The Muppets are BACK on TV and the world is a better place for it! It’s been over 30 years since the original Muppet Show, and about 20 years since the last Muppet show that graced the screen (Muppets Tonight) and between those shows and 8 movies, how do you keep the Muppets so fresh and funny? The Big Bang Theory’s Bill Prady’s solution is to update them to modern television with a documentary style and 30 Rock-like premise while still retaining their spirit.
Now-single Miss Piggy is the star of a late-night talk show called “Up Late with Miss Piggy” and the rest of the Muppets are workers/performers on the show. Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem is the band, Fozzie is the warm-up act, and Kermit is the talent coordinator. The show is a behind-the-scenes look at how they make and work on the show, as well as what’s going on in their personal lives. It’s like The Office except in entertainment.
The show’s premise is brilliant and Bill Prady and crew take full advantage of this. Not only does this feel like a modern TV show with the Muppet spirit, but we also see the Muppets do things that we never thought we could see them do. We see full-size Muppets, Fozzie driving a car and never once do we see wires or puppet performers. Never before did the Muppets feel THIS real! They feel like real creations, rather than puppets near the bottom of the screen as they have sometimes before.
The other fun part is this is a more adult show than previous Muppet movies or shows. It is rated TV-PG, and we see Kermit and friends make more innuendos and even some moderate curses (mostly just hell). This also adds to the freshness of the show and what makes it so interesting and funny to watch. Some very conservative parents have taken issue with this, but I feel it’s still appropriate enough for children as well. In any regards, it is a good show that is properly rated TV-PG and if parents feel the need to screen it before showing their young children (ages 7 and below I would say), the option is there.
The Muppets’ pilot is hopefully a great indicator of things to come. It’s funny, it’s different but it’s also very heartfelt. There is a scene here between Kermit and Miss Piggy that is very quiet and full of mood that was just wonderful. Add to that wonderful guest stars (this week had Elizabeth Banks, Tom Bergeron, Imagine Dragons and Riki Lindhome) that really add to the comedy and show than just be there for promos, and you get a really wonderful pilot that you can tell took a ton of hard work. After seeing it twice, I can safely say it’s a great start to things to come. I look forward to see this show every week.