The Muppets had 9 million viewers tune in last week for its premiere episode.
Impressively, they led the way last Tuesday, beating out CBS’, movie turned series, Limitless and FOX’s Scream Queens. It was without a doubt one of the fall’s highest anticipated shows. So, how did it do this week?
In episode two, “Hostile Makeover,” Piggy finds herself without a date for the People’s Choice Awards, which sends her into a frenzy and everyone on staff into “code red.” It’s Kermit’s job to find a date for her. He manages to have their guest, Josh Groban, agree to be her date; however, it becomes much more than just a date. Piggy and Josh become an item and his influence over Piggy starts to have a negative impact on Miss Piggy’s show. Kermit must figure out how to regain control over the show and break Josh’s control over Piggy.
This wasn’t a vast improvement over last week. Admittingly, I didn’t laugh as much as I did last episode (I watched it twice). I felt the premise of the story was ineffective. I also noticed, there was less of emotional and personal stake involved compared to its last week premiere. A good comedy always has a sense of truth/drama involved; however, it felt that this week’s story lacked drama and truth. I want to laugh, but moreover, I want something that is relatable.
Questions I started to ask myself included, “Wouldn’t it be natural for Kermit to get a wee bit jealous of the amazingly talented Josh Groban?” “Why isn’t Kermit jealous?” “Hey, shouldn’t Kermit get jealous?” No, that wasn’t a mistake! I literally asked myself the same question three times, three different ways. I’ve been in an awkward break-up situation before, where I still had to see my ex around. Even though we had broken up it didn’t eradicate my feelings for her; I still got jealous. The fact that the writers didn’t even approach that as an emotional plot point for this episode made the entire story lackluster. This week did not feel as authentic as it could have been. It seems as if the writers were trying to play it safe and hit their marks.
In no way am I mocking the performances. Groban was fantastic and funny. If you haven’t seen Groban parody himself before check out his sketch on Jimmy Kimmel Live. The wacky cast along their personal antics and jokes were just as clever, funny, and ingenious as last week. Which makes me expect only the best next week. We also had an influx of amusing cameos like Laurence Fishburne (Blackish, The Matrix), Lea Thompson (Back to the Future Trilogy), and Jay Leno (The Tonight Show).
Overall, if I haven’t stated this enough, “Hostile Makeover,” wasn’t a terribly memorable episode. The personal feel promised by the showrunners was lacking. The jokes, while clever, couldn’t carry an entire episode. The subplot felt forced and completely unrelated in theme. Maybe the show’s writers were hoping it’s novelty (and the fact it’s The Muppets) would be all it needed to differentiate itself from its competition, but that’s not the case. We expect more out of it. Hopefully, this week is not a reflection on the direction the series will take going forward.
Orlando Suazo is a Contributor to The Daily Runner.