The Muppets are back where it all started, TV. This time it isn’t The Muppet Show that is being produced but Up Late with Miss Piggy. The show stars Miss Piggy with Kermit as the Executive Producer. Fozzie is the announcer and warm-up comedian, Gonzo is the head writer, and of course the Electric Mayhem is the house band.
The show is shot in the “mockumentary” style much like The Office or 30 Rock. It cuts back and forth from what is happening to the interviews that have become so central to the jokes for this genre. The whole concept of Muppets putting on a show is nothing new. The digging into the personal lives of The Muppets is being billed as something new.
Miss Piggy is furious that Kermit booked Elizabeth Banks as a guest on her late night talk show; Fozzie Bear meets his girlfriend’s parents; Imagine Dragons performs their new single.
Going into this show I found myself conflicted. Having been a long time Muppets fan I really want this to be good and for it to be enjoyable. I also worried that the character integrity of Kermit and the gang could be corrupted in some way in a desperate search for relevancy. Coming out of the show I can say that I found both to be true, thankfully more the first than the last.
Pig Girls Don’t Cry is a decent first outing by the Muppets as they return to network television. It established that Kermit and Miss Piggy have broken up and are now dealing with the relational ramifications of continuing to work for each other. Both come off as a bit more unkind in this episode than previous presentations of the characters. Miss Piggy is more self centered and blustering than ever, which really isn’t a huge surprise. The bigger surprise was that Kermit came off as harsh at times in a way not seen (and really probably surpassing) since originally seen on The Muppet Show. One particular moment stands out when he shoots down head writer Gonzo’s idea for a Dancing with the Czars sketch with Tom Bergeron who was booked to replace Elizabeth Banks on Up Late with Miss Piggy.
Kermit’s new girlfriend Denise is everything Miss Piggy is not… except for also being a pig. She is kind, listens, and is supportive as Kermit deals with the trials of the show. Other than her being the wrong pig for Kermit the Frog, she is probably perfect for him. The downside of this? It’s kind of boring and her nose drove me a little crazy. It will be interesting to see where/how this relationship develops throughout the show.
Speaking of girlfriends, Fozzie has one now as well. In this episode Fozzie is meeting his girlfriend Becky’s (Riki Lindhome) parents. While things are going great with Fozzie and Becky, the parents are another story. The father in particular was throwing every stereotype in Fozzie’s direction throughout the show. Becky stands by her bear though. This storyline was a bit out of place as everything took place at the studio however by the end of the episode I wanted to see more of Becky on the show. Hopefully this isn’t a quick thing and it ends up being an ongoing relationship that is explored through the course of the show.
The celebrity cameos for the show actually made a surprisingly amount of sense and fit into the plot. Both Tom Bergeron and Elizabeth Banks had roles that added to the story in humorous and effective ways. Imagine Dragons were the music guest and also contributed to the storyline to a lesser degree.
As is fitting for most things that involve the Muppets, by the end of the show Kermit and Miss Piggy had reached a resolution about communication and being honest. This is the closest to a happy ending that a show with them being separated could have because let’s face it… after 40 years of them being a couple it is weird to see Kermit with a different pig.
Pig Girls Don’t Cry is a decent first episode for The Muppets. It is entertaining and humorous. It feels like the Muppets. There are some parts that don’t gel as well as others but when I think back through other shows I have loved through the years, this pilot was stronger than many of their first shows. There is definitely room for improvement but I will definitely be tuning in to see what happens next. The real key to success will be keeping the Muppets we know and love and creating storylines that are strong and engaging. If that formula can be found, we could be in for a really fun ride.
What did you think of The Muppets first episode Pig Girls Don’t Cry? I would love to hear your thoughts on the episode in the comments below!
Make it a GREAT day!
- Mr. DAPs
It also should be noted: This isn’t the family friendly Muppets that has been appearing on the Disney Channel in recent years. It is much edgier. Is it too far? Some will think so. Others won’t. It was probably further than I would have pushed things if I were in charge and some of that humor will turn off some viewers. It will be interesting to see how this adult humor is received and if it remains.