During the course of the past month or so, it was announced that the ABC program The Muppets would do its best to cut out elements of the adult jokes and modern day gags, all thanks to a new showrunner. This was an effort to obviously bring back fans that were not too keen on Kermit and company being so edgy and not like their normal selves.
After a short break from television, The Muppets returned at a new time slot (8:30pm) but on the same day. The first major noticeable change is in the intro, as Piggy hands Kermit his coffee towards the end of the “theme song”. Previously, the poor frog had no java whatsoever, even to make himself. A small change, but, at the same time, a needed one.
Let me just get this out of the way before I go any further; there’s not a massive overhaul in the show to notice a complete difference. The Muppets still drink. Semi inappropriate language is still used (although it is from the humans this time, not from the titular characters themselves). There’s still are lines stated by the ensemble Muppets that are not exactly kid friendly, and meant for an older crowd. However, the balance is evened out by character moments that are true to the core of the franchise, which include heartwarming moments. Also, there’s a possible rekindling of a lost love, but I’ll get to that later.
‘Swine Song’ synopsis is that a network exec thinks that Miss Piggy’s show needs some changes (Key and Peele show up to give insight on how this exec gave way to their downfall. It’s hilarious). Ultimately, this lays the groundwork for how the actual show will be on ABC, as Kermit says in so many words, “We need to factor in everybody else, that’s what makes us so great!” This is after he sees a wonderful freestyle musical number from his pals in the board room, a true Muppet moment I’ve ever seen one, and it’s definitely a top favorite moment from this season. In any case, the ensemble has more to do, and it’s great!
Meanwhile, Kermit’s attention to work cause problems with him and Denise, and it all comes to a head when Kermit and Piggy duet together near the end of her show. Seeing these two together, these two (forgive the word) puppets is amazing; you know once the hand is removed, they are lifeless pieces of felt. But who cares, you believe in the relationship and you want them back together!
Denise is heartbroken; she knows she can never compete with Piggy. And she’s right; she can’t. We all know it. So this removal of Kermit’s current flame could pave the way for the new show to bring back the old. Frog and Pig to be together again? I would have no problems with it.
With so many good heartwarming highlights, and even some hilarious adult humor, it’s safe to say that The Muppets may finally be on the right course. ‘Swine Song’ is a great example of what this show could be if done right and true. It’s time to get things restarted.