Breaking Down The Muppets ABC Pitch Reel

Mitchell Stein- In a totally unexpected move, ABC and Muppets Studio went ahead and posted the entire ten-minute pitch reel that was produced to sell the show to the studio. We here at The Muppet Mindset were beyond thrilled and incredibly lucky to have seen this pitch reel a few months prior to today’s reveal, and we are so excited that Muppet fans everywhere can now share that excitement as well. Now that the entire episode is out, we can finally praise and nitpick everything in the episode and rewatch it on repeat until September 22nd. We’re going to be diving deep and breaking apart the episode scene by scene, so if you haven’t seen it yet, watch the full episode right here:

 

Can we just start off by talking about just how incredibly awesome the Muppets nail the mockumentary style format? I was pretty excited when I heard of the format the Muppets will be taking on and seeing how great it all plays out makes me so ridiculously excited for the full series this fall. The Muppets have always been known for their wacky fourth wall humor, but this series takes that to an entire new level, and it works excellently.

However, I feel that Kermit announcing an “adult Muppet show” sounds awkward. Not that the Muppets can’t adapt, or that this is even a big deal, but maybe acknowledging it puts the episode in an awkward position. Either way, this was specifically intended only for the executives at ABC, so it could totally just be intended to explain what the show is meant to be to the network producers. Either way, that and Animal’s nudity line following that felt a bit awkward. While I still love the idea, it needed better execution.

Gonzo’s interview scene is sheer brilliance, and a great poke at the new comedic style the Muppets are taking on. Rizzo was also clearly unaware of his cameo in this scene, but he showed up simply because he heard there will be on-set catering.

MuppetsABCGonzo Man, I hope they find a decent role for Walter in this series. I adore Walter and his role he played in the last two theatrical Muppet movies, so I hope he lands a prominent part in this new series. It will be interesting to see how Walter will work in the show since it’s so entirely different than anything the Muppets have previously done. But on that note, it is interesting how the show’s focus is primarily on the classic characters of the series, and man, do they nail it right on the head with that one.  I love the interaction between Kermit, Fozzie, Piggy and Gonzo. The characters clearly adapt to the format, and nothing really feels awkward fit for these guys.  I love the interaction between the characters’ and their new hilarious subplots. Gonzo is as perfect as ever and his sarcasm and wit nearly steals the entire show.

Go Topher. #Tofiggy

Another very interesting new ambition the show is taking on is how there are absolutely no boundaries between the Muppets and the real world. The Muppet movies proved how the Muppets can survive in the human world and interact wonderfully, but with the new series, that is as strong as ever. Casting Fozzie’s girlfriend as a human actor and Muppets in real life activities (like Kermit driving a car) is a perfect example of how there will be no separation between the Muppets’ world and our own.

The human cameo appearances are a fantastic addition, because they are well executed and don’t feel like a forced appearance by the network to sell the show. The unexpected appearances of Elizabeth Banks and Topher Grace are funny, well delivered and not overused. On the Muppet side, there’s a ton of incredibly obscure Muppets that make appearances. With an entire series on the way, maybe they can make some space for some incredibly obscure Muppets that no one remembers. Especially that guy who was in that holiday special or something. I’m a big fan.

In closing, I am beyond thrilled and impressed by the presentation the Muppet crew managed to pull off to sell the show. It’s not perfect, but it’s a nice little glimpse at what the show will be following in, and a good taste of how well they can adapt to practically any format. It’s well executed, edgy, and hilarious, and is the perfect type of series the Muppets deserve in primetime. I’m amazed at the amazing opportunity the characters have gained, and the incredible publicity that’s been surrounding it will only continue in its massive momentum. The Muppets airs its first episode September 22nd at 8/7c on ABC, and I’ve already staked out a spot on my couch. Will you be watching? themuppets small

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2 thoughts on “Breaking Down The Muppets ABC Pitch Reel

  1. The lack of boundaries between humans and muppets has always been a strength, that is until Walter had so much trouble defining his role. My big gripes about the pitch reel are in character inconsistencies. 1. Bunsen would never taze Beaker just to make him scream; that reduces the comedy to very basic slapstick. Beaker’s sufferings were always a sacrifice for furthering the research of Muppet labs. He’s a guinea pig, not a whipping boy. Second, I was shocked that Animal has suddenly started talking like Elmo. Two or three words at a time should always be Animal’s limit. It’s things like this that irk me and make me feel like the current team doesn’t really understand the muppets. Thank heavens Dave Goelz is still around at least.

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