Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Pre-thoughts on The Muppets "Reboot"!

We've all read the reports that ABC is "rebooting" The Muppets in February and has brought Kristin Newman on to be the new showrunner.

Mrs Newman has now talked to The Hollywood Reporter and hitflix as part of a panel with Television Critics Association as it seems like the problems, and solutions many fans and critics brought up will be be immediately addressed!

I don't like to review things before they're released before but based on her answers she seems to get what was missing, like The Muppets doing a late night show without any sketches or recurring segments...

"So Up Late will become more of a variety show?
It's more of a Jimmy Fallon-style late-night show where there are bits and sketches. We won't be doing sketches straight out of 1979, but we may be doing some of them updated. We're doing an updated Veterinarian's Hospital, we're doing an updated Swedish Chef where Bunsen is helping him do molecular gastronomy. We're taking some of the inspiration from a lot of the old stuff and trying to think about how would Fallon do it? How would [Jimmy] Kimmel do it? And getting to see the Muppets being zany and not just being guys who are having a hard time at work but also getting to perform and do silly things.

An updated Veterinarian's Hospital? YES!
(It'll be great to see more Rowlf, and not just in his Tavern)

An updated Swedish Chef ... with Bunsen? 

We know there are new Pigs is Space shorts set to be released on youtube soon, so I bet we may see them pop up in some form on "Up Late" as well. 

"It's all about heart"

And though later episodes saw the series gaining more of it, many people thought the show was too mean spirited...
There are moments from different things, but mostly it's the spirit I'm looking to for inspiration: joy and friendship; Muppets take care of each other; Muppets root for each other, even if Muppets drive each other crazy and get in each other's way. Muppets, at the end of the day, love each other. So that's what I try to make every single decision based on. I walked into the writers' room on my first day and wrote the word "joy" on the wall. That's what I'm trying to make every decision based on. What's the most joyful moment we can have here? What's the most fun we can have here? Let's let them do what humans can't do because they're puppets and they're silly. Just because they live in a human world doesn't mean they have to act like humans. Let's enjoy and play with what they can do.
What they were doing a lot, was having the celebrity guest of the week create the conflict. What that was doing was creating A stories among celebrity guests that took so much screen time away from the Muppets, who everybody tuned in to see. I'm using guest cast a lot more as cameos and trying to up the amount of musical guests we get so that if somebody comes on who can sing an incredible piece of music, we can use that to emotionally help a story finish .

EXACTLY! She really seems to get it. 

Now if only they'd utilize more characters...

 Camilla will be coming back for Gonzo.
Lew Zealand will be throwing some fish around.. there will be a baby penguin coming into the show.
Foo-foo will be around more.

Also, Robin is coming back. We're breaking the finale now, but the idea is that we're having a Muppet reunion, so we're going to be bringing a lot of characters back.
For the finale, I'm going to have a lot of the beloved Muppets that all the fans and performers have really been missing come back for the last show. We're going to have some cameos of old Muppets that haven't been around a lot. I'm really trying to spread the focus as far as story goes onto all of the core characters that we've been seeing so far."
Wow, I mean talk about about taking our suggestions to, um well heart! (Now if only
they could figure out how to have Walter appear!)

In addition to bringing back classic Muppets, sketches, and heart, there'll be a new human antagonist to rally the Muppets together (Again. Again!) against

I'm bringing in a human bad guy who will, I hope, be used to unite the Muppets fighting against him — instead of fighting against Piggy and fighting against each other. The human threat is obviously from the network because they work on a TV show. He is a branding guru named Pache — played by [recurring guest] Utkarsh Ambudkar (The Mindy Project, Pitch Perfect) and he has rebranded warlords and network presidents and he has a lot of slick ideas and it's all about new, new, new and slick, slick, slick, which is not The Muppets. The Muppets are all about joy and zaniness and heart and the way that they have to fight this bad guy is by binding together. They're going to bring the people who have been backstage on Up Late With Miss Piggy, doing more sketches and bits and bringing more joy back to her show.
It'll be interesting to see how he and Denise will interact since she's in charge of marketing for the network.

Even before Kristin was brought on board, each episode had gotten better at incorporating more songs, and utilizing the characters better. 

I expect these next 6 are going to get the show firmly on track and bring back the viewers who were missing the Muppet Show format.  

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