I am a huge muppets fan. I love them! I grew up watching reruns of the original Muppet Show, saw all the muppet movies and am a self-declared Dark Crystal and Labyrinth groopie. Any time I’m feeling depressed or want a little bit of writing inspiration that touches my inner-child I watch the muppets. There is something very innocent, free-spirited, magical, and dream building about the stories that involve Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie, Gonzo, Scooter, Rowlf, Dr. Teeth and The Electric Mayhem and the rest of the muppet gang.
I’ve only seen the first three episodes, but like so many amazing childhood memories, The Muppets had to be changed for modern audiences. Why? Of course, this is just code for, “We really don’t understand why The Muppets worked in the first place but we’ll do our best…” Yeah… Nice try.
Disney obviously wants to cash in on the “resurgence” of the Muppets. I know there are a lot of people like me, who love the Muppets and would love to see more of them — it’s kind of like being a Star Wars fan, you like it because it’s your dream. But there’s none of the Muppet quality in ABC’s The Muppets TV Show. Sure the characters are generically the same, but all the vision and hope of the show is gone. The show is feels jaded and depressing with short glimmers of laughter. The show just didn’t make me feel good at the end, I realize that the writers want the audience to learn something, or show that Muppets can have a dark side, but seriously? would Fozzie really steal? I was horrified.
From a completely objective perspective, it was probably smart of the writers to go the rout of “The Office” style sitcom. The Office was a highly successful show and the style lends itself to growth. Audiences enjoy seeing people “off stage” and feel like they are watching something real. I guess the producers just want to show the real world where people are just getting by because that’s what people are expected to relate to. If I want magical I guess I need to sit down and watch some Sesame Street (which I have to admit I haven’t seen in a very long time). The cameos are great, even though they are short. To be honest, the cameo actors themselves feel the most genuine within the show.
I guess my real problem is that the original Muppets encouraged people to “follow your dreams and make people happy” and this new Muppets is telling people that it never works, just take what you can get. Really? Which world would you prefer to live in? Which world would you prefer to cultivate within yourself and with your children?
I really wanted to love this show. It’s amusing, but it’s just not my Muppets anymore.
While I was searching images for this post I came across a couple articles that are saying that Disney knows that The Muppets TV show is not going over well with audiences. Apparently, according to io9 and Deadline there’s been a shake up in management. After episode 10 there will be a pause in the show to make six new episodes in the spring.
So perhaps there may be hope after all. I guess we’ll find out in the spring of 2016.
Enjoy your entertainment. 😉