The Muppets: Series Premiere Review

“Pig Girls Don’t Cry”

It’s finally here! If you don’t know what I am talking about, then you didn’t have an opportunity to tune in last night to the premiere episode of The Muppets on ABC. Ever since Disney’s acquisition of our felt-covered friends, they have wasted no time in making a return on their investment. With two films and merchandise galore, the Muppets have made good so far; however, last night was their actual test. Could they do Prime-Time (again)?

There was a lot of hype leading up to this premiere. Thanks in no small part to the very publicized break up of two staple characters, and of course, social media. This, however, isn’t the first time the Muppets have been in the prime-time slot for ABC. The former show, which aired from 1976 – 1981, played around with the same premise: Kermit and his team struggling to put on a variety show. That is where the comparisons end. While the former show was family friendly, this series is anything but that. This adult themed show, specifically targeting it’s previous (now very much grown up) audience, will shock, awe, and make us laugh with it’s (subtle) suggestive  jokes.  It’s no wonder the premier was met with resistance by some conservative groups.

In the show’s debut episode, Pig Girls Don’t Cry, Miss Piggy orders Kermit to cut Elizabeth Banks from their late night show because of personal animosity. Kermit, however, decides against it (uncharacteristic of him). However, the real laughs come in the subplot, as Fozzie Bear meets his girlfriend’s (Riki Lindhome) parents. In this episode, we learned two important things. 1) Fozzie Bear gets his fish from Costco, and 2) the story of Kermit and Piggy’s break up. No spoiler’s here, but it was nice to see the frog grow a backbone.

If you grew up or are familiar with the Muppet’s in any way, then this series might be for you. The show has taken on more of an edgier persona. You might feel your innocence stolen as they slip in their humorous quips, like Fozzie’s comment about online dating, “when your online profile says ‘bear looking for love’ you get a lot of wrong responses…” While the show is all in good fun, I would say this is not for all audiences. If you were hoping to introduce your little one to these iconic characters, maybe they should just keep watching Sesame Street.

The story was strong for a pilot. I was hoping for more stars. Muppets never shy away from cameos, and it shocked me to only see three this episode. I can only assume the writers wanted to reestablish their characters under this new setting, without relying on too many big names. We do get to see a more “human” side of The Muppets, which is something we got a glimpse of in the 2011 film. I do wonder if the main story this season will center around Kermit and Miss Piggy. There is potential to provide small vignettes around the other characters, and let Kermit and Piggy serve as a backdrop in some cases.

 

Verdict:

All in all, this was a well done first episode for the show, and they have nowhere to go but up. It’s OK to go into this pilot with high expectations, because you will not be disappointed. The story was short, sweet and to the point. It did feel chaotic to a degree, but it’s The Muppets, and that’s just who they are. Finally, though jokes indeed push boundaries, and it will take some getting use to, they will make you slap your knee laughing. The show knows how to poke fun at itself.



Orlando Suazo is a Contributor to The Daily Runner.

Orlando Suazo

Orlando is an MFA screenwriting student at Regent. Originally, from New York City he recently moved to Northen Virgina just outside of Washington DC. While also being a full-time student, he is also a full-time video professional and works as a video editor at Green Buzz Agency. Orlando has been married for two years, and he and his wife, Kristen, have 1 child.