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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

What Can I Say? I’m Attracted To Pigs #Muppets #PremiereWeek

What Can I Say? I’m Attracted To Pigs #Muppets

Pictures courtesy of ABC 

First, I would like to announce that I’ve made the decision to do a cumulative post on most of the new shows I listed in my #PremiereWeek post a few days back. This means that I will withhold talking about most of them until their third episode has aired so I can get a good sense of where the show is going and what it wants to be. For anyone saying they’d like to see a review of the show before they tuned in, but they also don’t want to be behind, I’m sorry. All I can say to you is that if you do come to find my opinion about shows that important, most channels (cable and network broadcast) tend to keep the first three episodes On Demand so you can catch up. Three (really two and a half) hours of bingeing on a good show isn’t that bad. And actually, it is much better than bingeing a full season of something. This way, I won’t break my back trying to review every single new show all at once. Oh, and some of those reviews will come either the week of the third episode or the week of the fourth.

With that said, I have to break that thought and post about The Muppets’ (#Muppets) new show. If you read my initial premiere week post, you will know that I was not too thrilled with this show or idea. Honestly, I think many people have soured on the Muppets or at least I thought they had soured on them as their second movie in their big comeback a few years ago didn’t do so well. I thought, “well, people are clearly not that interested in puppets anymore.” But with the final winner of America’s Got Talent just last week being a puppeteer—the second one to win the million dollar prize in its ten year run—I clearly don’t know as much as I thought I did. Maybe the jubilation from watching that has carried over to this show. I don’t know. But what I do know is that I actually found it pleasant, far more than I thought I would.

A mix between The Office and 30 Rock—two NBC shows that both were good in their time but I thought stayed longer than they should have—this new incarnation of the Muppets follows the behind-the-scenes exploits of a fictional show entitled Up Late with Miss Piggy. The first episode saw Miss Piggy trying to veto guest Elizabeth Banks because of a failed Hunger Games audition. It also saw Fuzzy meeting his girlfriend’s parents for the first time and Kermit getting acclimated to having a new pig girlfriend/assistant to his Liz Lemon. And you know what, it was actually funny a few times.

Before you go there, remember what you’re getting people. This is not going to be highbrow humor; in fact, I would argue that no sitcom really has that (yes, that includes the Big Bang). But I will say that if you lifted this script and put it into an episode of 30 Rock, few viewers would know the difference. It’s on that level. Much of the humor is geared toward adults just like the two winning puppet masters of AGT also had adult humor mixed in with Will Ferrell-esque silliness (love Will Ferrell).

In talking about the kind of humor, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the controversy. A few conservative groups have come out against the show believing it would be too dirty or too adult for its eight o’clock time slot, especially since it was marketed as a family show. While I have yet to see the other episodes, I didn’t find anything too offensive or dirty in the show to warrant such outrage. I actually find it funny that this is the show magnet-ing controversy when ABC clearly expected that crown to go to Black-ish’s season premiere, which they quite cheerfully promote for approaching the use of the N-word (so edgy! Has it ever been done before?). Another post will follow about that.

If anything, the humor wasn’t adult enough. Here’s my thing, after watching the show I really don’t know who it is geared to. I thought there’d be more jokes for younger children (under 10 crowd) but not really. Adults will get all of their silliness, but will they tune in weekly for it and what will motivate that? The crowd I see most likely to both be young enough still for the novelty of puppets and old enough to get all the jokes would be the tweeners, teens and new adults (11-22). The question is will that be enough to keep it afloat or will older people tune in for nostalgia and the Office-like humor? Again, The Muppets always skewed a little older even in their original show. Will this attract the fans left over from shows like Community, Parks and Recreation and the like? Only time will tell.

What do you think? Did you see the premiere of the new show or were you too busy watching Scream Queens over on Fox or The Voice over on NBC or something else on some other channel... or reading? Even if you didn’t see it, are you interested now that you know what kind of humor it has? Do you think you would watch it with your family? And will you give it the three episode challenge as I do most shows? Let me know what you think in the comments below. Hint: click where it reads “no comments” to comment.

As always, check out my books on Amazon (if you’re looking for Halloween scares check  #AFuriousWind, #DARKER#BrandNewHome or #ThePowerOfTen). For those interested in something a little more dramatic, check out #TheWriter. The final episode of season one of The Writer is coming this Friday. All other 14 episodes are out now available exclusively on Amazon. Join us on Goodreads to talk about books and TV, and subscribe to my blog.

Until next time, “Pope, the floor is not a hamper.” “Maaannn!”

P.S. Fine, that’s not really a sign-off line. It’s really more dialogue than anything. And yes, it’s from Family Guy from, like, ten years ago. But gimme a break, the Pope is here. Am I Catholic? No. But it’s the pope. The pope, y’all!  

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