The Muppets were last seen on television in their own show in 1998, titled Muppets Tonight. In what was supposed to be an updated version of The Muppet Show, the furry and felt crew didn’t stand the test of time and bowed out after two seasons.
17 years later, the gang is back once again to get things started. Simply titled The Muppets, Kermit and company are seen mostly behind stage in a “mockumentary” style that is seen on tons of programs, most notable The Office, Parks and Rec, and Modern Family. Most people who think the televised Muppets belong on stage or behind the scenes setting up cues and calling on guest stars are going to be disappointed. It’s a hard transition to get used to.
That’s not to say the premiere didn’t brings laughs. It does, and its attempt at adult humor can sometimes be pretty humorous. However, some of the jokes fall flat, and the filming style doesn’t help all the time. These guys are supposed to be zany and crazy, not sipping coffee at a round table. As I’ve heard, it was meant to connect the Muppets with the real world, blinding that line between human and non-human puppet. Still, we never had to blur that reality with fiction because we just accepted it.
There is a presence that is missing overall from the show and that’s one thing that can’t be fixed. Jim Henson knew how to bring out the best in his creations, and ever since his passing, something has always felt off. Trying to resurrect them in whatever format is always going to be not 100% on point. It’s just a realistic fact.
I love the Muppets, I really do. I didn’t hate the pilot and I had a good time with it; however it will be interesting to see if it improves in the next few weeks. The Muppets return to television in the late nineties wasn’t a success; hopefully ABC can put it on the path to find the rainbow connection it deserves.
The Muppets airs Tuesday nights at 8 on ABC
Logan J. Fowler is a senior writer and video game editor on Po-Break.com. He contributes his thoughts every week for Trailer Tuesday and has his own column called “A Link to the Past.” Logan’s “kid at heart” nature has led to his discussion about pop culture that many geeks love to talk about, including superheroes, Super Mario Bros., Pixar, and Muppets, among other things. In addition, one of his first pieces for the site, “Top Ten Comic Book Movies,” was picked as a “Freshly Pressed” piece by WordPress and remains one of the site’s most well-read articles. Currently, Logan works as a Special Education Instructional Assistant at Roosevelt School in Manville NJ. He graduated from Wagner College in 2005 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and in 2007 with a Master of Science in Education Degree in Birth-6th Grade Literacy. He also holds a Teacher of Students with Disabilities Certification from Rutgers. Many of Logan’s friends have said that he moonlights as Spider-Man but this is so not true. Wait, are those police sirens I’m hearing?! Gotta go! -thwipp-