Previously on The Muppets, ‘Pig Girls Don’t Cry’
“You’ve got to find that pig a date.”
The second episode of The Muppets entitled “Hostile Takeover” begins with the entire staff of Up Late with Miss Piggy in the midst of a crisis. Miss Piggy is raining down hellfire and brimstone upon everyone because she doesn’t have a date to the People’s Choice Awards. Piggy’s rampage is very much true to the spirit of her character as well as a delightful jab at the multitude of celebrities known for their very public meltdowns (See: Mel Gibson, Christian Bale, and Naomi Campbell). The fault isn’t entirely her own however, since Kermit and the others have kept her nestled in this protective bubble of blissful ignorance throughout her career. As Uncle Deadly aptly states, “I’ve woven such a cocoon of lies that she doesn’t know her size, weight, or even how old she is.”
Kermit’s solution is to set her up with Josh Groban, even going so far as pairing them in a hilariously kitschy romantic duet so as to guarantee that they fall in love. Why Josh Groban? Well as Pepe comments, “He’s a handsome man. Gender is fluid.” The LGBTQ community salutes you, noble shrimp.
Before I proceed any further, I’d like to address how slightly jarring it is to actually see the bottom half (especially the legs) of the muppets on this show. A lot of people I’ve talked to have voiced their dislike for this change given nearly 50 years of Jim Henson’s creations never revealing that portion of their bodies. It’s like discovering how magicians performs their sleight of hand tricks: once seen, the aura of mystery is shattered and the magic is gone.
“Piggy’s been so great that I’ve been skipping my pre-show cry.”
At any rate, Kermit’s plan goes exceedingly well at first. There’s a spring in Miss Piggy’s step (The Swedish Chef even goes so far as to make a very explicit joke about her sex life) and she’s actually being nice to her coworkers. I would hazard to suggest that her newfound benevolence is quite unsettling. However, unforeseen consequences begin to rear their ugliness as Groban’s influence over Miss Piggy leads her to make some startling and ridiculous changes for the show. As much as Kermit insists that these changes undermine his authority, it’s clear that he’s also envious over no longer being the sole occupant of Miss Piggy’s heart. In spite of the staff’s opinion that the Groban/Piggy pairing is making their lives so much better, Kermit goes through with his plot to break them up. By the episode’s final moments, the status quo of Up Late with Miss Piggy returns to normal and all is terrible again for the rest of the muppets. Thanks a lot, Kermit.
“Look at me, I’m getting Jay Leno in my fur!”
The subplots of this episode were pretty funny in their own right. Fozzie Bear tries to become buddies with Jay Leno while struggling with his kleptomaniac tendencies, Bobo attempts to sell his daughter’s cookies for her school fundraiser, and Gonzo’s mother appears to be lost somewhere in South America. There were a lot more jokes this time around and many of them were quite explicitly sexual. While I wouldn’t say that the second episode was a major improvement over the middling pilot, The Muppets is beginning to find the tone in which it wants to proceed.
Notable Guest Appearance
Laurence Fishburne. I won’t spoil anything else but his brief cameos are comedy gold.