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Puppet Kaos - where Kelvin Kao plays with puppets and tell random stories

The Muppets: Pig Girls Don’t Cry (Season 1, Episode 1)

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.

Watch A Muppets Christmas: Letters To Santa on Hulu

letters_to_santaLast year, the Muppets did a new Christmas TV special called “A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa”. I was not able to watch it when it was on, so I tried to tape it. Alas, the VCR failed me. So imagine my delight to see it on Hulu today.

The movie started out with Kermit and other Muppets standing in line at the post office to send out Christmas cards, but then due to a mix-up, the somehow ended up with other people’s mail that’s addressed to Santa in North Pole. By the time they found out, the post office was already closed, so Kermit the Frog, Fozzie Bear, Gonzo the Great, Rizzo the Rat, and Pepe the Prawn did the only thing that made sense to do (in the Muppet world): they decided to go to North Pole themselves to deliver those letters to Santa. Of course, there would be challenges along the way, but let me just spoil the ending for you (since it’s a Christmas special, and with Muppets) by saying that everything worked out in the end.

The movie was really cute. I had a smile on my face throughout the movie. The movie was full of silly puns, which I loved. (I have a love for taking things literally and out of context, which Muppets seems to love doing, a lot.) Somehow the Halle Berry referenced cracked me up. And I also loved Nathan Lane’s “ding ding ding” moment. Besides Kermit, Fozzie, Gonzo, Rizzo, and Pepe, lots of other characters also appeared in the film, such as Miss Piggy, Sam the Eagle, the Swedish Chef, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, Scooter, Rowlf the Dog, Statler and Waldorf, Animal, Beaker, etc. Guest stars included Nathan Lane, Whoopi Goldberg, Uma Thurman, Jane Krakowski, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, etc. I feel like they were thinking, hey, it’s Christmas. Might as well let everyone make a cameo!

If you would like to see it, here’s the link. Oh, and I also watched A Charlie Brown Christmas (again). Actually, A Charlie Brown Christmas was featured on Hulu’s front page. They have a page for holidays, so I clicked on it to see what else they have. I was looking for Muppet Christmas specials. I actually thought they would have one of the older ones but they had the new one. That worked for me too. 😀 If you want to see more info about the movie and some behind-the-scenes pictures, check out the Muppet Wiki page.

Ugly Muppet Toy Pageant 2008

Over at Tough Pigs, a site that’s all about the Muppets, there was a pageant of Muppet toys… strange-looking ones, that is. The voting was over and the results were announced. Some of these were more weird than ugly, and some of them were… actually ugly. I already saw all the pictures when the nominations came out, but what cracked me up were the brilliant and hilarious comments left by people about each item.

Here’s a taste:

“Who’d have thought you could admire Kermit’s outtasite ‘fro AND use him to wash dishes?” -Nancy P

“I love how it’s called ‘Retro Kermit’ — as if Kermit EVER did or would sport that look.” -Justin P

“We know what Kermit looked like in the 70s, and it certainly wasn’t the love child of Don King and Barry Gibb.” -Mary Catherine O

To see the full post, click here to head over to the Tough Pigs site!

A Muppet Christmas: Letters to Santa

Finally, there’s going to be another Muppets Christmas special! This video has been circulating on the internet and lets you see several snipets from the movie.

According to the Muppets Wiki:

The program opens with the Muppets waiting in line at the post office to mail their Christmas cards. While there, the Muppets mistakenly intercept three letters sent by children to Santa Claus. Later, Claire, a young girl who lives in the same building as the Muppets, is disappointed when Gonzo reveals that the Muppets will not be around for Christmas as they are all going on vacation. However, the Muppets soon realize that the spirit of the holidays is more important than their vacation, and they attempt to fix the problems created by their mishap and get the averted letters to Santa Claus before Christmas. They rush to the airport via taxi, where they encounter Joy, a friendly ticket agent, and Officer Meany, a bitter airport security guard. They try to catch a flight to the North Pole before it’s too late…

The special will air in the United States on NBC this Wednesday (December 17) at 8/7central. Don’t forget to tune in! I’d probably be at work but I’m going to set the VCR. That’s right; some people don’t have Tivo yet! (or cable TV, for that matter)

Josh Groban’s TV Theme Song Medley on 60th Emmy

What does Josh Groban’s TV Theme Song Medley on the 60th Emmy Award last night have to do with puppets? Well, Animal from Muppets appeared, sang the Muppets theme song, and then got taken away by… (????) Watch for yourself.

Okay, I’m just pointing that out because that part is puppet-related. But of course, the star was Josh Groban. This performance was quite entertaining to watch, because he was singing all these different genres and who knew, he did great impressions of some of the singers and voiceovers too! Possibly the highlight of last night’s Emmy Awards in my opinion.

Happy 4th of July!

And if you read puppetry blogs like I do, chances are you’ve already seen this video. But if you haven’t, enjoy!

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