Family, 103 Minutes, 2011
Who doesn’t love “The Muppets”? Big, dumb, jerk-faced idiots – that’s who! Jason Segel loved the muppets so much that he spent the better part of the last 10 years writing this movie. More than that he made it about my muppets (and maybe yours too): The Muppet Show muppets.
While everybody loves all the muppets there’s something even more deeply special about The Muppet Show. While the number of “Sesame Street” clones number in the hundreds and the fantastic Creature Shop has been marginalized by CGI The Muppet Show remains a paradoxical classic: a completely irony-free prime-time puppet show.
The show set a standard for the accessible-but-bizarre humor that became a trademark for the brand and was brought to the big screen in the universally acclaimed classic “The Muppet Movie” [IMDB]. While the muppets have had their ups-and-down since they never really reached the same heights somehow. Until now.
Segel’s script exalts in a simple charm that some people claim is “out of fashion” but most people know will never be. There’s no false lip-service to modern sensibilities, musical styles or pop-culture. When references are made they’re always appropriate and never patronizing. There’s a love of the characters here that shines through remarkably.
It’s abundantly clear that people fought for this. Fought to keep it pure, fun and to keep marketing from destroying it. I’ve tried to understand the position of some of the original muppet performers who felt the movie was disrespectful to the spirit of the muppets but I can’t understand it. This is a movie worthy of the muppets and I can think of no higher praise.