Jarrod Fairclough – 20 minutes and 24 seconds in to last night’s ‘Generally Inhospitable’, three single words were uttered that had been coming from the very first second of Episode 1. It was three words that audiences had been dying to hear since the August announcement that Kermit and Miss Piggy had ended their relationship, and that critics and some fans alike had been clamoring for the whole time. Kermit and Miss Piggy finally said ‘I love you‘.
One of the most used tropes in many TV series’ is the ‘Will they/Won’t they’ dynamic between two characters. Sam and Diane, Ross and Rachel, Big Bird and Zoe. It’s a well that many writers will dip in to. Of course we all know that they eventually will end up together, it’s the journey that’s meant to excite the audiences. Miss Piggy and Kermit’s journey in this series has been a complicated one, with both being too proud to admit that they should never have broken up, and Kermit’s brief relationship with Denise. If you’ve seen both episodes from last night, you’ll know that the entire thing becomes a lot rockier in Episode 16 (which we’ll be reviewing tomorrow), and this entire episode leads up to that moment where their feelings finally come out.
When Miss Piggy breaks her leg during a rehearsal of ‘Single Ladies’ for ‘Up Late’, Kermit and Uncle Deadly convince her to go to the hospital for surgery. Pache decides to have a guest host step in, so The Muppets rally together to have the show broadcast from the hospital, with Pache kidnapped and locked in Willie Nelson’s dressing room. The show is hindered by Miss Piggy’s morphine drip, rendering her pretty loopy. The show manages to get through, and as Miss Piggy is wheeled away in to surgery, she and Kermit tell each other that they love one another. Finally.
I say ‘finally’, but it’s literally been 15 episodes, and other shows have taken YEARS to have the Will They/Won’t They couple finally admit their feelings for each other, so really, The Muppets has done the inevitable a heck of a lot earlier than most. We all knew it would happen by the end of the season, but seeing Miss Piggy grow as a person through out her single days has been the highlight of the series. She started the show in the same way she’s been since 2005 – a loud obnoxious diva, telling Kermit that the lilacs in her dressing room smelt too ‘lilacy’. She’s grown in to a well rounded friendly woman, who has embraced her flaws and her vulnerability, and finally has friends, and a frog who cares for her, which is all she ever wanted. Seeing her this episode worry about being replaced really showed the growth she’s had in just 15 episodes, and seeing her take on the show even though she’s high as a kite on morphine was a lot of fun.
Then there’s Pache. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – I don’t like Pache as a character, and I think he outstayed his welcome 5 minutes in to his first appearance. That said, it was really enjoyable seeing him bounce off Sweetums! I love ‘unlikely friendships’, and these two bonding over Pache’s life story was hilarious and sweet. Matt Vogel’s Sweetums is a great character in this series, and this is the most he’s gotten to do so far. He makes Pache a snack, and he asks him about his childhood, where it’s revealed that Pache used to be chubby, and has a bad relationship with his father. It was a little jarring seeing Pepe, Rizzo and Yolanda go so far as to kidnap someone, but they’re a great little trio, and they were aided with great result from Sweetums and Big Mean Carl. Seeing Yolanda joining the guys in their plot was a nice change from her sarcastic persona, she sometimes came across a little like a wet blanket. Pache’s storyline is kind of wrapped up in this episode, when their trickery gets his father to say those same words I’ve already typed a dozen times in this review. It was a weird ending to his arc, and I fully expected him to walk out of the dressing room and yell ‘PYSCH!’, showing that he hasn’t changed at all.
This episode included the return of three beloved segments – The Swedish Chef was joined by Muppet Labs, and Veterinarian’s Hospital. While I was extremely thrilled to see that these segments were coming back, I wasn’t one of those people who claimed ‘This is all the show should be’, like many others. I think the show has worked hard to be its own entity, and while I enjoy the callbacks and references, I hope they’re used sparingly when/if the show is renewed for a second season (#RenewTheMuppets). If anything, I’d like to see new recurring segments created for the show, and perhaps more YouTube stuff with the older segments. That said, it was hilarious having Veterinarian’s Hospital done with a woman who didn’t know what the heck was going on, although I wish they’d have found a way to incorporate Miss Piggy.
The biggest Muppet Show feeling wasn’t a Muppet Show reference/sketch at all – it was The Electric Mayhem singing ‘On The Road Again’ with the music legend Willie Nelson. Willie’s been a Muppet fan for years, covering ‘The Rainbow Connection’ on multiple occasions, so it was a matter of time before he turned up alongside the characters, offering Miss Piggy something to ‘cheer her up’. He looked genuinely excited to be there, and it was great hearing him sing with the band. I loved that they didn’t jump to another scene during the song, instead giving him the treatment he deserves and playing a whole song (well, a condensed version).
It’s hard to wrap up the review when the episode itself ended in a cliff hanger that was continued 3 minutes later, but make sure to come back tomorrow and read our review of ‘Because… Love’, and of course there’s more random thoughts/quotes below!
- Yolanda’s spot on Pache impression was great, but I couldn’t figure out if it was actually Utkarsh Ambudkar’s voice dubbed over, or another Muppet performer.
- Having seen how Bobo is performed (it includes a harness!) I can only imagine that Bill Barretta actually had to fall on to a mat in order to make Bobo faint, rather than just move his arm down.
- Sweetums will need his butterfly net back by Friday. He’s going to a meadow.
- As Pepe, Rizzo and Yolanda scream ‘GET HIM!’, Sweetums screams ‘YELLING!’. The things you notice on your fourth viewing…
- I’m glad Miss Piggy’s make-up free face was exactly what it should have been, and not some weird Angel-Marie look.
- That’s voice actor Phil LaMarr playing the doctor, aka Hermes from Futurama and hundreds more voices!
- Miss Piggy’s idea to replace her was a slideshow of her hair styles through the years. Here’s the next best thing!
- Last week we had drunk Pepe, this week we have morphine-high Piggy. More inebriated Muppets please.
- Chip dancing is exactly what I look like dancing, which is why I’m not allowed in clubs anymore.
- Janice curled up next to an old lady was hilarious, but that little ‘woah!’ she made when she was pushed off had me in tears.
- ‘Ladies, I’m Beyonce, you’re back up. So – back up!’
- ‘Piggy asked that you give her weight in stone, so it’s indecipherable’
- ‘Hey Carl, can you use those things on the top of your head? They look like they should be able to hear stuff real good’
- ‘You miss one show and the next thing you know you’re signing autographs next to some guy who used to play a 2000 year old wizard but now he’s too old!’
That’s a pretty deep statement on Hollywood.
- ‘Why is Piggy talking like my Aunt who lives in a ‘pay by the hour’ motel?’
- ‘I’m painting my face and it feels amaaaaazing, Captain Unicorn!’
- ‘I GOT LOTS OF IDEAS!’
‘For this situation?’
‘OH… NAH… FOR SHARK TANK’
- ‘And just in case, I love you hand sanitizer dispenser thingy. And you too space cowboy and tiny talking giraffe!’