So I want to have this posted before I watch the second episdoe of the new Muppets show. So here’s my thoughts after watching the first episode of The Muppets: Pig Girls Don’t Cry.
Spoilers ahead, of course.
As expected, the performance and production value are top-notch. That’s not a surprise since that’s what I’ve been seeing in recent movies and Youtube videos. A few scenes I particularly enjoy: One is the scene with Scooter and Elizabeth Banks driving around on the lot. This kind of continuous shot requires some good logistical planning and execution, even if puppets aren’t involved. It’s particularly impressive with puppets (plural, because if you are familiar with how this kind of puppets work, you would probably think the one that’s driving around is a different puppet from the one that’s tossed from the cart) and it’s just a fun scene to watch.
Another scene that really stood out to me was the flashback scene for Kermit and Piggy’s breakup. Piggy’s facial expression was beautifully, beautifully done. There’s so much nuance to her facial expression. You can totally see the disbelief and confusion on her face. I totally felt that vulnerable moment. It was amazing puppetry.
Something I have a little bit of mixed feeling about are some of the lines. I feel like Kermit and Piggy are a little more mean to each other (and Tom Bergeron) than I think they normally would be. Some of the subject matters are more mature for some characters. It’s not to say that these weren’t normally a part of the Muppets universe. It’s just that I am expecting them to come from some of the more “mature” characters (such as Pepe) instead of some other characters. I’m fine with this and think they will find a balance soon enough.
Also, the show is updated from Muppets putting on a variety show to them working on a late night talk show, which I guess is a good, close enough modern day equivalence. But this means it will have more of a feel of The Office (some say also 30 Rock, but I can’t judge since I didn’t watch that show). There’s simply more of an excitement while putting on a live show versus a late night show, which can be a daily grind of sorts (ask Craig Ferguson towards the end). One of the most Muppet-y moment of being excited to do a show that reminded me of the old one was that horrible “Dancing with the Czars” idea. I love it when Muppets are excited about horrible ideas, because I personally love horrible ideas.
I think some people will not like it, just because it’s not what they remembered. But I think there’s no point in doing something if you don’t allow them to evolve. It might not go the way they (or I) want it to go, but that’s the sign that the characters are still very well alive. If they are just going to be like the old times, why not just watch the old show?
I enjoy the show and will keep on watching it.