2011’s The Muppets was a big, wonderful hit and people were so excited to have those lovable little characters back. But things kind of stalled a few years later with Muppets Most Wanted and the warm, fuzzy feelings faded. We’ll always cherish The Muppets but will they give us more new material to love in the modern age?
Well, if this trailer for the new ABC show (also titled The Muppets) is any indication, the answer is probably a no.
The trailer above gives you an idea of what ABC is aiming for and it’s pretty obviously an attempt to make The Office or Modern Family but with Kermit and the gang, also known as an “adult Muppets show.” The characters even acknowledge how the show is filmed like every other current comedy series (talking heads, shaky cam, etc) but then they go with it anyway. A wink and a nod to the audience only means so much if you consistently employ the methods you poke fun at.
While The Muppets (the movie, of course) was a full-on embrace of what The Muppets are and should be, this feels like it’s an attempt to be another in a long line of generic, easy comedies. The influence of the aforementioned Modern Family and The Office is so strong it feels like parody but one gets the impression that it’s not. And the jokes could be on any comedy show. Kermit complaining about traffic? Are these really the sort of gags we’re going to get?
I guess I kind of laughed at Fozzie meeting his girlfriend’s parents (always love seeing Jere Burns) but overall this bummed me out. The Muppets should rise above cynicism and current trends and even what people think they want to see. The Muppets should always be what they’ve always been: The Muppets!