Muppet Monday: TV Hypotheticals

Yet another Memorial Day where Sam the Eagle has ignored my pleas for a guest post spot. If that’s not un-American, I don’t know what is!

(Seriously, though, hope all of you are reading this on a Tuesday and enjoyed Monday with friends and family.)

My husband and I are total geeks and gladly accept this label. So while we were out this weekend we started talking about the Muppets, how we miss their appearances on talk shows and even instagram, and what their future might look like. It’s hard to say since the box office numbers for Muppets Most Wanted weren’t nearly as strong as they wanted it to be. (Was every parent in the world tired of taking their kids to the movies because of the Frozen phenomenon? That is one of my many theories. My other is that you legitimately can’t make every fan happy. Nope. But that’s a post for another day.)

About two weeks ago when Muppet Most Wanted writer Nicholas Stoller was making the rounds for his new movie The Neighbors (which I desperately want to see), he talked about his surprise with the poor Muppets Most Wanted showing and also how Disney is working to bring the Muppets back to TV.

I like this idea for three reasons:

  • More Muppets, more frequently.
  • It would be easier for audiences toย get the Muppets in a series, rather than a movie every two years.
  • A new TV show brings the Muppets back to their roots.

Sure, it’s true they tried round two of the TV show thing back in the 90s and Muppets Tonight only ran for three seasons but I think after all this time and two new movies out in the past few years, there is a lot to learn from those experiences and a lot to improve upon.

Some concerns:

  • We all know Disney is not about synergy. They would have to go beyond their collection of stars to make this work.
  • Would this mean we wouldn’t get another movie, ever again?
  • Good writing. Sketches need to take into account a character’s history as well as perfect the balance between today’s audiences and also the classic Muppets we love so much.
  • Rounding out the cast with ALL of the Muppets. Not just featuring the same ones over and over again.

It’s obvious from the reception of the last two Muppet movies that audiences are still hanging on to the old Muppets. The Muppets from Jim’s day. This is a dangerous thing to do. The chemistry between those puppeteers cannot be matched, and has not been matched so it’s not realistic to compare. It’s still amazing that the same puppeteers have managed to BE their character through all the movies, the appearances, and all the promotions. It’s almost unfathomable at this point, and I can’t think of any other form of entertainment that doesn’t have “an understudy.” It makes the Muppets so unique, and that’s a reason in itself for the Muppet TV show reboot to happen. These puppeteers have worked so hard and diligently to make these characters come to life, make them their own (while still respecting their histories) and this is a type of art that audiences should be privy too.

So Disney, I think it’s time to do the patriotic thing and make the Muppets a part of our TV lineup once again. Can we do this while entertaining adults and kids alike? Can be bridge this gap between vintage Muppets fans and the kids who don’t even know what a Muppet is yet? I sure hope so. For this franchise to keep going on and still holding on to its integrity, it’s a definite must.

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A book publicist who loves writing about Disney and books, and sometimes Disney books.

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