The Muppets Episode 16 - Because...Love

What did you think of "The Muppets" episode "Because...Love"?

  • Absolutely positively! This episode was great!

  • Bork bork! This episode was good.

  • Mee mee. This episode was so-so.

  • You're all weirdos! This episode was disappointing.


Results are only viewable after voting.

BlakeConor14

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I have not seen any of these last 6 episodes because I live in England but this last episode looks amazing
 

goldenstate5

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I'll be honest about The Muppets sitcom: I was on vacation in Florida when the pilot aired last September. Thus, I didn't get around to it until I got back home a week later. But I was reading nothing but scathing hot takes after another, which shocked me since this was supposed to be a revelation; a hotly anticipated new show that would see the characters on a weekly basis every fall, winter and spring for years to come. I also happened to be in Disney World, which was absolutely caked in Muppets promotions. They were really pushing for it.

So I got back home and I finally got to sit down to watch not only the first, but also the second episode. It was depressing because I found myself agreeing with all the bad press. The awkward adult humor, desperately edgy dialogue, mean-spirited pseudo-Hollywood satire... what was this?! How could it actually turn out this bad?! "Not your grandmother's Muppets" turned out to be a phrase that translated into watching some of the most uncomfortable nostalgia-driven entertainment the world has ever endured.

For awhile it wasn't getting better, then suddenly they actually starting to air decent episodes. I liked "Pig's in a Blackout", "Going, Going Gonzo" and "Single All the Way" for the most part. They were cute. Then the soft reboot happened, and the show returned to find itself again... but the two episodes tonight? Hey, they're starting to find it again. I would say that it's cute.

Yet I haven't addressed the biggest problem I have with this series, and it's one they aren't going to fix: I loathe the mockumentary angle. Absolutely despise it. I think it's horrifically limiting to these characters who have always existed in a heightened reality. There's less room for any sort of experimentation in the style of "Community" or "30 Rock", which fits these characters much more than "The Office", "Parks and Rec" or "Modern Family" does. It didn't hit me really until the show started airing, when I had that startling realization of, "Oh... wait every single episode will be shot like this. Oh god..."

And I do love "The Office" and "Parks and Rec" (not a fan of MF) but they were created with the format in mind. "The Muppets" just doesn't fit it, and unless they actually do (they won't), I think I'll only see this show as "cute" at best. The nostalgia angle they were aiming for in last night's two eps were the same vibe that made "Blackout" and "Gonzo" start to work, along with some better heartfelt dialogue like "Single All the Way". If a second season comes to be, I hope they continue this path: it'll definitely work in their favor. However I know that I'll most likely never love this show because as much as I love the Muppets, I can't help but feel this is akin to tying them down creatively. There's so much more that can be achieved with a Muppets sitcom... this is mostly hoping for a few good yuks and we're done. Maybe it's the fact that I don't really care about the romantic entaglements of Kermit, Piggy, Gonzo, Fozzie and etc. I'm not sure, but the only thing that makes me want another season is not to see them placed into a drawer again.
 

ConstantineFan

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If we get Season 2:
1. Want Constantine to come back
2. Want Walter to come back
3. Tina Fey as Guest Star
4. Ricky Gervais as Guest Star
5. Ross Lynch as Guest Star
6. Skillet, Christian Rock Band, as Musical Guest Stars
 

Drtooth

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I'll consolidate my reviews of the finale episodes into one.

The thing that really sucks is that if this show doesn't get renewed, it showed there was potential for what the series could be like if it keeps on. These were what the show should have been like, but it took a journey to get there. It's called what naturally happens with writing a sitcom. Need I mention how utterly unwatchable the first season of Seinfeld was? If a show has a better first season than subsequent ones, the show's not very good. There are shows I liked first season but disliked after the second started, like CougarTown (though it had its moments here and there). Finding the voice of the episodes took forever. The audience certainly didn't appreciate that, and it's a shame.

Yet I haven't addressed the biggest problem I have with this series, and it's one they aren't going to fix: I loathe the mockumentary angle. Absolutely despise it. I think it's horrifically limiting to these characters who have always existed in a heightened reality. There's less room for any sort of experimentation in the style of "Community" or "30 Rock", which fits these characters much more than "The Office", "Parks and Rec" or "Modern Family" does. It didn't hit me really until the show started airing, when I had that startling realization of, "Oh... wait every single episode will be shot like this. Oh god..."
It's easy to say that the mockumentary style didn't work so much as they were struggling with how to get it to work. The Muppets desperately needed a sitcom format somehow. I'd love it if we had a show that took place sort of like MFS. The Muppet Boarding House was a great concept that was barely used for an opening number. Imagine a show where they all had to live together. But I agree that they should have totally seeked out inspiration from 30 Rock, which was all but mockumentary style. Even post season 2 Parks and Rec where the show came into its own and stopped being the VR Troopers to The Office's Power Rangers. I can't blame them for trying something new. I'd rather they found a new angle for the characters than just mindlessly retread the old series. We've seen that before, and it didn't wok (except in comic form). I'll admit the show was rushed to pilot and rushed to production. There's only one chance to make a first impression. Had they started this months earlier, they could have hammered things out better.

As for the episodes themselves, I really wish there were more episodes and the love triangle dispersed slower. I'm glad that other than the newfound Camilla/Gonzo relationship, the relationship comedy aspect is focused on Kermit and Piggy getting back together. We knew it was going to happen, it happened beautifully, and here we are with a blank slate that should be rewarding if they bring the show back.

Loved the Vet's Hospital skit, and that Uncle Deadly (a Jerry Nelson character) did the announcement. A nice little tribute, I'd say. And I'd also like to point out the doctor, played by an uncredited Phil Lamarr. Kinda wish they played him funnier and did more with him. Loved the stealth call back when Piggy referred to Willie Nelson as "Happy." Seriously, no complaints. He's a known user and advocate. Meanwhile, they seemed to deal with Pache pretty swiftly. Again, this is something I'd be more disappointed about if a second season was guaranteed, but at least they closed up a loose end. And loved the fusion Chef/Muppet Labs skit. Wish it was longer and they did more with it. I hope they revisit the fusion skit idea at least online.

The last episode was a nice flourish for the will they won't they with the same great kind of heart to heart discussion about their turbulent relationship they had in The Muppets that I was impressed by. Also great to see some classic characters running around in the background and Kermit singing "Bein' Green" in the car. This was a nice closure to the character arc that was the one thing they had right in the beginning. The show has really come a way since their struggle to keep the characters fresh and in an unfamiliar genre. They had the means to make this work and it shows that they had potential. Shame it took long enough to get it together, but season one of the original didn't have Beaker or Pigs in Space. So yeah.
 

LinkLady77

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I finally saw my beloved Link! Yay!! I like that he was talking to another pig, no other than Howard Tubman (I couldn't make out the dialogue but hearing Link's muffled macho voice in the background sent my heart a-flutter :flirt:). I thought it was an interesting (in a good way!) choice to bring back Howard Tubman...it would have been even funnier to see him pigging out on something while talking to Scooter. I loved his comment that one of the girls from Geri and the Atrics had a thing with Teddy Roosevelt! LOVED this episode!!!
 

Drtooth

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There were a lot of nice little references to obscure (at least to the main stream) characters and skits. Nice little touch that proves they do know the characters, just trying to get them to fit new situations.

Cool to see Link, wish he had lines, but that's not make or break.
 

D'Snowth

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I'll be honest about The Muppets sitcom: I was on vacation in Florida when the pilot aired last September. Thus, I didn't get around to it until I got back home a week later. But I was reading nothing but scathing hot takes after another, which shocked me since this was supposed to be a revelation; a hotly anticipated new show that would see the characters on a weekly basis every fall, winter and spring for years to come. I also happened to be in Disney World, which was absolutely caked in Muppets promotions. They were really pushing for it.

So I got back home and I finally got to sit down to watch not only the first, but also the second episode. It was depressing because I found myself agreeing with all the bad press. The awkward adult humor, desperately edgy dialogue, mean-spirited pseudo-Hollywood satire... what was this?! How could it actually turn out this bad?! "Not your grandmother's Muppets" turned out to be a phrase that translated into watching some of the most uncomfortable nostalgia-driven entertainment the world has ever endured.

For awhile it wasn't getting better, then suddenly they actually starting to air decent episodes. I liked "Pig's in a Blackout", "Going, Going Gonzo" and "Single All the Way" for the most part. They were cute. Then the soft reboot happened, and the show returned to find itself again... but the two episodes tonight? Hey, they're starting to find it again. I would say that it's cute.

Yet I haven't addressed the biggest problem I have with this series, and it's one they aren't going to fix: I loathe the mockumentary angle. Absolutely despise it. I think it's horrifically limiting to these characters who have always existed in a heightened reality. There's less room for any sort of experimentation in the style of "Community" or "30 Rock", which fits these characters much more than "The Office", "Parks and Rec" or "Modern Family" does. It didn't hit me really until the show started airing, when I had that startling realization of, "Oh... wait every single episode will be shot like this. Oh god..."

And I do love "The Office" and "Parks and Rec" (not a fan of MF) but they were created with the format in mind. "The Muppets" just doesn't fit it, and unless they actually do (they won't), I think I'll only see this show as "cute" at best. The nostalgia angle they were aiming for in last night's two eps were the same vibe that made "Blackout" and "Gonzo" start to work, along with some better heartfelt dialogue like "Single All the Way". If a second season comes to be, I hope they continue this path: it'll definitely work in their favor. However I know that I'll most likely never love this show because as much as I love the Muppets, I can't help but feel this is akin to tying them down creatively. There's so much more that can be achieved with a Muppets sitcom... this is mostly hoping for a few good yuks and we're done. Maybe it's the fact that I don't really care about the romantic entaglements of Kermit, Piggy, Gonzo, Fozzie and etc. I'm not sure, but the only thing that makes me want another season is not to see them placed into a drawer again.
Okay, so see everybody? I'm not the only one who feels like this show could have and should have gone in a different direction. And thank you, finally somebody whoi agrees with me about the mockumentary angle. It doesn't work for television, it just doesn't: movies are okay, such as those old Christopher Guest films and all, but it comes off very awkward on TV and it really takes you out of the story and makes it difficult to try to relate to or even believe in the characters. It's become to TV sitcoms what 3D was to movies for a while: an overused gimmick - once they find something that works (in this case, the mockumentary style of THE OFFICE), then everybody had to jump on board with it - that, or the "narration" style, which is really similar. What's even worse is that there's now an unwritten rule that single camera sitcoms are not allowed to have any sounds of laughter - live or simulated - and this is now something the networks are wanting to apply to their multi-camera sitcoms now too: CBS is going to try to film all of their multi-camera sitcoms without studio audiences or laugh tracks altogether now (which is ironic, because they were the ones who forced M*A*S*H to have a laugh track against the producers' wishes bck in the 70s). Sitcoms without laughter fall flat, they seem so ghastly and awkward, and quite frankly, based on some of the promos for some of these shows, the "jokes" or "gags" are so unfunny you almost can't tell you're watching a comedy . . . matter of fact, I honestly had no idea shows like DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES, GLEE, ANGIE TRIBECA, or even that godawful GIRLS were supposed to be comedies, they never came off as funny to me.

I honestly don't see how THE OFFICE became as big a hit as it was: it was such a bland and boring series anyway, but as I said, once it did become a hit, suddenly everybody had to jump on the bandwagon . . . but that always happens in TV, and has for years: once something new and different becomes a raging success, suddenly everybody has to follow suit and try to capture that magic for themselves. In the 60s it was all about the fantasy sitcoms: MISTER ED, THE ADDAMS FAMILY, THE MUNSTERS, BEWITCHED, I DREAM OF JEANNIE, et al; in the 70s, once ALL IN THE FAMILY became a groundbreaking sitcom, soon most sitcoms were trying to become really edgy social commentaries on life; in the 90s, SEINFELD became the goldstandard of sitcom tropes and idioms that are still being used today: multiple storylines per episode (though really, it was M*A*S*H that pioneered that, but SEINFELD is often credited for it), unsympathetic characters that don't learn from their mistakes, reflections of real-life scenarios, and the almost obligatory relationship humor (something people on this very forum have been complaining about on this very show).

And again, although network interference has always been a problem with shows, back in those days it was miniscule compared to today, because networks had more trust in producers and studios in those days to turn out quality - now, there's a much more corporate approach to shows, and the work and the art suffer as a result. Again, supposedly FRIENDS is to blame for that, since that was the first time any sitcom that was actually a production of the network rather than a production company actually became a big success, and since then, networks feel like they can make shows themselves and bring in who they want to rather than letting producers or creators come to them with ideas, pitches, treatments, what have you. As I said, that's one of the problems with this show: rather than having faith in actual Muppet writers and producers to come up with a new show for the Muppets, ABC brought in people from other mainstream sitcoms in an attempt to create a mainstream-esque show for the Muppets to try to appeal to mainstream audiences and achieve mainstream success. This is one of the reasons why many people don't even watch TV anymore, because networks have no clue what people want to actually watch, they're only satisfied with fulfilling their own personal agendas and put out shows they only think people want to watch . . . and networks must be stuck in a rut, because for the last 10-15 years or so, they seem to think all people want to watch on TV are shows with deviant characters who are always getting themselves into reckless, selfish, and irresponisble sexual situations. . . . and to think 60 years ago, you couldn't show anything like that on TV . . . and notice how more and more people (not just myself, though I suppose I'm more vocal about it than others) keep actually begging for more of those kinds of shows today, but we just don't get any of them because networks don't care.

Well, that's all I have to say about that. I'll get off my high horse again.
 

Drtooth

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I honestly don't see how THE OFFICE became as big a hit as it was: it was such a bland and boring series anyway, but as I said, once it did become a hit, suddenly everybody had to jump on the bandwagon . . . but that always happens in TV, and has for years: once something new and different becomes a raging success, suddenly everybody has to follow suit and try to capture that magic for themselves.
The Office became a hit simply because.... well, Seinfeld ended in 1998, Friends ended in the early 00's, and then the overrated, never funny, loud and obnoxious minstrel show "Will and Grace" ended as well. The early 00's weren't exactly a good time for sitcoms. We all know what awful genre of television rose up in the 00's, so need to mention that. ABC was pretty much swamped with terrible family sitcoms (I can't even think of the words "Hope" and "Faith" together without throwing up a little in my mouth). CBS's Raymond series was about to end, and Fox had minor successes here and there, but nothing solid and most were failures. The Office popped up at the right time and was praised because it was different. And while it did V.R. Troopers itself with Parks and Rec, the only other show to really copy the format exactly outside of it was Modern Family, but it made the show its own. It's a little on the formulaic side, though. Most newer shows are essentially just straightforward shot mini-movie style, like My Name is Earl, Malcom in the Middle, and the like.

As for it working for The Muppets, keep in mind Mockumentary was one of two show concepts Disney had for a while (since before movies were even considered). The other being...ugh...the reality TV parody which we should all be thankful never happened. While there's not a real general consensus on what the nadir of the Muppet franchise is, I'm sure we can all agree that would have been it. Even parodies of reality shows suck, unless you're a big fan of Total Dram Island. I admit that maybe it wasn't the freshest concept to do an Office style show several years after it ended and a year after Parks and Rec did. They should have taken a more SNL type approach maybe. But they certainly shouldn't have tried to do Muppet Show 2.0. At least unless MMW was a success, in which case it probably would have been.

The realization I had about TM and MMW is a simple Mega Man 9 vs. Mega Man 10. Everyone was loving MM9 and how "YAY! They brought back all the things that made the original games GREAT" after they mucked around with the franchise. Then came MM10 which continued the classic game series style, but landed with a thud because "Ugh! Those repetitive old things from those old dumb games? I'll stick to my formulaic 3rd person shooters, thank you very much!" Something that became a great throwback turned into more of the same when more of the same is what they wanted in the first place!

I can't stress how much this new show parallels what went down with The Looney Tunes Show (with variations, but I'll get to that). They took the classic characters and put them into different territory comedically and thematically, and the reaction ranged from "RIGHT ON!" to "this is a disgrace." Now, I needn't play the "Loonatics Unleashed" card, but the Looney Tunes franchise wasn't on solid ground for years after LT:BIA. And even when they were making new LT cartoons, be they series or short, the die hard classic LT fans were never happy. Which is why the showrunners decided to make it a sitcom format. They weren't going to please the part of the fanbase that automatically hates everything (even Tiny Toons) so why not try something new. And to its credit, it actually did some great things. It took absolutely unbearable characters like Lola Bunny and Mac and Tosh (I always hated those two) and made them actually funny. They turned Lola into a..well..Looney Tune instead of a token female tossed into a film to get little girls interested. They even gave Speedy a nice recurring role after the intense P.C. battle over the character. But for whatever reason, the show didn't stick and the last episode wasn't shown for a year and a half for some reason. BUT it was followed up 2 years later by Wabbit, a more faithful Bugs Bunny modernized series. It seems to be getting positive buzz.
 
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