TV Club: The Muppets harmonize in more ways than one for the first season’s winter finale

It’s no coincidence that as The Muppets has gotten sweeter, it’s also gotten slightly better. It’s not the adult humor that’s been the issue (the jokes about Scooter’s creepy relationship with his mom continue to slay week after week), but the cruelty. For the first half of its inaugural season, The Muppets ended every single episode with one of their own getting screwed over by a colleague. Aside from being repetitive from a basic storytelling standpoint, the constant dickishness just didn’t gel with the spirit of Jim Henson’s creations, even in their new real-world environment.

Maybe it was the calming effect of Kermit’s swamp, or maybe Bill Prady listened to fans’ and critics’ complaints of all the unqualified assholery, but the show recently started to move away from deceit. And while there have been other problems (namely story overload, generic sitcom plotting …

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