I didn’t quite dare write about this when it was just in the phase of “Let’s shoot a test pilot and see if anybody likes it and then wants to put it on the air.” Given how the last two Muppet movies disappointed at the box office – turns out kids today are dumb and don’t understand you’re supposed to automatically love these guys – I thought we might only be in for heartbreak. “Hey, they’re shooting a Muppet pilot you may never, ever see!” just seems like a mean thing to write, however you couch it, even for me.
But now I don’t have to, because it’s really time to play the music and light the lights again!
For the first time ever, the series will explore the Muppets’ personal lives and relationships, both at home and at work, as well as romances, break-ups, achievements, disappointments, wants and desires–a more adult Muppet show, for kids of all ages.
I’m not opposed to this idea, actually: the original Muppet Show‘s formula of showing both a show being put on and the backstage drama behind the scenes has inspired such disparate successors as WWE Monday Night Raw and The Larry Sanders Show. Nowadays, the reality TV format is how you would show that kind of thing – think WWE’s Total Divas. The real trick, I think, is to present these characters to kids again without assuming they know the whole history, while retaining the smart, referential appeal to their parents too.
What I’m saying is don’t freak out if they bring in new characters like Clifford. Fans always dismissed him unfairly.