TV Review: The Muppets (Episodes 1 – 6)

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I’m watching this, obviously, because why wouldn’t I? It’s The Muppets. Duh.

Pig Girls Don’t Cry (1×01)

An entertaining enough pilot, but not quite as funny as I’d have hoped. Or expected really; the sizzle reel promo that was released a few months earlier (and has been removed from the internet, as far as I can see) told a lot of these jokes in a much funnier way. Perhaps, though, it was simply because I was familiar with most of it anyway, and the jokes just didn’t work as well the second time around? It’s a possibility. Honestly, the funniest thing was the fact that Fozzie’s girlfriend was Riki Lindhome, from Garfunkel and Oates fame. (I didn’t realise she was into bears, mind you.) Still, I’m going to keep watching. It is The Muppets, after all.

Hostile Makeover (1×02)

Yeah, this one was much better. Very, very funny; you can see that it might well end up becoming a competitor to other joke machine sitcoms of a similar ilk. They manage to play into the almost perverse humour of the Muppets doing human things, with the dating elements, but there’s plenty of other stand out moments unrelated to that. Good job on this one.

Bear Left Then Bear Write (1×03)

Similarly entertaining, as with the last episode. The celebrity cameos have been fun; it was nice to see Nick Offerman in this. Also, it makes me laugh to hear about the rats’ personal lives; very funny indeed. Nice character stuff too, with Fozzie and Kermit, and the plotline of Gonzo catfishing someone was extremely well done. (But, on the topic of relationships, when will Riki Lindhome be in it again?)

Also! Interestingly, after this episode aired, it’s been announced that one of the co creators and executive producers has quit after working on only 6 episodes. Wonder how that’ll shape the rest of the series.

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Pig Out (1×04)

Entertaining once again. It’s in a bit of a difficult place; they have to balance a lot of different characters, a huge weight of expectations, and the need to actually be funny. This is being compared to things like The Office (which was the set up for a fantastic joke about Ed Helms this episode) and Parks and Recreation, and I think people are expecting it to be just as funny, without really considering the position the Muppets is in. (And the fact that the first season of Parks and Rec was awful, and The Muppets is doing a lot better already.)

Still! I would like to see some more character work being done, where possible. That’d be nice, I think.

Walk the Swine (1×05)

Riki Lindhome was in it again! Good. She’s very funny. Though I am starting to wonder how it is that people see the actual Muppets in that world – they’re just, like, actual animals/people/dragons, right? I guess it’s just one of those things you’re not meant to think about so much. Odd, though.

Miss Piggy, I realise, irritates me. I wonder if they are perhaps exaggerating certain features of hers for comedic value, just ineffectively; I don’t remember her ever having been this high maintenance before, in previous films and whatnot, and she isn’t quite as funny as she was either. Hmm.

The Ex-Factor (1×06)

There’s some very strange – and it is deliberately strange, to be fair – about seeing anthropomorphised animal puppets talking about their dating lives. It’s still kept relatively PG (thankfully!) but there remains a weird disconnect to the whole proceedings. A lot of humour comes from it, admittedly, so it all works out rather well.

It’s nice too to see more of the ‘background characters’, as it were: Pepe and Rizzo sat around making jokes is always entertaining, and the focus on the Electric Mayhem this episode worked well. Lots of good jokes from that set up; particularly liked the “you get paid?” line, which I thought worked quite well.

So, six episodes in, and The Muppets has been quite enjoyable! Sure, it’s not necessarily the funniest sitcom I’ve ever seen (Parks and Rec), nor is it the one with the best characters (Community), but it is a pretty entertaining way to spend half an hour, so I’d be willing to call that a success.

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