Category Archives: Muppets

Rebooting The Muppets (Again)

On Monday, I noted that The Muppets, which by any scale has been a serious disappointment, had been green lit through the end of the season, but for a 16 episode run instead of a full 22 episode order. A vote of confidence, but not a full one. or perhaps the ABC brass not wanting to admit failure so prominently.

Turns out the answer to that was neither. As reported by Deadline yesterday, those back six episodes are going to serve as a reboot to the reboot. Yes, we’re rebooting The Muppets (Again.) They’ve fired Bob Kushell, the Big Bang co-creator who served as showrunner, and are bringing aboard Kristin Newman, who was the brains behind last season’s mini-run of Galavant.

kermit and piggy break up

Deadline notes that ABC is now allowing that The Muppets was “rushed” to air: “filming a last-minute presentation in April and getting a slot on the fall schedule just a couple of weeks later — before its concept, style and tone had been fully formed.” Sounds like a tacit admission of failure to me. There are also rumors of behind the scenes tension, and a decision that one of the two minds behind the show had to go, with full-time Kushell taking the fall over part-time co-creator Bill Prady.

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Miss Piggy’s “I’m Sorry” Song

As you guys notice, I’m not recapping The Muppets. I’ve been tuning in now and again, but there’s no spark to the show. The zany that made The Muppets special just isn’t there. It’s just another bad sitcom, just with green frogs instead of white dudes. I am glad to hear it got a second season, but I’m not surprised that it’s only got a 16 episode order, instead of 22.

I missed this song and dance number with Piggy when it aired last week, and only just saw it over the weekend. I wish the show did more of this–it would be a reason to tune in. Hopefully the show will realize that and re-calibrate, much like SHIELD did.

The Muppets: “Pig Girls Don’t Cry”

I don’t know if I will recap The Muppets every week, but I would be remiss if I didn’t say a few words about last night’s episode. Watching the Muppets update themselves for the 21st century, leaving the vaudeville stage behind for the variety talk show world is something of a sharp update, as those late night series are one of the few bastions of stand up comedy, music and guest star appearances left from television’s early years. It’s also a quiet jab at those complaining that network talk shows are still only hosted by white men in 2015. See, ABC has one that’s not only helmed by a woman, but a pig! She’s on just after Jimmy Kimmel! …In the Muppet-verse that is.

Where I think the show falls down in that those who are running ABC don’t actually understand where the jokes are. Those making the show understand that it’s not about the one liners, it’s about the absurd aftermath, and there are plenty of laugh out loud moments that play to that original world of Muppet humor. But it was telling to me last night that ABC had their official The Muppets‘ account tweet out Kermit’s one liner about his life being a slice of bacon wrapped hell.

Yes, that’s a funny line, but it’s a line that would be not totally out of place on all those 22 minute sitcoms The Muppets is supposedly parodying. What made it special on The Muppets is the instant pass through of Sam the Eagle snapping “DON’T SAY HELL.” What wasn’t funny was Fozzie Bear doing his best David Brent insult to try to pretend everyone gets insulted. It was that the monster he insulted (whose name is Big Mean Carl) rounding on Fozzie and hitting him so hard his Muppet body flew halfway across the set in a moment of Road Runner cartoon slapstick. That was funnier than anything else that happened to Fozzie all night, including the “racist against bears” scene with the girlfriend’s parents, or the bit about “a bear looking for love” getting the “wrong” kind of responses.

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