The Muppets S01E11 “Swine Song” REVIEW

The Muppets S01E11 “Swine Song” REVIEW

Dudley

stars 3

Airing in the UK on Sky One, Mondays, 8pm

Writers: Gregg Mettler & Emily Wilson
Director: Randall Einhorn

Essential Plot Points:

  • The Muppets return from holiday with tales to tell of their adventures (and, in Miss Piggy’s case, lots of ponchos from Argentina).
  • Kermit has promised Denise that he will set boundaries with both work and his ex.
  • Unfortunately, a network head arrives with a “branding guru” named Pizza (pronounced, uh, “Pasha”) to revamp the show.
  • Kermit and Miss Piggy talk to Pizza’s former clients, comedians Key and Peele, who say that Pizza’s changes lost them their jobs. Fearing the show is about to be cancelled, the Muppets go into crisis mode.
  • Eventually they come up with some changes to the show and keep the network happy.
  • Denise, however, sees how Kermit and Miss Piggy gaze at each other while they sang a song during the broadcast, and so she dumps Kermit.
  • Elsewhere, Dudley has bonded with a penguin.

Miss Piggy in a poncho

Review:

It seems somewhat fitting that The Muppets returns from hiatus with a storyline about the possible cancellation of the show – given that, as we write this, there’s still no confirmation that it will return for a second season. It’s certainly had a rocky year, what with personnel changes and some controversy over a rather “adult” feel to its first episode, but since then The Muppets has grown into a genuinely hilarious, heartwarming half-hour that we’d be sad to lose. Hopefully the real-life series will experience a happy ending like the one we see in this episode, although probably without its real-life frog producer being dumped by his real-life pig girlfriend.

As usual, what we get here is a simple plot enlivened by some marvellous quips, such as Pepe announcing that he’s written some “pretty intense” letters to Gloria Estefan over the years, or Denise revealing that she signed up for a 5K run without knowing how far a “K” was. And the premise of the network sending someone in to revamp a show is a veritable cliché in sitcoms – no doubt reflecting the horror of it happening in the real world of TV, and the writers’ fear of it happening to them – but it’s a shame we didn’t see more of the hilariously named “Pizza”. What horrors would he have come up with if left to his own devices, eh?

The subplot between Kermit and Denise has been on the cards for ages; quite how she’s put up with him for so long as he works with his larger-than-life ex is a mystery. Poor Kermit – who will he turn to for support now? Is he really destined to spend his life with Miss Piggy? And does she still love him, or is her life all about fame and ponchos? We can only wait and see…

The Guests:

  • Key & Peele

The Good:

Cute penguin

  • Miss Piggy “rescues” a penguin from the bottom of South America and names it Gloria Estefan because it’s the only Spanish name she knows. Also, this penguin is exceptionally cute.
  • Kermit: “Not everyone here is tech-savvy.”
    Animal, speaking to a muffin: “Siri? Siri?”
  • Dudley staring silently at Scooter is the scariest damn thing we’ve seen since The Blair Witch Project.
  • The Muppet Show theme sung a cappella by the team is just lovely – why can’t all office staff act this way? We’d love to be sitting around a desk one day and suddenly break into an impromptu version of, say, the He-Man theme…

 

The Bad:

Pepe the Uber Driver

  • Pepe The Uber Driver. Given Pepe’s usual behaviour, this is a lawsuit waiting to happen.

Piggy goes Miley

  • Miss Piggy dressed as Miley Cyrus. Our eyes...

 

And The Random:

  • The song Kermit and Miss Piggy sing together is “In Spite Of Ourselves” by US country/folk singer John Prine. The lyrics have been slightly watered down for younger viewers, mind: “She gets it on like the Easter bunny” has become “She makes a face when my jokes are funny”, and the line “He’s got more balls than a big brass monkey” is mysteriously absent.
  • Best Quote: Network exec: “He’s branded Katy Perry, Key and Peele, some warlord, and that dog on Instagram whose tongue keeps on sticking out.”

Reviewed by Jayne Nelson


Read our reviews of previous episodes of The Muppets

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