as Monsters, and a great deal more bloat.
From what I’ve seen, the next couple seasons tire of the monster of the week format even more and try to stretch their own wings. Let’s see where that goes.
(I will have to postpone season two at the moment, because one of the disks doesn’t work. I can’t believe how hard this set was to find, purchase, and now it doesn’t even work. I cannot think of a series released with this much contempt from its own studio.)