The Muppets Recap: Hostile Makeover


By Karen Valenzuela, @VictoriaNoir89

Last week’s The Muppets pilot received a 4.997/5 score, which left some room for improvement. And improvement was exactly what viewers got in this week’s episode, titled “Hostile Makeover.”

Scooter announces there’s a problem with Miss Piggy and everyone seems to be thinking the same thing: “…And?” Until Uncle Deadly announces it’s a Code Red, which sends everyone into an immediate Muppet panic. (Which is different from a human panic. There’s lots of arm flailing, bouncing, and loud yelling in a Muppet panic.) Kermit tells us the crew has a code alert system for Piggy’s moods. Code Green means she’s calm, which has yet to happen. Yellow means she’s in tears. Orange means Kermit’s in tears. And red? We see red almost immediately. Piggy bursts into the room on a rampage, screaming about the thickness of the tips of her Sharpies.

The rest of the Muppets have to take cover under their desks in a scene that sort of reminds me of the scene in your typical disaster movie where a tornado is ripping through a school and the good guys hide under a desk. They have to wait for the tornado to move on before they can climb out and look at the damage it’s left behind.

As it turns out, Piggy is angry, apparently, because she doesn’t have a date for the People’s Choice Awards show that is coming up. And the Muppets join together to figure out who they can set her up with. Teamwork!! They try to get Jeff Goldblum, but he’s married. Pepe’s “Wait…Happily married? …D’aw rats!” offends his buddy Rizzo, who happens to be a rat, and Pepe comes back with, “Ehh, don’t be so sensitive. Joo guys started the plague.” Pure Muppet joke gold.

Meanwhile, Fozzie Bear has been invited to Jay Leno’s house for a party, which is a dream come true for a jokester bear. Because of course Jay Leno is Fozzie’s idol.

And Bobo the Bear is trying to sell Girl Scout cookies for his daughter so that she can win a mountain bike. Uncle Deadly says he’s only interested if he’s got a box of “dreeeeamy dates.” Bobo, who is obviously completely out of the loop (What’s new there? Nothing.), informs his fellow Muppet that, “The Fudgealongs have raisins. I mean, they’re not dates, but they are also a sundried fruit.” Bobo, you’re cute. Weird, but cute.

Josh Groban is suggested next, and apparently he gives Pepe the feels. “What? He’s a handsome man and gender is fluid.” They book Groban as a guest on Up Late With Miss Piggy and have him sing a duet with their star. The scene is so romantic, okaaay? Soft lighting, Piggy splayed across Josh’s piano. A curtain opens and the couple is slowly moved back into a rustic log cabin with candlelight, snow falls, a chandelier lowers, and Josh and Piggy kiss. It’s so effective that even Statler lets out a “WOOOOO!” at the end, which surprises Waldorf…and me, I have to say.

Kermit and company’s scheming has paid off, and Miss Piggy not only takes Josh Groban to the People’s Choice Awards with her, the twosome are now a couple. If I was less of a feminist, I’d say Piggy’s a bit of a cougar, but I’m not, so…GET IT, PIGGY. YOU GET IT. Yeah! Even Swedish Chef sweeps by in the background wiggling his fingers going, “Errr pigginnnn derr gropin’ der Grobannn.” Oh, Chef. You’re fantastic.

It seems like a pretty happy situation. Piggy has been treating everyone with overwhelming kindness, writing a sweet poem about Sweetums in his birthday card, complimenting Beaker’s hair, etc. It’s odd, but apparently a welcome change for the Muppets who’ve been bullied by the pig since…well, always.

But the happiness is short-lived. Not for Piggy. Piggy’s still pleased as punch with Josh Groban. But the relationship quickly starts having a negative effect on the show when the Grobes starts making Piggy and the show more like him. And, frankly, Up Late With Miss Piggy becomes the most boring late night talk show you can possibly imagine. Groban suggests classing it up, so they get Miss Piggy’s the controversial author Reza Aslan, who wrote the bestselling book Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth. The interview quickly turns into Miss Piggy slamming libraries for letting people read books for free while making millions…which…no, Piggy. But no worries, Muppets. Nobody really saw it anyways, because the entire audience was put to sleep by the Electric Mayhem. (Groban suggested they go acoustic. Thanks, Groban.)

Bobo the Bear pops up in random moments holding his cookies, doing his best to sell them, and failing miserably. Especially because the Newsman is stealing his customers with his own daughter’s cookies. Poor Bobo. At least find pleasure in the fact that the Newsman is intimidated by your bear-ness, Bobo.

The Newsman even beats Bobo to our favorite Muppet Who Eats Other Muppets, Big Mean Carl! I suppose it’s smart to feed Big Mean Carl cookies. Maybe he’ll stop eating other Muppets in favor of cookies? Stay tuned…

Fozzie Bear is meanwhile having his own adventures at Jay Leno’s house. There’s a fun little joke-off with Jay and Foz, and after the comedian leaves to greet his other guests, Fozzie loses all sense and decides to take a souvenir. He slips one of the candy dishes under his hat. When he tells the other Muppets during the staff meeting the next day, he realizes what a huge mistake he made. His troubles continue when he gets a loud and angry message from Jay Leno, though that could have just been the way Big Mean Carl delivered the message. (“I take messages, I DON’T JUDGE TONE!!!”) Jay wants Fozzie to go back to his house for a chat. When Fozzie shows up, expecting to be thrashed for stealing the candy dish, he’s surprised by his idol asking him to be his opening act for his Las Vegas show! Fozzie, you’ve made it!! Annnd then of course, Jay Leno catches Fozzie trying to steal another thing because apparently our favorite polka-dot-tie-wearing bear is a kleptomaniac now. And he’s kicked out of the Leno Pad. Way to go, Foz. You’re a champion.

Kermit tells the gang at the meeting that he needs to get rid of Groban. The guy is ruining their show, and ruining their Piggy. Apparently they all like her mean and scary, which is…kinda sweet. They accept/love Piggy for who she is. A STRAIGHT UP DIVA. But when Kermie shows up at Piggy’s dressing room, his attempt to get rid of the “velvet-throated piano god” is in vain. Hilarious side note: Piggy’s getting a hot rock treatment in her dressing room during this whole conversation. After Groban shuts Kermit down and ducks back inside, Swedish Chef appears at Kermit’s side and says, “Serrmboody cookin’ duh bacon.” BEST. JOKE. OF THE EPISODE. In fact, Swedish Chef was on fire in this episode. Not literally. Which is funny, because he probably catches things on fire the most out of anyone else. Except for Bunsen and Beaker. They’re idiots.

Kermit comes to a realization, though. And he immediately puts a new plan in motion. Up Late With Miss Piggy is first and foremost Piggy’s show. Not anyone else’s. And that includes Piggy’s new flame. Appealing to Miss Piggy’s ego, which is stronger than her measly flirtation with Groban (it might actually be stronger than anything because DIVA!), Kermit changes the show’s banner to read “Josh Groban presents Up Late With Miss Piggy.” Suffice to say, the spell Groban had over his lady pig is shattered immediately, along with their relationship. Bye bye, Groban.

Muppets 2 TNM PIC 1
Josh Groban presents Up Late With Miss Piggy!

Back to Bobo and his cookie troubles. Scooter the Problem Solver finds a downtrodden Bobo sitting alone in an office stuffing his face with his daughter’s cookies. He offers the bear a solution. Sell the cookies to the band! Implied: they’re potheads. Potheads love cookies. Or maybe that’s just me. Not—Not that I’m a…I wouldn’t know…I just meant maybe it’s just me assuming that it’s implied that Electric Mayhem are potheads—I don’t smoke pot, you guys. Anyways, Bobo’s cookie problem is solved! Huzzah! LET’S MOVE ON.

Guest stars:

  • Josh Groban is hilarious. He’s self-absorbed, manipulative, but still incredibly And the duet with Miss Piggy is staged and directed so well. The way his movements are so in sync with Piggy, you just wonder how she isn’t real.
  • Jay Leno is about as patient as a man can be when he catches a bear Muppet stealing his things. Am I right?
  • Laurence Fishburne. Oh my stars. Kermit almost drives his golf cart into Laurence’s and then asks him when he’s going to come on the show. Laurence yells, “Well if it keeps on suckin’ the way it did last night, NEVER!” and peels off. That’s it. That’s his guest appearance.
  • Lea Thompson also makes an appearance as Kermit’s longtime celebrity crush. It’s literally only a few seconds, and she has one line, and it’s amazing. Apparently, our Kermie is a Back to the Future fan!

Muppet fan side notes:

  • LEW ZEALAND IS BACK! While they’re trying to find Piggy a date, Kermit says, “Okay, guys, throw everything we’ve got at Keanu Reeves.” There’s a “Hup!” and a fish comes out of nowhere and smacks the picture of Keanu on the board. I didn’t recognize Lew at first because he’s wearing a flannel instead of his typical clown collar! That one got me good. Wow.
  • KERMIT FLAIL!!!!! ALERT!!!! KERMIT FLAIL HAPPENED!!! We all talk about the Kermit flail. We put it at the end of excited tweets. But there’s just something so special about seeing it anew. And he was sitting on the edge of his desk, so we could see his whole body. It was a full-bodied Kermit flail…which, honestly, I have mixed feelings about because full-body Muppet shots still make me uncomfortable.
  • The detail is amazing. We see Muppets hard at work in the background, along with a few humans. There are post-its with funny notes on computer screens. And at one point, you hear Big Mean Carl answer the phone somewhere down the hall with a nasty, “Yeah, Up Late With Miss Piggy, WHADDYA WANT?!”
  • Gonzo’s mom is a terrible goat rider and apparently this is something that’s come up in a past conversation with Kermit? I mean, that’s not important…it’s just something I found interesting.

A few questions for future episodes:

  1. Can we please have more people being nice to Beaker? Because that doesn’t happen often, and his response to Piggy complimenting him on his hair was the most heartwarmingly adorable thing I’ve ever seen. It’s like a slow little pleased shimmy dance—that’s the best I can describe it. It was just the sweetest.
  2. Can Kermit call Josh Groban a dork about 1000 more times, please? Because that was GOLDEN. GOLDEN, I TELL YOU.
  3. Will the joke about Electric Mayhem always being happy…legally now…ever get old? Because so far it hasn’t. And I feel like it never will. It’s perfect.
  4. A lot of guys can’t figure out how women walk in heels. (Heck, half the time, I can’t even figure it out.) And yet, the muppeteers have figured out how to make Miss Piggy look like she is walking in heels. HOW? I need to know HOW.
  5. Will Kermit ever get another chance to be in an elevator alone with Lea Thompson? Gonzo’s cock-blocking skills are as massive as his nose.
  6. Who else gives Pepe the feels besides Groban? I saw Jake Gyllenhaal’s picture on that Potential Piggy Dates board. Pepe, I just love love too, okaaay?

That’s it for episode 2’s recap! The third episode is on ABC on Tuesday, October 6 at 8 pm EST! Maybe they’ll answer my questions! But probably not.

Rating: 5/5

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