After a relatively tame start, does The Muppets bring on the laughs with “Hostile Makeover”?
After the premier episode, many decried that The Muppets lacked in the charm and humor that made us love the personas growing up as kids. To be fair, it is clear that this new Muppet show is geared towards an older audience and has a humor tailored to fit, and that is most evident in the fairly funny, but lacking on charm, “Hostile Makeover.”
In this second episode, we get a bit more detail into the day to day operations of the show, including a fun multi level alert system for Miss Piggy’s anger. In a classic move, we see Miss Piggy’s red alert old fashioned tirade where she terrorizes the office furious at a lack of date for the People’s Choice Awards.
In an attempt to keep her happy, Kermit sets Piggy up with Josh Groban, the world famous crooner, to near disastrous affect. While the pair are instantly taken with each other, Groban ends up with this image of manipulation as he slowly takes over Miss Piggy’s decisions. It’s a strangely non flattering image of Groban, and highly uncharacteristic of the strong willed fireball that is Miss Piggy.
To be honest, while there were plenty of smirks, for the most part Miss Piggy, Groban, and Kermit didn’t make for very interesting or funny story.
It might have been far overshadowed by two additional storylines in the episode, the first being Fozzie’s new best friend. Fozzie’s idol is none other than the semi-retired comedian Jay Leno. At a house party, Fozzie, overcome with emotion, ends up revealing a dark trait of kleptomania by stealing a candy bowl from Jay Leno’s home.
Racked with guilt, Fozzie end ups in the typical storyline of multiple coincidental referrals to his crime from all of his co-workers. While it’s not a unique story device, where The Muppets falls flat is that it just wasn’t very humorous and didn’t spend enough time to build any growing sense of guilt.
The weakest part of the episode definitely has to be the third storyline crammed into the episode centered around Bobo selling scout cookies to the office. In reality, it was the only true source of humor the whole episode with his conflicts with The Newsman and the funny teases before he runs off. Most of the other one-liners are humorous individually, but none really have a cohesive part of the episode as a whole.
While there are plenty of one-liners and general cleverness in “Hostile Makeover”, the episode as a whole lacks a lot of the absurdist humor that can pull viewers in for extended periods of time. Trying to fit three storylines into a 22 minute episode is a tall order, and it just doesn’t work here. The biggest risk the show has going for it is now that it isn’t funny, but the fact that it just isn’t very engaging.
- Best line all night by Uncle Deadly. “I’ve woven such a cocoon of lies she doesn’t know her size, weight or even how old she is.”
- “I’ve been waking up to the sound of my alarm instead of my own screams”
- “What was that one called Mr. Teeth?” “Dead inside, we wrote it today.”
- The horrible episode of Up Late with Miss Piggy was intended to be cringe worthy, but it could have been a lot less cringe and more chaos.
- “We love us some gas station sushi”
- “Those guys are always happy…legally now”
- Kermit’s free pass list includes Lea Thompson in an elevator.
- Cameos this week: Jay Leno, Lea Thompson, Josh Groban, and Laurence Fishburne.