As we enter into September (hooray! Screw you, August!), it begins the time when TV returns to life with new shows and returning ones. For many of those shows, the promotional departments are kicking into full gear, making sure we know what’s coming on when. And The Muppets are definitely going full steam ahead in regard to their advertising. The best move the show did was to release the 10-minute-long pitch video that got the new series greenlit. If you haven’t watched it yet, it introduced us to the new space the Muppets are occupying— that meta, cheeky, borderline very adult mockumentary style, focused on the behind-the-scenes of being a Muppet in Hollywood.
But the other ad track the show has taken is a little weird. Because the show gives us the Muppets as current Hollywood figures, they’ve been launching a sort of guerrilla native adverising take, pitching the characters as tabloid fodder, especially around the breakup of Kermit and Miss Piggy, and relying on actual media outlets to get people talking about the stories. It’s pretty brilliant, though we haven’t talked about these stories much around these parts, mostly because— and I don’t want to speak for any other writers here, though I wouldn’t be surprised if most agreed— it feels more than a little creepy for a grown woman to be devoting her time to covering the sex lives of puppets. But now things have taken a turn that seems worth addressing. Because not only have Miss Piggy and Kermit broken up, but Kermit has a new girlfriend. Now, in that pitch video up there, we already saw that Piggy had moved on with Topher Grace. And yesterday Liam Hemsworth got in on the Muppet gossip train with this picture:
(That, by the way is the only picture on the official Instagram account of Liam Hemsworth.)
But Kermit’s new woman? How are we supposed to feel about this:
So Kermit’s hitting up a younger, thinner lady pig? Basically, in the way these gross break-up games shake out, a Piggy 2.0? According to Kermit, they’re not actually dating, they’re just “close friends.”
Sheesh. I can't believe I already have to do this again… Here is the official statement on my relationship status: pic.twitter.com/gRCyl3xbfz— Kermit the Frog (@KermitTheFrog) September 1, 2015
Still, this choice of companion, who is named Denise and is scheduled to appear on the show, along with Hemsworth, feels spiteful, or at the very least, really icky. Of course, these are not the choices of an actual Muppet; this is the work of producers and writers and promotional people, which ultimately makes it all feel grosser. Is the narrative here that this is Kermit’s midlife crisis? That he’s out to bang a younger version of his ex, but feels the need to make a public statement saying they’re not a couple? Is he also buying a new sports car and trying skydiving? And moreover, is this what is supposed to convince us to watch this show? Get your shit together Kermit. I know it’s not easy being green and all that, but you’re a role model.