The Muppets “Because… Love” Review (Season 1 Episode 16)

Was The Muppets a successful reboot of the classic characters? I’m here to specifically talk about “Because… Love,” the first season finale, but that main question looms over the show’s entire first year. From the beginning, there was a lot of complaints and criticisms thrown at the show, some of which I shared and discussed in my previous two reviews. Things improved with the retooling in the back half of the season, but the question was if it would be enough to make the show a much-watch for fans of Jim Henson’s classic creations.

Sadly, the answer is no, but I say that hesitantly. These final six episodes still carried a lot of the same problems from the first half of the season, but it definitely feels like things are moving in the correct direction. It’s those changes that make this episode a successful finale. However, the problems keep me from entirely caring if that’s a finale of the season or series variety.

Starting on the positive, well, there’s positivity itself. From Kermit’s now-upbeat attitude in the opening to the general sense of teamwork and camaraderie among the cast, the show has taken a big step toward feeling like the Muppets should by removing so much of the antagonism that defined the fall episodes. It helped giving the gang an external enemy in the form of creative consultant Pizza, even if his arc never really developed in a satisfying way.

And beyond just that general upbeat attitude, the show has done a good job of expanding the relationships between the characters. I never would’ve thought of Miss Piggy and Uncle Deadly as BFFs, but dang it all if the two of them didn’t make for a great pairing. That’s the sort of thing that feels true to these classic characters, and it’s a friendship I’d love to see continue in whatever form the Muppets take next, whether it be another season or a new film or special.

Still, there are certain elements of the show that continued to drag it down. Look, let’s be blunt and say that before this series came around, I think that most fans – outside of the darker corners of the internet, anyway – had no real interest in the sex lives of the Muppets. And yet, that remained one of the central focuses of the show, from Rizzo and Pepe constantly trolling for women to frequent references to Kermit’s sexual predilections. Throw in the other adult themes frequently referenced and, though not as raunchy as Avenue Q, there continued to be an off-ness to the show.

Still, there’s something there, something that makes me hope that, if the show does get renewed, there’s the chance for it to improve again. The truth is that, as a huge fan of the Muppets, I want to see them on a weekly basis. Kermit, Miss Piggy, Sam the Eagle, Bobo, and the others are great characters, and they deserve a vehicle that captures them at their zany, madcap best.

And if nothing else, maybe next year we’ll get an actual appearance from Walter. That’d be worth the renewal alone in my mind.

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