On the Scene 7/19: David Harbour brings his fictional life to screen in ‘Frankenstein’s Monster’s Monster, Frankenstein’

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Two-time Emmy Award nominated actor David Harbour debuted his newest “documentary” on Netflix this past week, titled “Frankenstein’s Monster’s Monster, Frankenstein.”

Known for his role as Jim Hopper on Netflix’s Emmy Award-winning series “Stranger Things,” Harbour kept his talents on the streaming service when he teamed with writer John Levenstein (Kroll Show) to create what was more of a mocumentary about his father’s life as an actor.

Harbour plays a fictional version of himself, who discovers an old recording of a play, titled “Frankenstein’s Monster’s Monster, Frankenstein,” that his father created many years ago. Seeing his father on stage, Harbour now makes it his mission to learn more about the man’s professional life, rather than the one he had grown to know while being raised by him.

Harbour, who plays himself and his father, David Harbour, Jr., and even appearing in a shot as his grandfather, David Harbour, Sr., comes from a fictional family, all of whom were made up of actors.

In no way reflecting his actual life where his parents Kenneth and Nancy both work in real estate in White Plains, New York, Harbour’s quest to find out more about the fictional life of his faux father took many chaotic turns after interviewing old work partners of his such as his manager, producers and co-stars.

Intertwined with the archived footage of “Frankenstein’s Monster’s Monster, Frankenstein,” the Netflix special goes back and forth between David Harbour III’s current mission to create the documentary and the work of his father, actor David Harbour, Jr.

In the filmed stage production of “Frankenstein’s Monster’s Monster, Frankenstein,” David Harbour, Jr. played Dr. Frankenstein who impersonated his own monster, while his lab partner (Alex Ozerov) impersonated the doctor as a way to deceive a third scientist (Kate Berlant) for reasons that were not even explained.

If that doesn’t make sense to you, it’s completely alright because it’s not supposed to in any way. David Harbour III soon learned that his famed father had many faults throughout his acting career that he just seemed to be realizing now.

In only 32 minutes, Harbour goes back and forth between playing two totally different yet somehow similar characters that will keep you laughing in fits the entire time.

Watching the events play out in the filmed stage production, while watching comparable events play out in the filmed documentary, it’s impossible to guess where each of the plots will go.

Harbour, who gives a fantastically hysterical performance in both roles is equally matched by the humor of Levenstein’s writing for the special. The only words to describe the special are truly psychotic.

David Harbour stars as “himself” in “Frankenstein’s Monster’s Monster, Frankenstein,” which is now available to stream on Netflix.


Ken Downey Jr. is the Features Editor for Time OFF and Packet Publications. This is a part of his series of weekly columns focusing on arts and entertainment. He can be contacted at [email protected].