Sorry, Joe! I
hate take great pleasure in being the one to break the news to you; as it turns out, you are actually the one who is wrong. I know it must really sting, after telling the rest of the world their disappointment in ABC’s The Muppets was misplaced, but you seem like the kind of guy who can take it as well as you dish it out. So uh, good luck recovering from your wrongness. Might I suggest a round of your favorite libation, and recording the final episodes so you can keep watching that barrel of trash after the rest of us move on to a (hopefully) better Muppets show.
How do we know The Muppets really did suck? Call it a combination of a huge ratings drop after the premiere, mostly tepid reviews, and word-of mouth. But, the truly telling news is that showrunner and co-creator Bob Kushell has exited the series. THR reports that although Kushell was liked by the cast and crew, he and executive producer Bill Prady were having creative differences over the show’s direction. What? You mean someone didn’t care for a nastied-up version of beloved childhood puppet friends?
Rumor has it that Kristin Newman (Galavant, How I Met Your Mother) may take over for Kushell,
and I have just a few suggestions for how to bring things back around.
1. Put Kermit back with the Number 1 Pig, and for crying out loud, don’t insult her!
Like any other couple who’s been together a long time, Kermit and Miss Piggy have their ups and downs, but a skinny pig is NEVER the answer. Cripes, who’s even heard of a skinny pig?
2. For the love of Henson, stay out of anything approaching Muppet sex. Nobody wants to explain that to their kid.
3. Kermit is a generally sweet frog (prone to short outbursts); keep him that way.
Look, we get that a little updating might be warranted; the Muppets have been around for decades. But, if we wanted sitcoms that joke about real life problems, we wouldn’t be watching The Muppets at all (try Togetherness). We want to watch these old friends to relive a bit of the magic we felt during our childhoods, and to share that nostalgia with our friends, our parents, grandparents, and our children. We aren’t coming to reaffirm this madcap life our brains are trying to escape, we’re just looking for a moment that feels like home.
Full disclosure: Though I was very excited for both myself and the kidlets when we heard The Muppets were debuting new episodes, I never saw a second of the show. Thankfully, a few people (including our own Kristy) warned me off before I realized the first episode had already started.
ABC will run the final 10 Muppets episodes this fall and winter, with a series relaunch planned for next spring.