“The Muppets” Review: “Going, Going, Gonzo” (Season 1, Episode 9)

Mitchell Stein- Another week, another pleasantly entertaining episode of The Muppets. Although this week’s glorious episode, Going, Going, Gonzo is not quite my favorite episode (That award goes to Pigs in a Blackout), this episode was absoltely wonderful and I was delighted by it’s results for many reasons.
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The focus of this week’s plot is-you guessed it– Gonzo, and I couldn’t be more thrilled about how it was handled. I’ve often mentioned to my friends, readers or random people at the supermarket that I was a bit disappointed that some characters were downplayed (or cut completely) from the series. The biggest of that disappointment was that the fearless, lunatic Gonzo was now just a melancholy, duller version of himself, being pushed aside by Rizzo and Pepe being the all-new wacky characters. This episode seeks out to fix that issue by acknowledging that Gonzo’s recent flaws and repairs that issue by Gonzos grand return by being shot out of a canon across the Disney Burbank lot in true Gonzo fashion.
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For starters, I pretty much enjoyed this episode. I loved the much needed  redemption of the crazier Gonzo, and his revelation after being caught in a mishap of backstage ropes. I partially loved the bantering between Kermit and Piggy over Piggy Water and how that affects the rest of the cast, particularly The Great Gonzo Brought To You By Piggy Water.

After a brief science demonstration by Bunsen Honeydww, Gonzo begins to get afraid of taking on the stunt, but all is redeemed when Gonzo takes flight during Dave Grohls musical number. The great ending results in a particularly sweet moment between Kermit and Gonzo, which is another example of the massive amount of heart that is so very present in the show and an indication of how far this show has gone in just a few weeks.

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Our B-plot features Scooter once again in another absolutely hilarious exchange with The Electric Mayhem. After his near death experience, he seeks the advice of the laid back and mellow hippies to help him find his purpose. It was hilarious seeing Scooter paired up with the band. Though it seems like they’re still going with the same old tired joke about Scooter being a dork who lives with his mom. Ugh.

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This week’s guest stars were not only funny, but were likely the best handled guest appearances yet. Both Joesph Gordon Levitt and Dave Grohl are both incredibly hilarious in whatever scenes they’re in, and cap off that awesomeness with an absolutely stellar musical number for each.

Hey, speaking of musical numbers, this week we got TWO full musical numbers featuring both guest stars. How perfectly Muppety is it for a human guest star to be singing a duet with Piggy while Muppety mayhem ensues backstage resulting in on-stage catastrophe? The hilarious opening feels like something straight out of The Muppet Show yet fresh and funny.

With the impressive blend of heart, musical mayhem and extravagant Muppety moments, I think it’s safe to say the show has learnt to be Muppety and contemporary at the same time, and this episode is another example of that. I couldn’t be more excited to say it: The Muppets has finally hit its stride.

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Other Thoughts:

-Interesting observation: This is the first time the characters have actually been referred to as “Muppets” within the show itself. For some reason that makes me very happy.

-So happy whenever they give a chance to Rowlf for an appearance. I really hope they give him some more chances to actually take part in the story a bit more than just appearing to serve Diet Cokes. [Obligatory comment about the absence of Walter here]

– Can we take a moment to acknowledge the insane puppetry magic this episode pulled off? I was in awe by watching Gonzo jump off the ropes backstage and the puppetry gone in to shooting him out of a canon amazed me.

-Dave Goelz is our Muppet performer MVP this week for his obvious great work on Gonzo, but as well as interaction with his other character, Bunsen Honeydew and for another hilarious Chip moment. I hope we get an entire episode dedicated to Chip tap dancing across the world.

-I love that the Electric Mayhem are such series regulars these days. Its absolutely perfect.

What were your thoughts on this week’s episode?

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2 thoughts on ““The Muppets” Review: “Going, Going, Gonzo” (Season 1, Episode 9)

  1. I think this is my favorite episode so far. The Abbott and Costello-esque routine between Pepe and Rizzo had me in tears. I LOVE how much the Electric Mayhen is featured (always been in love with Dr. Teeth.) especially how much Lips was talking! I agree with you in we need to see Walter here and there. And along those lines, I’d love to see Digit again one day. Chip and Clifford survived the Jim Henson Hour….why not Digit?

    • Awesome thoughts and great points. I heard somewhere that Disney down own the rights to Digit, but I doubt thats true.

      Chips large present is likely bec he is based off show runner Bill Prady who is likely pulling for him to appear or written in to please Prady.

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