We are back with another episode of The Muppets on ABC. Despite coming out a bit slow at the gate, story wise, this show is becoming an early hit for the Fall TV Lineup. While Ms. Piggy and Kermit are the driving force of the storyline, this week they take a back seat and Fozzie Bear along with Gonzo take center stage. The following is a review/recap of the show, which means it contains SPOILERS. You have been warned.
Fozzie Bear Goes Out to Make His Own Path
At the start of the episode our loveable, but not so funny bear, Fozzie wants Kermit’s feedback on a sketch about a porcupine buying dress socks. Kermit can’t find it in him to tell Fozzie that the sketch stinks. Instead, Kermit panics and blurts out that Fozzie’s bit is “too good” for the show and he should instead turn it into a movie! Fozzie takes this (bad) advice seriously and right in the middle of a broadcast of Up Late With Miss Piggy, Fozzie resigns from his position as the show’s announcer to go off and focus on his screenplay.
Kermit frantically tries to get Fozzie to come back to the show. But to no avail, once Fozzie finds out that Kermit lied to him about how “good” his material was, he doubles his efforts to write the greatest porcupine searching for dress-socks movie ever! Uhhhh….yeah….so where would someone find inspiration for such a magnificent tale? In a clothing department store? No. He goes to the woods.
Kermit has to find a replacement fast cause you can’t have Miss Piggy all alone up there. Someone has to butter up the audience. In comes one of our guest stars for the night Nick Offerman, who Kermit hires as a replacement. While everything seems to be going great, the unfortunate problem is that Offerman wants to be paid in cappuccino machines and boats! So mingled in with Kermit’s guilt and the possibility of Offerman bankrupting the show if his demands are met, Kermit tracks down Fozzie. After a run in with a park ranger (and his tranquilizer gun,) the two reunite and quickly go back to business as usual. This leads us to a funny, but drug induced back and forth between Fozzie and Kermit: “Have you ever been shot by a tranquilizer dart, Kermit?” “No, but I did lick my third cousin once and the walls started melting, so I feel you, bro.”
While Kermit is off trying to get Fozzie back, we get to spotlight on the life and times of Gonzo. He’s got a blinddate he’s nervously preparing for with Debbie, a woman he met through online dating while using a picture of Liam Hemsworth. The classic catfish scenario is set to commence, but since they work on Up Late it allows Gonzo an out to speak with the actor he impersonated online. Gonzo’s plan is to bring in the Hunger Games star to start out the date before letting Gonzo slip in and sweep Debbie off her felt feet.
At first Hemsworth is a bit peeved, but the guys appeal to his emotions and hoping he’ll understand Gonzo’s position. Of course this is hard to do with someone who is that good looking. As Hemsworth puts it, “No I’ve been gorgeous since birth, but I have struck out a few times. Just at a super-high level.”. He plays along with the plan, but the plan take an unexpected turn when Hemsworth actually falls for Debbie, who likes him for more than being ridiculously good looking. This of course wraps up that portion of the story and Gonzo is left alone with his bros.
Miss Piggy welcomes Christina Applegate as a guest on her program, but the former Up All Night star doesn’t come without a few little surprises up her sleeve. Did I forget to mention that Miss Piggy hates surprises. Well, you know now. Applegate decides to play an embarrassing clip that in classic slapstick style shows Piggy face-planting into a cake and dragging a few other things down with her on her descent to the ground. Unamused by the surprise, Piggy recruits Scooter to get dirt on Applegate and find embarrassing video of her.
After much searching, on Scooter’s part, there seems to be nothing online that ties Christina Applegate to anything embarrassing. So Miss Piggy takes it upon herself to make it happen. It doesn’t go so well for Piggy thought, because upon enlisting Scooter arrive at her door with cake in hands Applegate picks up on what is going on. I mean who wouldn’t….seriously…sending your assistant over to the house with a cake. Smooth move. Miss Piggy is across the street while Scooter tries to act all nonchalant, while talking to Applegate, and tries to record Christina “accidentally” smashing her face into cake. Instead, she gets arrested for illegally filming the prank!
This week’s episode saw the return of Rowlf, my favorite pup, but as a bartender, which was kind of weird. Also some of the auxiliary characters came out with their one liners, and so hopefully it leads up to some of these characters having their own story highlight in an episode in the near future. The biggest OMG moment for me came from the Swedish Chef. Chef asks Applegate for an autograph made out to a “Megan.” While it may seem like it is directed to a daughter or a wife, as Applegate assumes, but Megan is in fact Chef. Even though it is implied that this may make Chef a female, I’m not gonna take it that way. Swedish Chef is weird…so anything is possible.
What I wish is that they’d move away from the focus on dating, and focus more on the exploits of the characters. Three weeks into it, and this whole “dating” being a part of every story arc is starting to get overly played out. Also it’d be nice, if in the vein of being more adult, they actually make consequences for some of The Muppets actions. Seeing as Miss Piggy is in jail currently, that plot device may come sooner than I expected or I could be let down again. Finally, certain characters who were originally major parts of the original show are no longer as influential, instead they work menial jobs as is the case with Rowlf being a bartender. It feels like a glaring error to not focus in on why that is the case, being a mockumentary, taking some time to focus on these characters and bringing them back into The Muppets fold seems like an intriguing story to tell.
Getting into episode three there are a lot of glaring potholes that are apparent, and relying on the guests to provide a buffer for the comedy to move forward is fine for now, but it won’t last forever. My only wish is that by season’s end we see different muppets take the spotlight for themselves vs. putting in guests into each characters story plot of the week. Don’t believe me: (Nick Offerman= Fozzie Bear/ Liam Hemsworth= Gonzo/ Christina Applegate=Miss Piggy. If we can move to the characters, who have a rich history already to stand on their own in a different light it’ll make for an intriguing conversation down the road in the show.
Outside of the things mentioned above, this episode had a lot more shining moments than the last two and so it gets a B-. Leave your comments below and tell us what you thought of this week’s episode.