Episode Reviews

The Muppets – Bear Left then Bear Write Review

Miss Piggy has a feud with a guest while Fozzie has a artistic crisis in The Muppets “Bear Left then Bear Write”.

The Muppets never fails to enlist a chorus of actors over the course of an episode, and tonight features guest appearances from Christina Applegate, Nick Offerman, and Liam Hemsworth.

THE MUPPETS - "Bear Left then Bear Write"  (ABC/Nicole Wilder) NICK OFFERMAN, KERMIT THE FROG
THE MUPPETS – “Bear Left then Bear Write” (ABC/Nicole Wilder)

In the main story, we have Fozzie trying to get Kermit to approve a new skit he wrote, though in typical Fozzie fashion it’s so horrible “it’s a dumpster fire.” Not wanting to hurt his best friend, Kermit attempts to downplay things by suggesting it’s so good it should be a movie. Of course with his best friend’s “blessing,” Fozzie takes this movie concept to heart, quitting the show to go off into the wilderness and become a screen writer. Aside from a few bear centric jokes (such as food in a bag out of reach), and a long awaited appearance by a cone of shamed Rowlf the Dog, the feel good storyline of Fozzie and Kermit didn’t really involve a lot of laughs, which is a surprise for a Fozzie situation. The funniest aspect of the entire plot line is Nick Offerman’s guest stint as replacement side-kick for Up Late and his escalating literal needs of Kermit. Offerman’s deadpan humor is a continuation of his literalist personality from *Parks and Recreation*

THE MUPPETS - "Bear Left then Bear Write" (ABC/Nicole Wilder) CHRISTINA APPLEGATE, MISS PIGGY
THE MUPPETS – “Bear Left then Bear Write” (ABC/Nicole Wilder)

On the flip side, we have a far funnier feud between Miss Piggy and her guest Christina Applegate. During the interview, Christina brings a clip of a birthday party where Miss Piggy drunkenly face-plants into the birthday cake, which proceeds to fall on top of her as she falls to the floor. As you can imagine, embarrassing Miss Piggy on her own show in front of a national audience is not a good thing. While Christina plays it off as just being fun, Miss Piggy wants nothing but revenue and enlists Scooter to help. This segment really seems more like the Muppets of yesterday with a fairly insane Miss Piggy scheming to enact her revenge with all the antics and general failure that comes from Muppet schemes. Christina does a great job as being an unknowing frenemy while maintaining a level of charm the viewers can associate with. I really wished that this story had more precedence in the episode.

THE MUPPETS – “Bear Left then Bear Write” (ABC/Adam Taylor)

Meanwhile, Gonzo and his team work to improve his dating life by helping Gonzo meet a girl he had been chatting with online for some time now. The problem is that Gonzo had used a picture of Liam Hemsworth as his profile picture. A short bit of Cyrano later, we have Liam having a nice time with the random girl, and of course stealing the girl after he realizes she’s more interested in his personality than his crippling good looks. While the sequence is a bit humorous, it was very predictable and in an already crammed episode, likely should have been moved to another episode.

I think the undersold story of the episode has to be the introduction of Chip the IT guy through out all the different plot lines. It’s actually an interesting call back to the 10 minute pilot that mentioned bringing back obscure muppets such as Chip and provides for a bit of comic relief in otherwise fairly mundane stories.

The one thing I worry about with this incarnation of The Muppets is their odd desire to really push the number of storylines they put into each episode and distilling away the silliness we loved as kids. In this new Muppet series, this concept of abstracting the humor away to put our favorite personalities in a more humanistic approach leads to what turns out to be not a funny meta-commentary of society, but rather an overly generic comedy that doesn’t really pull the laughs it needs for success.

Other Observations

  • Chip the IT guy originally appeared in the The Jim Henson Hour as the leader of the pirate broadcast network Gorilla Television.
  • Swedish Chefs name is Megan?
  • “I had a shot to go to medical school…turns out they just wanted to dissect me”
  • “No I’ve been hot all my life, but i’ve struck out a few times….just at a super high level”
  • “I did lick my third cousin once and the walls started melting”
  • Guests this week: Nick Offerman, Christina Applegate, Liam Hemsworth

By Kien Tran

Based in Dallas, Texas, Kien Tran is an avid television enthusiast. After spending hundreds of hours wasting away on a couch, he decided to actually do something creative with his hobby and created this very blog.

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