The Muppets “Pig Girls Don’t Cry” Review (Series Premiere)

Ultimately, it’s important to remember that The Muppets have never been flawless. If that seems like a troublesome way to start a review of this series premiere, well… it is, but stick with me. Anyway, for every Most Wanted or Great Muppet Caper, there’s an In Space or, if you’re really unlucky, a Wizard of Oz. Things are even shakier on the TV front, where the original Muppet Show stands mostly alone among a sea of failed series and abandoned pilots. So, in a way, the fact that the Muppets’ latest project is only okay isn’t a terrible start.

So what’s the biggest sin the series commits in its first outing? There’s an awful lot of sex talk. That’s putting it bluntly, sure, but we get to hear about a lot of different Muppets’ sex lives. I mean, even Rizzo is about to score. And while there’s nothing wrong with sexual humor, it’s just weird to have it coming from the Muppets. It’s just not their usual sense of humor, and the sheer volume of it in the pilot was a bit off-putting.

It’s a sense that stretches to a lot of the humor in the pilot, with jokes about racism and inter-species relationships feeling equally out of place. Some of the jokes do work – Fozzie’s indignation over bear stereotypes made for a fun dinner scene – but it feels like the show is still trying to figure out what exactly an “adult” Muppet show should be about.

Honestly, I think the elements for success are there. While the sex jokes don’t quite land, there’s actually some good character work at play here, providing the sort of elements a long-term story arc can be built on. Though Kermit’s taken a lot of heat on social media for dumping Miss Piggy, the truth is, their relationship has long been a toxic and contentious one. The thought of seeing them work through issues that have primarily been played for comedy over the years? That’s an interesting, mature angle for the series to explore.

Also, it can’t be denied that it’s just fun to have the Muppets on TV, with old favorites popping up for quick jokes or just appearing in the background. From personal favorite Sam the Eagle working as the network censor to Scooter once again in his longtime role as Kermit’s right-hand man, there are parts of The Muppets that show a solid understanding of what makes each classic character work. Hopefully, going forward, the show will figure out how to emphasize these positives and downplay the negatives holding this premiere back.

What did you think of this week’s premiere? Let me know in the comments!