“Too Hot to Handler,” the eighth episode of The Muppets, feels the most coherent in a way. While the two plots – one about Scooter and the other about Fozzie – are very separate, they’re at least linked by the character backgrounds. Scooter and Fozzie are both dorks who tend to fail when it comes to finding love and yet stumble upon success. Scooter begins a new relationship while Fozzie works on making the next step on his. They’re in different situations, but they aren’t too different themselves.
In Scooter’s story, he’s smitten with Piggy’s guest Chelsea Handler after discovering that she’s into losers. While trying to make just enough of an ass of himself without going overboard, he ends up going on a date with her and finds things going a little too well for his liking. As I’ve talked about the last few weeks, Scooter’s become the surprising MVP of the series and while the story itself doesn’t come to any exceptional conclusion, it doesn’t matter because it’s a lot of Scooter interacting with the other top characters like Pepe, Rizzo, and Uncle Deadly.
Meanwhile, Fozzie is thinking of asking his girlfriend Becky to move in with him. Kermit isn’t so sure about this and goes out of his way to search for dirt on her, even when Denise insists that this is a bad move. I’m usually cold on Fozzie’s storylines, but he’s at his best when he’s playing off Becky and/or Kermit, so we get something good here. The early episode “Bear Left Then Bear Write” also played with the idea of Kermit’s meddling and Fozzie’s witlessness clashing and causing a brief rift in their friendship, but this one is way better written. For one, it actually has pacing and isn’t just a bunch of meandering scenes that go nowhere.
While the plot stuff is all well and good, the reason this episode is so watchable is because it’s very, very funny. Maybe the funniest episode of the season. The running gag about Kermit’s talking head interviews were great and never wore out their welcome. Fozzie’s regional advertisements were an amusing and welcome backdrop to a scene that ultimately didn’t need them to get by. The Electric Mayhem got a couple moments to shine and perfectly executed a way to express how stupid/stoned they are at any given moment.
Then there’s Bobo. Bobo got a handful of lines and that’s grand. Honestly, Bobo doesn’t even need to be funny. He’s just so damn likeable. I want to hang out with him.
I suppose The Muppets has reached the point where they’re finished world building and they can let the cast and situations work for themselves. I’ve said it a lot lately, but it’s really rewarding to have stuck with it the rough initial weeks to see things paying off. Not in the long-running plot sense, but in the way personalities are getting more and more developed and you can see the writers figuring out what works.
This worked. This episode totally worked.
Gavin Jasper sees that Dave Grohl will be on the next show. Oh God, yes. Follow Gavin on Twitter!