Since the show premiered last Tuesday I’ve been giving some thought as to why it felt so… wrong.
I’m a huge fan of all of Henson’s work with “The Muppets” and with “Sesame Street.” Something about this pilot episode told me that he wouldn’t have been too fond of the new direction.
The “hidden camera” format worked. In fact, the more I think about it, it’s a brilliant idea for a 21st century Muppet television sitcom. But the episode was full of awkward moments and innuendos that were borderline just plain sexual references.
Innuendo is nothing new for the Muppet franchise, but the frequency and execution in the pilot episode was jarring – it was just so separated from the muppet culture we know and love.
The pilot did, however, shine the most in the simple moments. The jokes that landed were the quick one-liners and puns. The ones that didn’t were the jokes entangled in the plotlines of Kermit, Fozzie, and Miss Piggy.
I have confidence that this show will soon find its groove and work things out though. The muppets are each unique characters in their own right, the people behind the show will just need to explore more way to put them on display.