Apparently Disney and ABC are going to have a new Muppets show starting this fall. This is dangerous territory. I’m not fucking around here. The Muppets are a key element of my childhood and when I think of the Muppet Show, my heart fills with love and warmth. They better not ruin it!
Already, I see warning signs. Their marketing department has started flooding social media with teasers. They are trying to create the illusion of the Muppets as real people. Kermit has broken up with Miss Piggy. He has a new girlfriend named Denise who works in the marketing department of ABC. All of this smacks of fakery. It doesn’t feel honest, it feels like marketing shenanigans.
The format of the show mirrors “The Office”; documentary-style cameras with cut scenes to confessional videos. It seems that the plot is the making of the actual show, which was also done with the Billy Crystal-Josh Gad show “The Comedians”. To me this is a formula that is unoriginal. We have seen it multiple times and it is bothering me that the Muppets would be derivative.
Watching the teaser, it seems like they go far afield from the stage of the show. It shows more about their personal relationships. Personally, I wish they stuck to the original show format a little closer. The Muppet Show introduced me to new comedians and new music. The music was a key element of the show. There were full songs and skits every week. I hope they don’t eliminate that from the show.
It is possible to do a good job, but I am worried they take every drop of love I had for The Muppet Show and jam it into an industrial shredder. I am worried they will make it “normal” (air quotes) and boring. I am worried that the spirit of Jim Henson will not be represented. Time will tell. I have my fingers crossed.