Warning: Full spoilers for the episode below.
So one of the presumed makeover directives, when The Muppets returned from its midseason break all revamped, was clearly to break up Kermit and Denise. The fact that he was dating a new pig seemed to be a bone of contention for many persnickety Muppet purists. Even though the real problem, overall, was the show’s focus on dating in general. Everyone dating, not just Kermit and his new swine squeeze. The Muppets’ various sex lives dominated the fall episodes.
And now it’s returned in full force. Not just with Pepe and Rizzo out on an aggressive prowl for ladies, but Kermit and Piggy finding their old spark again. Because apparently it wasn’t just enough to break up Kermit’s new relationship, he HAD to get back with Piggy. Really quickly. It was a race to return to the status quo. And so because of this, we got another “Kermit lies to spare someone’s feelings” episode.
This time around, Kermit lied to protect visiting nephew Robin (instead of Fozzie, who’d assumed this delicate role twice already). Robin, whose PARENTS HAD JUST SPLIT UP. Yes, not only did all the dating aspects return to the show, but so did the grim, morose realism that worked to darken the series back in 2015. Robin’s now from a broken home, which caused Kermit and Piggy to act like they hadn’t broken up so as to not frazzle the young frog.
Along the way, there were some bright spots. Everyone running out of the room when Robin walked in, for fear they couldn’t successfully lie to his face, was great. There were some funny laser tag bits, including Piggy rambunctiously zapping a fan (“Never meet your heroes,” Kermit sighed). And – and I know this sounds weird – Piggy tripping over Scooter right at the top of the episode. Because Scooter was busy picking up all his snacks. For some reason, that was my favorite part of the entire thing.
Oh, and Swedish Chef trying to explain Piggy and Kermit breaking up to Robin, using food that looked like them and then smashing that food together, was kind of amazing.
The Gonzo/Camilla stuff was just sort of off-putting. I don’t know. The less I think about Kermit having a “pig fetish” and Gonzo having an actual “chicken fetish,” the better. And seeing them do couples’ yoga was too weird. I get that the idea of these two respective pairs dating is nothing new to The Muppets. But inserting them now into this mundane-life multi-cam comedy only makes us delve deeper into the ins and outs of their coupling. Bleh. At least we got a drunk Pepe out of it.
“Little Green Lie” worked to move Kermit and Piggy closer together. Almost fully back in each others’ arms, though they still remain hesitant. As if this move was somehow the cure-all for the show’s myriad woes. There was a sweetness present, but also a bunch of depressing nonsense. Like Robin’s parents splitting up because he dad had an affair with his teacher. Of the all the new 2016 episodes, this one felt the most problematic.
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