TV Club: The Muppets’ emotional core gets stronger while its comedy gets weaker

Three episodes after its winter break, ABC’s recalibration of The Muppets has developed an interesting problem: It has a strong emotional core, but struggles with the comedy. This isn’t always a bad thing, as melancholia and introspection tend to be unique in the Muppetverse. That’s not to say the characters never experience these things—just watch “Saying Goodbye” from The Muppets Take Manhattan or, if you really want to put yourself through the emotional ringer, Jim Henson’s memorial service—but it’s not every day Miss Piggy has to deal with getting body-shamed over a harmless wardrobe malfunction.

Maybe it’s this renewed emphasis on adversity and triumph in the first season’s back half that’s causing some of the humor to pale in comparison. Or, maybe the writers just haven’t figured out how to make the retooling of Up Late With Miss Piggy …

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