Arts

The Muppets: All Grown Up

By Lucia Rossi

The Muppets aren’t just for kids anymore, in fact, they are not for kids at all anymore.

If you grew up on the original Muppets, you know that it was always kept PG, but that wasn’t their original purpose and that’s not their goal now.

The Muppets premiered on September 22 on ABC and was co-created by Bill Prady and Bob Kushell.

The Muppets is a show within a show, a mockumentary like The Office in which viewers see the behind the scenes of the new show Up Late with Miss Piggy, who’s executive producer is Kermit the Frog and stars his ex. All the Muppet characters work on the show together and focuses on their personal lives.

“My life is a bacon wrapped hell on earth,” said Kermit.

Before the show even aired, the conservative advocacy group, One Million Moms, started a protest saying The Muppets “are not suitable for family viewing and started boycotting it.

It’s true. There are a lot of adult situations and adult relationships. All of these interactions and innuendos are given while making Piggy’s show and during their morning meetings.

Zoot the saxophonist in Electric Mayhem thought it was an A.A meeting. He also drew a penis in Sweetum’s card in the second episode but changed it because Yolanda Rat said, “No dirty drawings.”

During one on one interviews with the camera, Kermit admits that he found Piggy’s unpredictable, spontaneous, and quirky nature to be “sexy,” but without dating, she’s a “lunatic.” Kermit has been dating another pig named Denise from Marketing for a few months and said that they met at a cross promotional synergy meeting and “ended up cross promoting.”

“Tell Denise what you want,” Denise whispered to Kermit in a smooth seductive tone. “I’ll tell you what I want,” Kermit says assertively. “I want you to get me a brownie sundae. I’m too full to move.” Geez, Kermit why don’t you ask her to make a sandwich while you’re at it?

Fozzie the bear is dating a human woman who’s father doesn’t approve of their interspecies relationship. This got political really fast. Fozzie couldn’t really handle the stress of impressing someone’s parents so he asked to drink white wine at dinner.

In the movie, The Great Muppet Caper, Fozzie drank champagne and said, “You know, if you put enough sugar in this stuff, it tastes just like ginger ale!” Here, he doesn’t care about that.

This truly shows that the original Muppets roamed in a crude adult world but were too innocent to realize it. Personally, I thought their obliviousness to the real world was adorable and hysterical because they just didn’t get it. Now, that’s not the case anymore and that may be is what is losing viewers.

They had this dry absurdism type of humor that was classic for them, but that has changed too. They’ve evolved using modern rude and dirty humor.

Charles Grodin was seriously lusting for Miss Piggy in The Great Muppet Caper, but you never thought sex was even a possibility. Now, here comes Miss Piggy into the studio after a hot night with Josh Groban saying, “It’s just so hard to get out of bed these days.”

In the first episode, the band Imagine Dragons performed on Up Late with Miss Piggy and wanted Animal to join them on the road. However, Animal couldn’t because of his past experiences on the road. Not even his anger management issues, it was “too many women, too many towns.” Animal really was an animal.

The two raunchiest characters by far on the show is Yolanda Rat and Rizzo the Rat. Fozzie finds them on a date under his podium and he says, “This is where the magic happens.”

“It was about to until you showed up,” Rizzo said.

“Cool your jets, let’s see how dinner goes,” Yolanda replied.

In a morning meeting, Yolanda asks, “Are you using a tragedy to pick me up?”

“I am if it’s working,” Rizzo said.

Because I grew up on the original Muppet films and televisions series, hearing these things were shocking. It is funny, but it feels out of place because this isn’t who they have been for so long. Are they doing this to compete with Crank Yankers and Avenue Q? Is it right to change something that use to be so innocent and heartfelt? This is what is either grabbing or letting go of viewers.

The Muppets have modernized which means not hiding their sexualities anymore. They are still the silly and fun characters we know and love, but all grown up.

“Rightfully or wrongfully, The Muppets became more of a kids product over the years,” Kushell said. “We want to bring them all the way back to what they were intended to be and then some. But never so much that anyone has to explain anything uncomfortable to their kids.” It may be a little late for that.

Excuse me while I mourn my nostalgic childhood and cry listening to “The Rainbow Connection.”

 

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