Well, it isn’t Speculative Fiction Saturday yet, and honestly, I’m not certain I can really count a Muppet film or TV show as speculative fiction. Then again, just check out what I reviewed last week. Anyway, I had a chance to check out the new Muppet TV show, simply known as The Muppets.
I suppose that this article is a response to the One Million Moms who released a statement on their website saying that the series is “perverted”. This raises a few questions: First, are there really one million moms in this organization? If so, did they think of the name first and then try and find one million moms with identical viewpoints. That would be difficult.
Second, “perverted” compared to what? I watched the show, and yes, I found that there was references to sexual contact amongst the Muppets. There is a line where Kermit says that he “cross-promoted” with his new pig girlfriend. I’m sure there is more that I missed, but the rating before the show began was TV-PG.
Personally, I think the jokes could probably get a little more edgy, and honestly, I don’t think The Muppets should be entirely for a young audience. From what I remember of The Muppet Show from the 70’s and 80’s, it was a parody of variety shows, which were popular at the time. It had a bit more of an edge to it more than say, Sesame Street.
And still, even with that edge, the Muppets never seemed to stray over it. The issue is that times have changed, and kids can understand relational difficulties, which was about the deepest subject matter touched on the new TV series. Yes, it seems made for adults, because those who watched The Muppet Show have grown up, and so have these characters.
Still, I wasn’t sold on the pilot. The issue is it uses that mockumentary format seen on such shows as The Office and Modern Family. Even The Muppets admits it is a lazy way to get characters to talk about their feelings on issues, but I’ve always felt that the Muppets often loved on going behind the scenes.
In this case, The Muppets has a new show that isn’t The Muppet Show, but really should be. Instead, it is a talk show staring Miss Piggy. It is an interesting way of getting her on a major role on the show, but it just doesn’t feel right. I just can’t imagine someone with Miss Piggy’s grumpy personna having a successful talk show. Please do not take this as too much of a comparison, but Roseanne once had a talk show to compete with Rosie O’Donnell. It didn’t last long.
There have been comparisons made with The Muppets to 30 Rock, but it bears a stronger resemblance to The Larry Sanders Show. That is, it goes behind the scenes of a talk show, with all the drama that happens.
The issue that I have is that it uses the type of comedy that I can’t stand these days, with celebrities playing themselves. The pilot episode had Elizabeth Banks and Tom Bergeron being them, and that was the joke. Then Imagine Dragons was on, because…yeah, there wasn’t a good reason.
In fact, the show felt crowded, as there was a story with Fozzie dating a human girl and meeting her parents. Then Miss Piggy had a diva tantrum because she didn’t want Elizabeth Banks on the show, and it had to do with her recent breakup with Kermit.
One of the issues that I had with this show is that I didn’t really laugh much. That’s not a good sign, and the ending joke didn’t even make sense. I mean, I’ve seen pilots that just didn’t work, but they shouldn’t be used to judge the series as a whole. As of now, The Muppets could suffer the fate of short-lived Muppets efforts like The Jim Henson show and Muppets Tonite.