The Muppets – “Single All the Way”
Story by Gregg Mettler and Nell Scovell
Teleplay by Bob Kushell and Dave Caplan
Directed by Matt Sohn
The Muppets and Christmas are like peanut butter and chocolate, hence the wide variety of Muppet Christmas specials and films over the years. So it is only natural that we get an entry in the television series, fittingly involving the Muppets producing a Christmas special. Of course, things begin to go wrong as the Muppets are always situated on the rim of disaster. The episode manages to both have some of the best relationship writing in a season with very uneven relationship handling, as well as some of the regular worst relationship writing. We get in informative and heartfelt discussion of Kermit and Miss Piggy’s past relationship, but we also get Fozzie having drama with his girlfriend despite Riki Lindhome not appearing in this episode.
The Christmas Show has two disasters happening at once, first Mindy Kaling is their special guest and is supposed to perform a song, except her singing makes those singing dogs cds sound talented. The more important disaster is Fozzie’s girlfriend Becky broke up with him that morning, which is a big problem as he is being Santa Bear, and no one wants a Santa who is crying and wailing in front of children. Before you can begin complaining about sadsack Muppets, Sam the Eagle is seen putting up mistletoe in a strategic spot to try to sneak a kiss from Janice. We know that won’t work out the way it is intended, so let’s focus on the main stories.
Becky broke up with Fozzie because he didn’t take anything seriously, and was even making jokes while they were arguing. Kermit can’t help Fozzie because he’s never been dumped so he doesn’t know what it is like, so Kermit gets Piggy to try to cheer Fozzie up. Her solution is what helped her, getting lots of random stuff. Fozzie isn’t materialistic, so that doesn’t work, so Piggy declares that Fozzie should fight for Becky if he really loves her. This does work, Fozzie is inspired, and thinks Piggy is helping him save his relationship because she’s alone and doesn’t want him to have the same fate as her. In addition to that, Piggy realizes that she never really fought for Kermit and now he’s moved on, so she is sad that she missed her opportunity to save the relationship with the frog she loves.
Fozzie talks with Becky on the phone and everything seems to be fine there, though it would have been nice to actually see the couple interact in what is a major step for a couple, their first big fight. That story is over, but now Piggy is breaking down with 5 minutes to go before the show. Piggy and Kermit have a heart-to-heart that is probably the best of the serious stuff they’ve done on the show, Kermit revealing in a roundabout way he still thinks Piggy is special, even though he doesn’t see her in the special as in a relationship way. But there are also confusing feelings and Piggy obviously still being in love with him, and it is time for the show to start!
They tried to convince Mindy Kaling to do a comedy sketch instead of sing, but she insists people are tuning in to hear her sing, Kaling skewering herself as ridiculously arrogant celebrity who surrounds herself with people who only give her compliments under the threat of being fired, which is hilarious. They manage to solve the problem by having the entire cast and crew sing along with the song, drowning out Kaling’s voice. This scene also has Piggy grabbing Kermit’s arm while they sing, Kermit obviously having mixed emotions about that action but not pulling away until after the song ends.
Yolanda was left out of last year’s Secret Santa, so set up this year so everyone is her Secret Santa
of course everyone figures it out eventually, but they also feel sorry because she was left out last year so they give her the presents anyway. Sam’s attempts to kiss Janice are thwarted when Chip starts talking to him, but later at the bar he gets a kiss from Janice who thinks it is sweet he was talking to Chip, who doesn’t have any friends. Oddly, this scene where Sam does get what he wants, but for reasons that have nothing to do with his awful planning the whole season, are the only part of the relationship that seemed to work. For once I don’t scoff at this pairing and wonder if Sam will start changing how he acts like he has seemed to be doing the past few episodes. Maybe he will. Maybe.
Big Mean Carl having some breakout moments, volunteering to be Santa while Fozzie was crying and performing his rendition of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas that has to be seen to believe. We also find out Swedish Chef is married, which means he is the only regular cast member confirmed to have a spouse. Bobo and the Newsman both have at least one child, Bobo a daughter, the Newsman’s wasn’t mentioned. While the Newsman is divorced, we haven’t had confirmation of Bobo’s marital status, but he seems like he would be in a stable relationship with another sensible character. So that’s your relationship update for now!
The show had some weird moments, as mentioned Becky not appearing was weird, but Kermit and Piggy talking made it worthwhile. The show had a general arc of improvement, and I hope it stays on long enough to find its footing. At least we got 6 more episodes before any axe that may fall drops!