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.
The Muppets – “Going, Going, Gonzo” 109
Story by Shane Kosakowski and Franklin Hardy
Teleplay by Jordan Reddout and Gus Hickey
Directed by Randall Einhorn
While the last episode was a high note, this episode turns into one of the worst of the season as it jumps back the quality and just ends up disappointing. Gonzo acts out of character while Scooter gets some development in being more brave and bold that he should have gotten before last week’s episode when he actually did something brave and bold, dating Chelsea Handler. Luckily, the day is saved by the sidegag stories, from the ridiculousness of Miss Piggy’s special branded water – Piggy Water – that comes complete with a lipstick mark on the bottle rim and far more calories than you’d expect from water.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt is the special guest on Miss Piggy’s show, and him and her have a duet while chaos reigns backstage, causing a giant moon set piece to swing wildly on stage. The set piece also snags Gonzo, who is flung around on the roof out of control until he crashes. Normally, Gonzo would be up for something like that, thinking it was awesome and wanting to try it again. Instead, Gonzo starts moping about the stunt that got away, and how he might die before doing a dangerous stunt that might kill him because he was too afraid.
Kermit can help, and convinces Miss Piggy (who is getting a new ridiculous nose muscle electric shock beauty treatment) to have Piggy Water sponsor Gonzo’s stunt and do it on the show. There are a few stipulations, and Gonzo is now officially The Great Gonzo Brought To You By Piggy Water, and must answer the phone with that name, and wear a suit with Piggy Water branding plastered all over it.
The Muppets – “Too Hot to Handler”
Story by Margee Magee and Angeli Millan
Teleplay by Shane Kosakowski and Franklin Hardy
Directed by Matt Sohn
The Muppets returns with another episode about Muppets having relationship issues, but for once it isn’t because there are a bunch of sadsack Muppets being sad sacks full of sad sacks. In fact, Scooter finds exactly what he wants for a relationship, except that is just too much for him to handle!
Scooter is enthralled by Chelsea Handler, which is handy because she’s a guest on Miss Piggy’s show that night. She even seems to be looking for a nice dork like him. Uncle Deadly points out Scooter would just be a boy toy, and I’m not sure Scooter seems to understand what that term means. This gives Scooter the confidence to go ask Chelsea out on a date, but he manages to cause a big mess while trying to act cool and calm while doing so. Luckily for him, Chelsea is cool with dating him, anyway.
Fozzie is planning to ask his girlfriend Becky to move in with him after dating for a whole 12 weeks. This makes Kermit nervous, as he thinks Fozzie is moving too fast and doesn’t know Becky that well. He suggests they double date at trivia night at Rowlf’s, a contest Becky always wins. Kermit’s attempts to get Becky to reveal any hidden secrets through casual conversation backfires into finding lots of bad things about his own girlfriend, Denise. But Kermit also witnesses Becky looking at her phone while hiding under the table, and is convinced she is cheating in the trivia contest. He knows he can’t confront her right now, but needs to expose her to save his friend from someone who is dishonest.
The Muppets – “Pig’s in a Blackout”
Written by Steve Rudnick & Emily Wilson
Directed by Matt Sohn
It’s just one of those days when Sweetums crashes a golf cart into the set because he’s carrying a giant block of butter that melted all over the golf cart controls, the butter that they are using to replace a guest who cancelled at the last minute. A day when Miss Piggy is stuck on the elevator and can’t accept her winter wardrobe shipment and Bobo manages to rewire the elevator to be even more dangerous and Fozzie falls into the open shaft. And Kermit needs to order lunch! All this and some other things lead to Kermit collapsing.
It’s not a heart attack, it’s just a stress attack. Denise and Piggy finally get a good scene together as they are competing to suggest Kermit take the rest of the day off and go to a spa for the weekend. Miss Piggy even finishes Denise’s sentences, but doing so incorrectly as she assumed Denise would be disagreeing with everything she said (instead of agreeing) was the fun type of bickering we don’t get enough of. In a surprise move, Kermit puts Scooter in charge as he is the associate producer. I guess the actual jobs the characters hold matters!
Scooter manages to immediately screw up, adjusting the thermostat makes the AC system break turn Beaker into a frozen Beakcicle. This causes further issues as the faulty AC system ruins all of Miss Piggy’s new winter wardrobe, and causes every light in the studio to explode one by one, and then blows out the power in the studio all together (and the now-thawed Beaker gets hot coffee splashed all over him in the ensuing chaos! Poor Beaks…)
The Muppets – “The Ex-Factor”
Story by Bob Kushell & Steve Rudnick
Teleplay by Nell Scovell & Emily Wilson
Directed by Randall Einhorn
Kermit’s new girlfriend Denise finally reappears on the show, and she is a big Kristin Chenoweth fan, which is convenient because Chenoweth is a guest on the show today (Uncle Deadly is a bigger fan, though!) Denise charges over and introduces herself despite Miss Piggy being right next to Chenoweth (Denise introducing herself several times because she’s so nervous) Miss Piggy is annoyed as you might expect, and Kristin realizes who Denise is after she leaves.
Denise’s birthday is tomorrow and Kermit has no idea what to get her (he wasn’t going to get her anything, because she said not to get her anything, and is advised by everybody present about that being wrong!) Panic ensues because he’s bad at gift-giving. Everyone’s suggestions for gifts are expectedly terrible, not only are most of the Muppet characters hopelessly single, but now many of them have their own personal romantic failings on the show, so they are extra hopeless.
Scooter takes Kermit to one of those paint your own ceramics stores so he can make a gift himself. Scooter is very very very familiar with the store, going there a lot, especially when his mom is seeing her boyfriend. Scooter even has his own custom smock with his name on it. Kermit paints his first date with Denise, but after some criticism of his art talent from Scooter, it’s tossed in the whoopsie bin.
The Muppets – “Walk the Swine”
Story by Dave Caplan and Steve Rudnick
Teleplay by Gregg Mettler and Nell Scovell
Directed by Randall Einhorn
After spending an episode becoming more relatable, Miss Piggy returns to having a feud with a celebrity, though the twist this time is Reese Witherspoon ends up looking just as bad as Miss Piggy as they argue on a charity construction site, which is damaged as they get into a physical altercation. The story is Piggy is upset with Reese as Witherspoon beat her out for a part in Walk the Line, for which Reese won an Oscar. Piggy brings it up on the show, blames Reese for bringing it up, and then continues to be competitive by claiming that she also does work for Habitat for Humanity like Reese, and will also be at a construction site that weekend just like Reese.
Piggy dresses up super cute for the construction job: a pink helmet, pink bedazzled hammer, and stiletto work boots. She’s surprised there are no paparazzi (after mistaking the surveyor as one) and calls them in, and then picks a fight with Reese about who is the harder worker. Piggy reveals she was raised on a farm, and to her credit she does end up working harder and faster than Reese (aided by karate chopping 2x4s!) Reese and her continue to bicker, which turns physical and ends up knocking down the entire side of a the house frame, all caught on camera by the paparazzi that Piggy called in.
This becomes a PR disaster, and Miss Piggy actually cries in her dressing room over this. More humanization of Miss Piggy is a good thing! She and Kermit decide the best way to fix things is to get Reese back on the show and apologize. So they do, and Reese apologized to Piggy, after which Piggy apologizes. With an elaborate music and dance number where she apologizes by song and by rapping, ending with an awesome dropping of the mike as she proves she is the best at apologizing.