New Muppets Doesn’t Stand Up to Original


Fozzie, Kermit, Miss. Piggy, and Gonzo are all back in The Muppets.

Joe Corcoran, Staff Writer

The Muppets have returned, and much like other revived series, it faces a monstrous challenge. Can The Muppets live up to the work created with Jim Henson?
The fact is, Jim Henson made The Muppets, and his presence has been missed for decades ever since he sadly passed away too soon. But The Muppets are a force to be reckoned with, so surely the people making the show at ABC are talented and can write a good comedy. But the ultimate question lies, is the new show one that Henson would be proud to call his own? So, it’s time to meet The Muppets.
Remember the good ol’ Muppets: the wacky Gonzo, a comedy challenged yet lovable Fozzy, the diva Miss Piggy, mean old Stalter and Waldorf at the balcony ridiculing the show, and Kermit behind the scenes trying to salvage something for the audience each week. It worked; in fact it was quite amazing. Instead of glorifying his show, Mr. Henson used its flaws and the characters flaws as the driving force to make a flawed show perfect. He embraced their problems and made the struggles of creating the show, the actual show.

The idea worked and for five years the audience was in love, so it makes sense to bring these characters back and see if they still work, right? Well thirty-five years pass by, some good movies are made, some not so good movies are made, cue Muppets Most Wanted, but for the most part the desire for a Muppets show was still there, and ABC took that desire and made something to show the people at home.

The new Muppets show isn’t perfect. In fact, the pilot was quite bad. For starters the show within a show was changed from variety show to talk show Up Late with Miss Piggy. Why? Why change the idea that started the Muppets popularity in the first place?

Next, we have one-to-one interviews, not copying Parks and Recreation or The Office at all — okay, totally copying them both. Heck even the opening video copied The Office theme song and title card; it was plagiarism served on a silver platter. Then came Miss Piggy and Kermit being divorced. Again, we have never seen this one before, except for every Muppets movie ever made since Y2K.

Finally, we have Fozzy telling bad puns, and dating a human, which isn’t a bad idea until the jokes came along. The jokes of a bear and a human dating were to mirror inter-racial couples, but there was one big problem — the jokes were awful. The writers weren’t clever, just crude and awful after time went on.

The new show did have some moments that will keep people watching for thirty minutes, but not enough to be a good thirty minutes. What made Henson’s Muppets special was they were original, but the new show is anything but that. So please ABC, take a month off if needed, revise the show, and make one that will get things started on the most sensational, inspirational, muppetational, Muppets Show.