The Muppets have returned to television, with a new series that has garnered mixed reviews—and a boycott from One Million Moms. In this new incarnation, Kermit runs a show called Up Late With Miss Piggy, and we’re treated to the antics onscreen, offscreen (a reality-crew films behind the scenes), and whenever the show decides it’s funny.
Cast and Crew
Directed by Randall Einhorn
Written by Bob Kushell and Bill Prady
Steve Whitmire as Kermit the Frog, Beaker, Statler, Rizzo the Rat, et al.
Eric Jacobson as Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Sam the Eagle, Animal.
Julianne Buesche as Denise
Dave Goelz as The Great Gonzo, Bunsen Honeydew, Zoot, Waldorf, and Chip
Bill Barretta as Dr. Teeth, Rowlf, Pepe the Prawn, the Swedish Chef, Bobo the Bear
David Rudman as Scooter, Janice
Elizabeth Banks as herself
Imagine Dragons as themselves
Tom Bergeron as himself
Riki Lindholme as Becky
Matt Vogel as Floyd Pepper, Uncle Deadly, Sweetums
Jere Burns as Becky’s father
Meagen Fay as Becky’s mother
Kermit tries to address Miss Piggy’s jealousy over his new girlfriend (“What can I say? I’m attracted to pigs”) her dislike of a guest (Elizabeth Banks), and the backstage chaos of his all-Muppet crew. Meanwhile, Fozzie meets his human girlfriend’s (Riki Lindholme) disproving parents.
The Muppets have always been silly, but they’ve also used their absurd appearance to poke fun at humanity. In one scene, Fozzie nervously meets the parents of his human girlfriend. The parody of culture clash may be a bit obvious, but it works on more than one level. We really can be this ridiculous and pathetic, and putting a puppet in our place shows humanity up in a way we’re allowed to find funny.
The Muppets always included jokes for both the young and old, and they still do. While they eschew outright lewdness, the adult jokes have become a little more prominent, and the Muppets themselves less innocent. Not all fans will be pleased. Kermit, in particular, needs more of his old optimism. He’s too snarky and world-weary here, and while the shtick can be funny, that’s not who Kermit is.
Originality: 1/6 The original series showed us onstage and offstage at a period vaud-video-style Variety Show; this one gives us an updated approach, Talk Shows and Reality-TV.
Story: 4/6 There’s no real story here, just a few plotlines that loosely hold together, and filler.
Acting: 5/6 The show riffs on reality tv as well as late-night talk shows, and the Muppets prove more convincing than the average reality-show star and more amusing than many talk-show guests.
Emotional Response: 5/6
Overall: 4/6 Back in the ‘70s, I watched The Muppet Show if I happened to be home when it was on or if they had a guest I found particularly interesting. I’ll probably drop in on the new show in the same way, but it won’t be the same show. They’ve given us Muppets aimed at adults who grew up with the characters. They work better when they’re trying to appeal to all ages.
In total, “Pig Girls Don’t Cry” receives 30/42