By Amber Palmer
This is it. The week I thought would never come.
The Muppets are going back on TV with new material, a new show and I’m here to witness it. What a time to be alive.
Anyone who knows me knows that I love The Muppets. I’m not exactly quiet about it. From when I was young, Kermit, Miss Piggy, Gonzo and Animal were major parts of my life. When 2011 came along and “The Muppets” premiered in theaters, it was like a dream. And now, they’re back on TV, back to where they belong.
At this point you’re probably thinking, “Amber, chill, they’re puppets and they’re for five-year-olds.” But that’s the thing, they aren’t. The Muppets, since their conception, were geared to be the ultimate family entertainment, with jokes aimed at adults and physical comedy aimed for children. The pilot episode of the show was actually called “Sex and Violence,” obviously not aimed for children.
Actually, I’ve always been surprised by how indifferent so many people my age are about The Muppets. The whole premise of them is so appealing to people in college — a group of people trying to live their dreams and find their places in the world. That’s what we’re all trying to do, isn’t it?
I always joke that I know Kermits, Miss Piggys, Gonzos, Fozzies and Scooters in real life, but honestly, we all do. We all have that friend who thinks his jokes are funnier than they are, or know that girl who is so much of a diva that it’s almost ridiculous. We all know that soft-spoken leader, the eye of a hurricane of crazy friends.
With shows like Family Guy, The Simpsons, Futurama and Bob’s Burgers on TV, it’s been proven that mediums traditionally used for children’s entertainment can work for adults. “The Muppet Show” worked in the past, embracing the television variety shows that were popular in the ‘70s. There’s no reason they couldn’t work now, only adapting to the reality show styled sitcoms that we know and love.
It’s no surprise that these characters have adapted and survived the tests of time. One of my favorite parts of The Muppets is how much heart they have, stemming from the chemistry and love that the people who created them had for each other. It isn’t hard to find story after story about Jim Henson. How much he loved his coworkers, how passionate he was about what he did. He’s quoted in saying, “If you care about what you do and work hard at it, there isn’t anything you can’t do if you want to,” a mentality that carries into his character’s personalities. That passion continues to this day, kept alive by those who now carry the Muppet torch.
What I’m getting at is, you can laugh at someone who’s technically an adult loving The Muppets, but give the show a shot first. What you’ll find are characters just like you, comedy that you may actually enjoy and, most importantly, a lot of heart.