When I read the basic description of a “Tail of Two Piggies,” the pun of the title went over my head and I instead rolled my eyes at the initial concept: Miss Piggy succumbing to a wardrobe malfunction. I know this show is about adding in adult humor, but the suggestion of Muppet privates seemed like it was going in a really awkward direction.
Instead, they surprised me by making it about Piggy’s tail and doing some clever stuff with that basis. She’s scandalized for having it pop out of her dress and it becomes a big media thing. There you go, it’s goofy, but relates to an adult point of view. It also goes down a path that I found rather compelling for the Muppets. Piggy deals with the fact that she’s been trying to sidestep her pigness for all these years.
Think about it. Kermit’s always been about being a frog, coming from a swamp, leaping sometimes, etc. Fozzy does bear stuff like shaking his fur clean. Outside of her basic appearance and certain puns (ie. Swine Trek), Piggy separates herself from being a pig an awful lot. Have we ever seen her pig tail before this? Have we ever heard her oink or snort? As she puts it, she focuses more about her gender than her species.
At first, Piggy feels shame about it, amplified from Sam ranting and raving about how deprived it is while everyone giggles about it behind her back. It isn’t until a teen pig girl named Melinda appears and gives this episode some serious heart by pointing out that despite her narcissism, Piggy is an actual role model that people look up to. It’s a genuinely sweet moment that really does a good job rehabilitate Piggy’s character on the show more than how the first ten episodes portrayed her.
Piggy’s tail ends up being some kind of vague metaphor for body image issues and perhaps race issues. I don’t know, it doesn’t quite fit like a puzzle piece. It still drives the episode into a really uplifting direction even if the ending doesn’t really make much sense. Without getting into full spoilers, they sidestep something that will piss off sponsors by doing something similar that will still probably piss off sponsors. They don’t dwell on it.
The other storyline is about Gonzo trying to get over Camilla the Chicken leaving him by buying a new house along with Rizzo and Pepe. The jokes in this subplot don’t really hit, but it’s okay because these three are so likeable whenever they’re on screen that I could just watch them hang out all day.
When the jokes do hit in this episode, they hit hard. Sam Eagle takes part in a hilarious sight gag early on and then they go on to make fun of One Million Moms, one of the show’s biggest critics. Fozzie and Animal later play a fun game called Who Tweeted It: Piggy or Kardashian, which later leads to one of the hardest laughs I’ve had with this show.
The celebrity guests are a huge low point. Ian Ziering gets referenced a couple times, but when it comes time to appear, he’s only there for the sake of a quick gag about his age, funny as it is. Then Joan Jett – who refuses to age – does a musical performance where they don’t even try to hide the lip-syncing. They simply just play the album version of “Bad Reputation” and it sticks out like a sore thumb.
The MVP for this episode is a tie between Big Mean Carl and his real estate saleswoman sister Big Mean Carla. It’s taken 12 episodes, but that psycho has finally grown on me.
The show remains on track, though parts of this ep still feel a bit half-baked. Speaking of baked, it is MESSED UP that they serve pigs in a blanket in catering for Piggy’s talk show. The fact that she’s more offended that someone is bringing up pigs near her compared to the fact that they are literally serving pieces of her slaughtered brethren is seriously disturbing.
Gavin Jasper continues to be weirded out by Chip the IT Guy. Follow Gavin on Twitter!