Imagine an alternate reality where Miss Piggy got the lead female role in Walk the Line, and she ended up winning the Oscar. And then imagine the consequences for Reese Witherspoon when that’s not the reality and she has to face Miss Piggy on her own turf. Look out, Reese!
Let’s bitch it out…
In the A plot this week, we learn about Miss Piggy’s long-standing beef with Reese Witherspoon. In the B plot, Scooter has to deal with the aftermath of a fender-bender with Rizzo in the parking lot. And in the C plot, Fozzie and his girlfriend negotiate how Fozzie will deal with jokes about his relationship on stage. This week, the three plots seem to integrate a little more smoothly, and the writers seem to be working out the balance a little better. It’s another one-guest-star script this week, which I don’t love, but less time on the guest plotlines does mean a little more time on character development, which isn’t a bad thing at all.
We get a lot more Rizzo backstory in this episode, from the fact that he appears to drive a yellow Jeep to the expanded cast of sketchy relatives he keeps sending Scooter off to. Rizzo has been one of my favourite comic relief characters since Muppet Christmas Carole, and he’s very well-used across this show, but particularly in this episode. Something about the whole New Yorker rat schtick never fails to work for me. And I love a Scooter-heavy episode where we get to see how charmingly naive he is. Adorable.
I wasn’t sure about the Fozzie/Becky (Riki Lindhome) relationship, but I think it’s growing on me. Now that they’ve moved beyond the interspecies jokes to focus on how they actually interact, I like seeing Fozzie get a bit of a “win” from having a devoted girlfriend. It reminds me of Jerry on Parks and Recreation — we accept him getting trashed at work because we know he has this perfect home life. I want that happiness for Fozzie, too. I hope the writers develop this angle more.
In the quest for some humanity for Miss Piggy, we go a few steps forward and a few steps back this week. She’s insufferable on the Habitat for Humanity site, though the gag where she thinks the surveyor is a cameraman is pretty funny (but isn’t the transition from the construction-off to Miss Piggy winning really weird and rushed?). I like that we got to see her feel actual shame at her diva-like behaviour, and the scene in her dressing room with Kermit shows some real tenderness. Of course, that all gets stripped back with the apology musical number, but the humour payoff works here. Scooter’s dance moves along were worth the price of admission.
- I am unexpectedly VERY CHARMED by muppets driving.
- Learning about all of Miss Piggy’s failed auditions never ceases to amuse. In this episode, we get Walk the Line and Black Swan. Real talk: I would watch a muppetized version of both of those movies.
- Did you catch Dr. Bunsen in the coffee line with his Japanese paper umbrella? Super cute.
- Miss Piggy dressed in her Habitat for Humanity duds with her ultra suede stiletto work booties and her little pink bedazzled hammer is just about the best thing I’ve seen all week. Especially when she thinks the porta-potty is a pool house.
- The bit where Pépé says “Sean Penn” and Rizzo thinks he’s saying “champagne” is cheap, easy, old-fashioned — and it made me snort-laugh until I couldn’t breathe. This show does a good job of balancing old school humour with the edgy scenes, and it adds a bit of warmth.
- Reese Witherspoon’s face during Miss Piggy’s apology stage show is one of the most magical things.
- Kermit: “Nerves are good. They keep you sharp. My cousin Albert used to tease me about it. Then a hawk carried him off, which simultaneously proved my point and ruined our camping trip.”
- Floyd (on why he uses a fake name at the coffee place): “You never use your real name. You’ll have drones over your house by nightfall.”
- Kermit: “Piggy’ll stop at nothing to even the score. I mean, I broke up with her and I know my day’s coming. That’s why I say a little prayer every time I start my car.”
- Becky (to Pépé): “You look like you’re in a Boys II Men video.” Pépé: “Hey, you dress for the job you want to have, okay.”
- Reese Witherspoon (on her toughness): “Did you see my movie Wild? I did all my own walking that movie. So.”
- Bobo (on his bear-like hygiene habits): “Um, no. I have an associate’s degree. I use a towel.”
- Miss Piggy (on getting her dog a face lift): “I had to. People kept asking me if it was my mom’s dog.”
Your turn: Are you warming up to Miss Piggy? How do you feel about the Fozzie/Becky relationship? And do you love Rizzo like I love Rizzo? Sound off in the comments…
The Muppets airs Tuesday at 8 pm EST on ABC (or Mondays at 8 pm on City in Canada). Next week: KRISTIN CHENOWETH. OMG.