I’m a little late to the game on this, but I continue to be blown away by how good ABC’s The Muppets is. Tuesday’s episode was brilliant, and they continue to top themselves every week. I don’t understand why the ratings are so low. Dammit, why do the shows that I love always have poor ratings?
A brief synopsis for the episode:
Piggy has a wardrobe malfunction at an event (maybe the Emmy’s or something) where her tail pops out of her dress. The media jumps on it as disgusting, and the network/censors demand that she apologizes on her show.
The tail is not considered obscene or anything like that, but because it is short, curly, and ugly, the world is offended. Piggy goes through an emotional trial: it reminds her that no matter how hard she tries to be a lady, she’ll always be a pig.
Piggy is set to issue the apology, when a young fan (and pig) tells her how her tail slipped out in gym class and the kids made fun of her. When Piggy’s slipped out, it made her realize that showing your tail–no matter what it looks like–is ok. Piggy’s moved and decided to embrace her tail and let the world know that you should never be ashamed of your body. The network threatens the show with layoffs, but Kermit finds a brilliant third option.
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We’ve all had issues with our body: this is ugly, that is, I need to fix that, etc, and I was very moved by this episode. It reinforces something I always believed: If you take a theme out of a standard format, you can tell it better. If they did a story like that in a standard sitcom, it would come off hokey. Give them to puppets, and it’s brilliant.
It’s one of the things that I like to do with genre fiction. Most of my work contains some sort of allegory. Setting it in a fantasy, horror or sci fi world makes it easier to digest. I’m not the only one. Take a look at Miller’s The Crucible as an example, or Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land.
Oh, the Muppets also had a great side plot where Gonzo, Rizzo, and Pepe move into a swingin’ bachelor pad together. It gave us this moment:
Pepe is a lady’s prawn 🙂
I will keep watching The Muppets until the inevitable cancellation.