Technical difficulties and Nuke-Con have put me behind on reviews but I did have a chance to catch up with The Muppets. I wasn’t impressed with “Hostile Makeover” or “Bear Left Then Bear Write.” The pilot showcased some classic Muppet jokes and delivered some self-referential humor but the second and third episodes tried to fast-forward the show from a new sit-com to one that’s been on for many seasons.
Sit-coms typically start off with broad, one-note and over-the-top characters and over time, the characters grow so that the situations the characters find themselves in amplify the humor because of the particular character(s) placed in those situation. As I mentioned before, The Muppet Show was a sketch comedy so there isn’t any history with which to build these connections. I liked how the pilot focused on Kermit and Miss Piggy’s relationship because they’re the closest characters to having more than one level.
The next two episodes stray from the Kermit/Miss Piggy dynamic somewhat and we’re given some hollow stories as a result. In fact, The Muppets are so deprived of deep characters that they had to invent two new characters, Chip the IT guy and a random second bear, so the show could explore certain topics. Chip and the other bear aren’t winners.
I don’t want to be too judgmental so I’ll probably stop reviewing The Muppets until it improves. At this point, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the show venture into the abuse Dr. Teeth experienced as a child. Some stories don’t need to be told.
I had high hopes but I can’t recommend The Muppets at this time. The show needs to figure out what it wants its characters to be and then commit to them, while trying to keep the elements that made the Muppets the Muppets. This will be a tall order.