Pilot: “The Muppets (2015 TV series)”

Revivals and reboots are an unfortunate trend of late. Most, in general, don’t make it, but the majority are just bad ideas. It shows laziness and lack of originality all around. Strangely, there are a few that I annoyingly get excited about, even though I told myself I wouldn’t and was against it.

The new ABC Studios Production “The Muppets”, is silly, silly fun, but it’s well known puppets, so what do you expect?

This comedy series features the voices of Bill Barretta (“Muppets Most Wanted”, “Lady Gaga & the Muppets’ Holiday Spectacular”), Dave Goelz (“Inside Out”, “Muppets Most Wanted”), Eric Jacobson (“Saturday Night Live”, “Good Luck Charlie”), Peter Linz (“Sesame Street”, “The Muppets”), David Rudman (“The Furchester Hotel”, “Abby in Wonderland”), Matt Vogel (“Old Dogs”, “Elmo’s Christmas Countdown”), and Steve Whitmire (“Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium”, “Fraggle Rock”).

The series was developed by Bill Prady (“The Big Bang Theory”, “Gilmore Girls”) and Bob Kushell (“Anger Management”, “Way to Go”). The series is baed on characters created by Jim Henson.

The series debuted on Sept. 22, 2015 on ABC.

I think it is purely because they’re The Muppets. And the ad campaigns that the network launched, even though I only saw a few of them. Either way, I’ve once again broken with my original stance of disliking reboots or TV remakes for shows. The only consistent thing, so far, with each reboot/remake show that I’ve seen so far is that I’m not sure if I think they’re good or worth watching. Huh. Guess I gotta watch some more episodes, which won’t be a terrible choice. I hope.

So, while I was and am still excited about this Muppets show, I will admit, it’s pretty stupid. However, it needs to be kept in mind that this is trying to appeal to older adults, or adults in general, as well as younger audience members. The younger viewers may not be eight year olds that still watch “Sesame Street” for some reason, but the show needs to be appropriate for those that aren’t old enough to take in more adult jokes. In this case, I do feel that this episode succeeded in that goal. It was a simple goal after all.

Speaking of jokes, none of the comedy, even the dumb comedy, was really inappropriate. I was never truly surprised by anything that came out of the mouths of these beloved puppets. I found myself laughing at just about every moment that was meant to be funny. I especially loved when Elizabeth Banks (upcoming “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2”, “Pitch Perfect 2”), was in the golf cart with Scooter and things got physical. She punched and threw him out of it while it was still in motion. Funny stuff. The style that this show is taking was surprising, but I got over it quickly. The characters even made fun of the style at some point. I guess it helps too that on TV there was “The Office (2005 TV series)”, and I knew what to expect. It also helps, that this series is a behind the scenes look at a talk show of some sort. Not terribly original (“30 Rock”, “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip”, “Sports Night”), but it automatically gives our favorite Muppets something to do and explore their private lives too.

For me, with this ridiculous pilot, I was mostly surprised by the way celebrity guest stars were used. There was Banks, who was playing herself as a guest on Miss Piggy’s show, Tom Bergeron as himself, which was funny at times and a little sad just because Kermit forgot all about him as the replacement guest, Jere Burns (“Suits”, “Justified”), playing the dad of some character dating one of the Muppets, and Imagine Dragons as the musical guest. I may have missed some, but four for the first episode is pretty amazing. I’m more intrigued by what types of stars they can get to be on this show, not to humiliate them, but so they can act opposite such iconic characters. These guest stars may even make a given episode even more fun, or at the least, bearable

I’m probably going to watch this just because it’s absolutely silly. Normally I wouldn’t, but here it’s silly and dumb in a different way than most other comedies that air during any given season. The only question I have, other than will I try and catch up if I fall behind?, how will they move these characters lives forward in this behind the scenes show format? Something like that. They have to balance both and that could be tricky.

Series trailer:


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