With the Muppets – and I mean the decades-old property itself and not the current documentary sitcom – one of the things that has kept them timeless and welcome to come back again and again is the fact that it’s such an amazing collection of characters. Kermit, Piggy, Fozzie, Gonzo, Sam Eagle, the entire Electric Mayhem, Pepe, Rizzo, Bobo, and so on are classics who play so well off each other. Meanwhile, the current show has taken guys I’ve been rather ambivalent to, namely Scooter, Uncle Deadly, and Big, Mean Carl, and turned them into my favorites.
But then there’s Robin, Kermit’s nephew. Maybe I’m alone on this, but I’ve never cared about Robin. He’s never stuck out for me outside of having a pretty adorable puppet model. When he was dropped for the comeback movie to make room for Walter (whatever happened to him, anyway?), I wasn’t one of the people complaining. Though I did find it funny when they called it out in Muppets Most Wanted.
Anyway, we have an episode based around Robin so…yeah. It is what it is. The show’s writing doesn’t really do for him what it did for Scooter, but everything surrounding him is pretty great.
Scooter is especially fantastic. He’s been kind of forgotten about in the past few episodes, but here he gets a bigger role and one joke about Twitter that got a huge laugh from me.
Robin’s visiting Kermit and is going through some stuff because of his parents getting divorced, which leads to some adult jokes that aren’t over-the-line or anything, but just come off as extra harsh coming from Robin’s mouth. Robin still believes that Kermit and Piggy are together and due to their intentions to not destroy his psyche, Kermit and Piggy decide to humor the idea, at least for one day.
It’s your basic sitcom setup, amplified by how everyone else has to cover for it when in fact they’re mostly imbeciles. Scooter himself can’t lie so Kermit just tells him that he and Piggy are back together just to get him on their page. Scooter immediately believes it because he’s an imbecile.
As it is right now, The Muppets has two more episodes left after this for the first season. It just may be the only season. From the pre-premiere announcement and press hype that Kermit and Piggy have split up, the writing has been on the wall that it would be a season-long run of them inching towards Kermit and Piggy getting back together until the finale. Ever since the show’s change in direction, they’ve been pushing it faster and here we are, an inch away from the status quo, killing time.
Not to say it’s done badly. There are a couple sweet moments in there, such as Piggy discovering that Kermit and Denise are no longer an item. It just feels like they’re spinning the wheels.
The other storyline has to do with Pepe and Rizzo being annoyed that Gonzo is spending too much time with Camilla, which has a really messed up gag about how they passive-aggressively get their revenge on her. The duo decides they need a new third guy and hold auditions with Carl, Sam, and Chip, leading to a predictable, though amusing outcome.
Both storylines ultimately work because, as is one of the biggest pros of the show post-break, everyone has something to do. While we have main characters, they’re surrounded by so many realized supporting folk that nobody really has to sit it out. Well, except Yolanda, I guess.
Speaking of giving people stuff to do, there’s a hilarious segment between Uncle Deadly and Electric Mayhem that has nothing to do with the rest of the episode that absolutely kills it.
I will say that this episode may be the low point when it comes to celebrity guest appearances. Lara Spencer appears and is pretty much an afterthought in her role.
As we reach the homestretch on The Muppets, “Little Green Lie” is a strong showing overall, sailing on the strength of the earlier episodes and how it’s really established such a massive cast into their different roles. Next week we’ll see the final two episodes and hopefully they can stick the landing.
Gavin Jasper would really just like to see Rizzo and Pepe get their own movie. Follow Gavin on Twitter!