It’s week three, and The Muppets are going strong… Actually, they may be doing “just okay.”
The Muppets still have the combination of clever writing and jokes to fill in the gaps, but the show lacks any ounce of pizazz! Last week, I wasn’t too impressed and felt like the episode left a lot on the table in terms of potential. However, this week it also does feel like this the pilot left off.
When Fozzie Bear shares his sketch for Up Late with Miss Piggy with Kermit, Kermit lies and encourages him to make it a movie. Meanwhile, Miss Piggy is embarrassed by Christina Applegate (Married With Children, Anchorman) and vows to return the favor. Gonzo tries online dating by pretending to be Liam Hemsworth (The Hunger Games) with disastrously humorous results.
No doubt, the comedy was present. But we get it. The writer’s can tell jokes, but what telling a good story? What was great about this episode is that the writer’s shifted focus a tiny bit from Piggy being the main plot line to her being the b-story. They even added a bit more of Gonzo. Nevertheless, I am starting to believe the show-runner is playing it extremely safe with textbook TV comedy techniques, to keep their ratings up and get an early renewal. Since ABC only ordered nine episodes for this season, I can only speculate.
Like I said, the episode was funny. I laughed a lot, but the episode’s ending this week felt forced. It seemed to wrap up with haste. The show, even though it introduced more character stories, is still bouncing between the three main characters they had for the first two weeks. I want this show to work, but it isn’t pushing the boundaries enough. These stories still feel like vignettes. I am starting to think this show is the puppet version of Modern Family, and I am not even mocking the overdone “mockumentary” style. But what Modern Family does well is tell stories that feel full and complete… unlike The Muppets.
This week, a new Muppet was introduced, and I surely feel like he will play a major role in the mid-season finale. Since I am not into giving away too much, I’ll just say a creepy guy with glasses is never a good sign. Also, Gonzo, Rizzo, and Pepe got more time to shine than in the previous episodes, which was actually pretty good. I want to see what the other less popular Muppets are doing in their off-time. Maybe this will help make the show more interesting.
This week’s episode is certainly watchable. Like I said a billion times before, it’s funny. But I was bored. If next Tuesday, you decided to skip primetime and watch the Muppets on DVR, no one would blame you. The show has lost its urgency. This “must-watch” sitcom has officially become a “er-well-I-could-watch.” They’re playing it safe; I’m not going to hold my breath for an episode that will blow me away next week.