The Muppets Recap: A Tail of Two Piggies

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By Karen Valenzuela, @VictoriaNoir89

ABC’s The Muppets is now two for two so far when it comes to putting out quality content. Kristen Newman is proving to be its saving grace. (Well done, Kristen Newman and team!) Because “A Tail of Two Piggies” has so far been the best episode yet.

The storyline isn’t like the disjointed storylines of past episodes, and “A Tail of Two Piggies” in particular flowed really well, with some great jokes that were legitimately funny, genius comedic timing, and once again, the positivity that The Muppets does best! This path the show’s been taking away from the negativity and life-weary duldrum that the series started with is a BLESSING.

Let us UNVEIL THE TAIL, shall we?

The episode opens with Miss Piggy getting all razzle-dazzled by Uncle Deadly’s deft monster hands as she prepares to attend the red carpet event for Zootopia, primarily to promote Up Late With Miss Piggy. Cue the sausage jokes about how tightly Deadly packs Piggy into the dress. Sorry, Piggy. I had to.

Also, Kermit’s wearing a suit and tie! There’s really nothing else I have to say about it. I just find it funny, since he’s usually naked. (And I’m 12.)

Piggy heads out to the red carpet, flanked by Uncle Deadly (or as he prefers when the reporters ask who she’s wearing: Uncle…by Deadly) and Kermit the Suited Frog. As she poses for cameras, she does the recommended tuuurn..peek! and POP! (The new bend and snap!) But Piggy’s last pop is way too poppy for her dress, and her pig tail pops out of the dress’ low backline! The reporters are repulsed and fascinated by her wardrobe malfunction and her tail becomes HUGE NEWS all over the internet and on TV. Just a bit of soapboxing, if you’ll pardon me, but I found this to be The Muppets’ commentary on what women in the public eye go through all the time. Just recently, wasn’t Susan Sarandon slammed for showing cleavage at an event by an idiot “journalist”? Which, excuse me, but that woman is fit AF, so shut up, sir.

Way to be relevant in a really important way, Muppets!

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Piggy’s name is smeared everywhere, an absolute scandal. Sam the Eagle, in particular, is completely offended in that Sam the Eagle way of his. He directs Kermit’s attention to the “One Million Parents” group protesting outside of their office, which happens to only be 3 people with signs that say “WE ARE UNCOMFORTABLE”. (A mocking jab at “One Million Moms”, perhaps? They released a statement against ABC’s The Muppets before the pilot even aired due to its adult humor and indecency.)

Piggy is beside herself, humiliated, mortified, wearing a disguise just to get to work in an attempt to avoid being harangued by press. She comes to the realization that she’s only been surviving in show business this long by downplaying the fact that she’s a pig. (SOCIAL COMMENTARY ALERT! She’s had to downplay who she really is to be accepted!) Reporters suddenly swarm the window of her dressing room, and when she yells at them to go away she also lets out a loud piggish snort. “Why did I do that?! I’m a lady, not a pig!”

She agrees to read the public apology Sam the Eagle writes for her when the show goes on air that night, but then a cute, young pig fan by the name of Alynda meekly approaches her backstage and tells her about how her own pig tail popped out during gym class. Everyone made fun of her for having a “gross” pig tail. When she saw the same thing happen to Piggy, who’s famous and glamorous, she wasn’t ashamed of her pig tail anymore because it meant she was just like her idol. This inspires Piggy. Why should she hide her tail when bears and rats get to have their tails out? Just because it’s curly and people think that’s ugly? H-E-Double L to the no! She decides to take a stand. “I’m a lady…AND A PIG!”

YAAAAAAAAAAAAS PIGGY QUEEEEEEEEEN!

Up Late With Miss Piggy airs a PSA before the show. And she spreads the hashtag: #UnveilTheTail. Piggy plans to show her tail on air during Up Late! But the network big honchos are not. happy. Lucy the network president makes another appearance at Kermit’s office with her quintessential muffins and tells him not to let Piggy show her tail. Kermit insists he can’t tell Piggy what to do with her body. (NO, KERMIT. YOU CANNOT. NOBODY CAN.) But she says their sponsors have been pulling out after the scandal, and without the sponsors, she’s taking money out of Up Late’s budget, which means lotsa Muppets gonna be fiiiired.

Kermit tells Piggy she can’t show her tail the show, after all. Everyone is upset. They don’t want to be fired, but Piggy wants to make her statement and inspire other women/lady pigs to be themselves. Fozzie comes up with the typical sitcom plot gag: We can’t do this, we can’t do that, let’s come up with a third thing we can do, and make everybody happy. (Genius writing, show!)

So Piggy doesn’t unveil her tail live on air. Kermit makes an incredibly sweet and heartwarming speech on air instead: “You shouldn’t have to feel ashamed of who you are. No one should. I think all of us have parts of ourselves that deep down we wish were different. In a way, we all have a curly pig tail, right?” Then he yells “UNVEIL THE TAIL” and turns around so everyone can see that he’s wearing a curly pig tail of his own. As it turns out, everyone in the cast and crew is wearing a curly pig tail.

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#UnveilTheTail is a fantastic message, and it is almost like a callback to the Muppets of old with Kermit’s Green-And-Okay mantra. Having rock and roll legend Joan Jett guest star on Up Late and perform “Bad Reputation” is just the topping on the awesome message cake. She even spins around at one point to shake her own curly pig tail. SUCCESS!

Meanwhile, Gonzo is particularly depressed, due to it being Groundhog Day. Why does Groundhog Day make Gonzo so blue, you might ask? (Hehe. He’s literally blue. …Sorry.) Apparently that’s the day Camilla left Gonzo. According to Rizzo, he pressed her for a bigger commitment but “she was chicken”. (That’s why I get along with this show so much. We understand one another’s humor.)

Gonzo’s apartment that he shared with Camilla still has too many memories, like a box filled with her egg cozies, for instance. And I have dogs, so I know how their hair ends up everywhere; I’m assuming Gonzo must still find feathers here and there when he’s vacuuming. Just depressing. Pepe and Rizzo suggest he move out and find somewhere else to live, somewhere without those memories of Camilla. So they take him on a house hunt!

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Big Mean Carl’s sister, a real estate agent who looks just like Carl except that she wears a blouse and a bow in her hair/fur, shows them a house. When Gonzo admits that it’s a little out of his price range, Rizzo comes up with the brilliant (read: RISKY) plan that he and Pepe can move in, too, and split the cost three ways. You made a big mean sale, Big Mean Carla!

Pepe continues to be a mature influence on his two buddies by suggesting they have a pool party before they even discuss insurance, carpet, and other important things. Because he’s shallow. (Sidenote: King Prawns are typically caught in shallow waters. Do with that what you will.) They discuss the need for plenty of “the womens” at the party, but realize the only two women who will be there are Yolanda and Janice. This must be rectified. But how?

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Thankfully, Piggy not only inspires her audience, she also inspires our threesome of previously idiotic misguided boy Muppets. Gonzo, Rizzo, and Pepe realize the best way to a woman’s heart is by showing respect and by embracing the things they care about. Their pool party becomes an #UnveilTheTail party! And the womens? The womens come in droves, okaaay?

However, just as Gonzo seems to have gotten past his Camilla depression, his chickeny ex shows up at the party. Uh ohhhhhhhhhhhh! (SO EXCITED TO SEE CAMILLA!)

This was a refreshing episode. Kristen Newman’s addition to the Muppet team is sending the show in great new directions. The writing has been great. The message in this episode was beautiful and relevant. The guest stars were utilized perfectly. Most notably, Ian Zeiring makes an appearance in the hot tub at the party, and Floyd asks him if his parents are okay with him being out this late on a school night. “Parents? I’m 51! I’ve got two kids.” Ohhh, 90210 jokes.

UNVEIL THE MUPPET MUSINGS:

– Uncle Deadly turning to the crowd of reporters after Piggy’s untimely tail unveil and yelling, “She’s wearing Vera Wang!” had me in stitches. Nice. Way to stick by your model, pal.

– Big Mean Carl yelling “PUT THAT AWAY!!!!!!” at Chip the IT Guy made me do a really loud explosive laugh.

– BIG MEAN CARL TRIED TO EAT SCOOTER!!!!!!!!! IT WAS AMAZING!!!!!!

– Rizzo: “You gotta let things go. That chicken has crossed the road.”
Pepe: “Mm, and joo gotta stop wondering g’why.”

– Not only does Big Mean Carl have a sister, she’s also a real estate agent named Carla, and she sometimes eats her clients. It’s like a dream. I love this show.

– Piggy: “I am humiliated! It’s chaos out there. My house is surrounded. With their cameras, and their questions, and their tiny acorns…”
Uncle Deadly: “…Tiny acorns?”
Piggy: “There were a lot of squirrels in my yard this morning, too.”

– Uncle Deadly’s line deliveries continue to be such melodramatic genius. He says he should’ve used material for that dress that would keep everything in… “like the steel mesh that keeps bouldahs from rrrrrrolling onto the highway.”

– When Piggy expresses dismay at having to hide her piggyness, Uncle Deadly asks, “You are aware your name is Miss Piggy…?” Her response: “So? Letterman doesn’t work at the Post Office.” TOUCHÉ, MISS PIGGY!

– Does Big Mean Carl’s big mean sister Carla shop at Ann Taylor’s Loft? I bet she doooes. “I HATE THIS COLOR! …BUT THE CUT OF THIS PANTSUIT IS NICE. I’LL TAKE IT.” And then she eats it in the car before she even leaves the parking lot.

– Pepe: “This is Ian Ziering’s place?”
Rizzo: “Wow!”
Pepe: “Ooooo! It’s the house 90210 built, and Sharknado did not redecorate.”

– But when Pepe calls dibs on the jacuzzi, I had major Muppets From Space flashbacks: “If you build a jacuuuuzzi, we will come, okaaaay?”

– Piggy: “Just wish I could put this tail thing behind me.”

– Lucy: “Nobody wants to see Piggy’s tail. It’s beneath the dignity of a TV host.”
Sam the Eagle: “And what’s TV about if not dignity?”

– Sweetums does his old Falls-Over-For-30-Seconds-Straight clumsy bit, knocking over ladders and paint cans, banging his forehead into hanging lightbulbs, and Kermit says, “Gee, it looks like a Japanese monster movie.” DEAD. I’m dead.

– Yolanda: “Where else am I gonna find a job where I can take an hour long nap every day and they don’t mind?!”
Kermit: “You take an hour long nap every day?”
Yolanda: “…Yeah, and you don’t mind!”

– Were those actual Kardashian tweets?????? Because………..

– KERMIT SAID “HI HO!” WHEN HE WENT ONSTAGE TO MAKE HIS SPEECH! MY MUPPETY HEART!

Catch the next episode of ABC’s The Muppets on Tuesday, February 16 at 8:30pm ET/PT!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars


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