Netflix continues to make better shows than anything on the networks or cable. They’re killing it with the Marvel series, the Voltron reboot was excellent, and Stranger Things is just straight up amazing. They continue this winning streak with Baz Lurhmann’s new project, The Get Down.
I’m different, and I know that a lot of my readers are the same way. Maybe you had a rough time in school: didn’t fit in, were bullied, or just ignored like a shadow on the wall. I know that many of my followers are LGBT. Although I suffered the weirdness of being…well…me, I can’t even imagine what it must be like for them. Imagine your entire identity as contrary to the harsh rules of teen society, where any deviation got you torn to shreds physically or emotionally.
There’s never been anything on TV that focused on growing up LGBT. But there is one project that might change that. It’s called True Colors, and it needs your help.
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: Continue reading
Yeah, that’s not a surprise given my muppet love, but let me explain why:
The Muppets have always been a mix of slapstick, puns, and adult humor (there’s no better way to explain my humor as well, but that’s my own problem). Like Looney Tunes, if you look at the old shows as an adult, you see jokes that went right over your head as a kid. This show different.
In The Muppets, they dropped a lot of the puns and easy jokes and went for more (relatively) sophisticated, character-driven humor. It was unexpected, and I think it turned off a lot of fans. It wasn’t set-up, punch line, exploding fish anymore.
In a sense, they’re not “puppets” anymore. They’re characters with real problems and character flaws, not empty joke vehicles. They’ve always been one or two dimensional before: Piggy as the aggressive egomaniac, Fozzy is a hapless comic, Gonzo is the love-stricken weirdo, and Kermit was the hero keeping everyone together. The personalities are still the same, but much more complex.
It’s the flaws that are most striking now. Kermit is very manipulative, and at points I cringed at how he handles Piggy. If I have one problem with the show, it’s Kermit’s use of psychological control. Piggy is an unreasonable diva that terrorizes the staff. Fozzy is the engineer of his own downfall. He’s a furry George Costanza.
Now it’s the bit players that really carry the show. Pepe, Rizzo and Yolanda are hilarious (and I love how all Muppet rats have old timey NYC accents). The Electric Mayhem is exactly what we always imagined them to be: recovering drug-addled road warriors. Bobo is the everyman (bear) that’s easy to relate to. And Gonzo…it broke my heart to see Gonzo’s online dating experiment go awry. From one weirdo to another, I feel ya, bro. Keep at the online dating, there’s a weirdo out there for everyone.
Oh, and how great is Sam the Eagle’s crush on Janis!
But I do have some advice for the show’s writers:
- have Kermit solve problems without underhandedness: Kermit was one of the few three-dimensional characters before the show. We know who he is, don’t stray from that. He’s allowed to have flaws, but being dishonest is very out of character.
- Keep mining the secondary characters: There are so many Muppets. I want to learn more about them. They’ve done a great job of adding depth to them so far. Keep at it.
- More music: It’s not the Muppets without music, and Piggy is starring in a late-night talk show.
- Keep adding depth to Piggy. It’s ok to have Piggy as the antagonist, but she’s still beloved. Give us something to empathize with.
Other than that, I think the show is on the right track. I hope that it gets renewed, because it’s one of the only shows that I watch.
I have read from many different sources that ABC is planning a return of The Muppet Show. What have I done that the TV Gods are rewarding me so!? This is incredible news, the kid in me (who’s not very different from the grown up in me) is doing cartwheels. This is bigger news that Dom Deluise telling Kermit that he should go to Hollywood (Holllllleeeeewood)
I. Love. Muppets. I loved The Muppet Show. I loved Sesame Street. I loved Fraggle Rock. I can quote The Muppet Movie until someone slaps me. Jim Henson was my childhood god.
For you Millennials, let me explain: The Muppet Show was a variety show, with Kermit the Frog as host, and starring Fozzie, Miss Piggy, Gonzo, Rowlf, Doctor Teeth and the Electric Mayhem, and a cast of hundreds of furry creatures. Each week, they had a celebrity as a guest star. I suppose it’s format was a bit like Saturday Night Live, but an equal amount of the show happened backstage and dealt with the chaos of “live theater.”
It was crazy. It was ridiculous. It was silly.
It was the greatest thing ever.
By the way, you can find a lot of old episodes on YouTube.
Here’s my favorite song from the show. Harry Belafonte singing Turn the World Around. It’s beautiful.
But I wonder if the new generation will get it. Times have changed, and while the Muppets seem to have a following among some kids and teens, is it enough to make it work? It didn’t work with the reboot Muppets Tonight. They might have to drastically change the format (and according to Vanity Fair, they are) though I hope not too much.
Either way, I’m watching. I bleed brightly colored fake fur…um I guess to fit the metaphor, I’d have to bleed hand. Does that make any sense?
It doesn’t have to make sense. IT’S THE FREAKING MUPPETS!!!!
So what did you think of last night’s Agent Carter finale? I was very pleased with it. Writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely should be proud of what they created here. They brought the plot together full circle, with Stark attempting redemption not just for Midnight Oil, but for losing Captain America (which wasn’t his fault anyway, but guilt is a funny thing). Stark was clearly the focus of the episode, and Peggy was the catalyst character for him to change his ways through the series. To paraphrase, “you (Peggy) are the only one that believes in me.”
The climax was fantastic. Stark was hypnotized by Doctor Faustus (the Comic Book name for Ivchenko) into believing that he could save Cap. It took Peggy to bring him down by convincing him that Captain America was dead, and we had to move on. Of course, that’s something that Peggy couldn’t do, at least not yet. When she destroyed his blood sample at the end, well, that’s where she finally achieved peace. It’s not easy getting over a loved ones’ death, but there’s peace at the end of that tearful ride.
Jarvis tailing Stark to shoot him down, was pretty cool too.
I’m hoping that there’s a second season. At the end they brought in Armin Zola. You can’t bring in a major villain like that, have him talk to Faustus, and not have some sort of ramification. Does anyone know if they’ve been renewed?
Looks like Settlers of Catan is trading Sheep for Celluloid…Yes, that’s the best joke I have…Yes, I know that no one uses Celluloid anymore…Yes, I know I suck, work with me here.
Anyway, according to Io9.com, “producer Gail Katz (Air Force One, The Perfect Storm) announced via press release that she has obtained film and television rights to Settlers of Catan.” Since Io9 is usually on the ball with this kind of thing, I’m inclined to believe them.
Can a Ticket to Ride movie be far behind?
For those that don’t know, SoC is the big board game of these times, the new Pictionary or Trivial Pursuit. You work on building a better civilization than your using specific resources. You get these resources through trade or strategic luck (I love that turn). It’s a turn-based game with a fairly short time frame, but addicting. It’s hard to play just one game of Settlers of Catan.”
The question is: what are they going to do with it? It’s a pretty straight forward game, but there’s a back story there that can (if they’re smart) be used in a bunch of different directions. Will they make an action-adventure involving pioneers trying to start a new life? They can take on a narrative similar to Lord of the Flies, where one group goes civilized while the other descends into barbarism. They can start mid-game with the wealthy forcing their will on the poorer groups, like every other Western made (think Road Barons instead of rail). Maybe a Game of Thrones style fantasy-political thriller? They could go serious or goofy, complex or simple. There’s a lot to work with here.
Board games turned into visual media does not have a good track record. Battleship stands out as the biggest bomb, or last year’s Ouija. Clue is one of my favorite movies, but that’s primary because of the great acting and clever dialogue. The plot itself is very predictable…but fun.
I’m looking forward to what becomes of one of my favorite games. I think it could be great…or it could be Battleshit.
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