by Julian Spivey
The legendary Rod Serling was most known as creator and writer of the classic science fiction/ironic anthology series “The Twilight Zone” that aired on CBS from 1959-1964, and rightfully so as it may have been the best written and finest television series ever created. But, Serling also had an oft-forgotten anthology series in the early ‘70s on NBC called “Night Gallery” that leaned toward the more horrific and macabre and while it wasn’t nearly as great as “The Twilight Zone” and didn’t feature as much of Serling’s work, and when it did it wasn’t nearly as terrific, it did produce some gems that are still much talked about today.
Among those gems is “The Caterpillar” from the end of season two in 1972 starring Laurence Harvey. In the episode, written by Serling and which some hail as one of the finest examples of horror writing in television history, Harvey played the British civil servant Mr. Macy who is a rather prickly man in the boring and wet jungle of Borneo trapped in a home with two other Brits, the married couple of Mr. (Tom Helmore) and Mrs. Warwick (Joanna Pettet), who have about 40 years of age between the two of them.
Being bored and rather arrogant and full of himself Macy sets his eyes on the beauty that is Mrs. Warwick. He uses the wiles of the mischievous criminal Tommy Robinson (Don Knight) to help get her. Robinson knows of a local earwig which will drive a man insane and eventually to death while feasting on his brain if it wanders in his ear canal because it will be unable to work its way back out. Macy pays Robinson to have someone insert one of the earwigs into Mr. Warwick’s ear while he sleeps … except he soon realizes the person has placed the earwig into his own ear by mistake, in a classic Serling twist.
The scene where Macy realizes the earwig is actually in his ear instead is one of the ultimate scenes of horror within this terrifically macabre episode of “Night Gallery,” but, oh, it gets better.
The utter hell Macy experiences with the earwig crawling around in his head is perfectly encapsulated by the look on Harvey’s face when he’s bound to his bed to keep himself from literally killing himself to end the torture. The look of pain on Harvey’s face is one of the best portrayals of pain I’ve ever seen from an actor on television or on film. You believe him thoroughly when he says “I want to die.”
In classic Serling style things begin to look up for Mr. Macy at the episode’s end when the earwig has made its way completely through the brain and out the other ear with quite possibly little damage having been done. But, Serling has one more ironic twist and one of the most macabre twists in television history … that you’ll have to watch the episode to catch.
“The Caterpillar,” a title that literally makes no sense given that the insect in the story is an earwig, is likely one of the most memorable “Night Gallery” episodes and a must watch for anybody wanting a good horror story for Halloween.
by Aprille Hanson
Where you lead, I will follow is what my inner “Gilmore Girls” fan has been saying since the show ended its seven-season run in 2007. A movie? A cast reunion special? Dare I say a TV reboot? I will follow!
Well, show creator/writer Amy Sherman-Palladino certainly dared and has signed on for a “Gilmore Girls” revival on Netflix. Amy’s husband, Daniel Palladino will also write and direct the four present-day 90-minute long episodes, one for each season of the year. There is no official word yet on what cast members have signed on yet, but Lauren Graham has already been talking about it on social media.
It is likely most of the cast will return, certainly Graham reprising her role as Lorelai, her love interest Luke (Scott Patterson) and daughter Rory (Alexis Bledel). The show will likely have to address the death of family patriarch Richard Gilmore, as actor Edward Herrmann died last year. Fans hoping to see Sookie St. James might be disappointed as her actress, Melissa McCarthy, might just be too big of a star now for Stars Hollow, Conn.
At a time like this, fans are bursting with excitement, but it’s got to be done right. Here are my takes on why the revival news is great, why it may not be and what I’d like to see from it.
WHY IT’S GREAT
More Gilmorisms: The quick wit and back and forth dialogue that Amy Sherman-Palladino wrote for this show is only rivaled by the great Aaron Sorkin (“The West Wing”). What other shows on television at this moment have the creativity to spawn a whole set of phrases so loved and revered they have a name -- “Gilmorisms.” The comedic timing the actors have to deliver the lines oh so perfectly is such a huge part of the show.
“It’s all any of us wants, to find a nice person to hang out with ‘til we drop dead. Not a lot to ask!” Well said Lorelai, well said.
Those final four words: The Palladino’s left the show before its final season, which left the ending to one of the most beloved shows ever on television out of their hands. Not good at all. We learned Rory is going to jet off to cover Barack Obama’s bid for the Democratic Party nomination for the presidency and most of it revolves around a farewell party for Rory that Luke is throwing. Sure, Luke and Lorelai do kiss at the end despite the shambled relationship, but there’s really no closure. There’s no answers other than Rory leaving. It was not an end and it left many cast members and Sherman-Palladino unhappy. From the beginning of the series, Sherman-Palladino said she knew what the final four words spoken would be to end it all so finally maybe we can hear those words.
More kisses: We waited a long time. We watched various men traipse in and out of Lorelai’s life and her continually going to the diner to banter with the curmudgeon that is Luke. They were perfect for each other but they couldn’t see it until the final episode in Season 4, “Raincoats and Recipes” where they shared their first kiss. Here’s to many more between the couple.
Mothers & Daughters: There will never be a better mother-daughter relationship on TV than Lorelai and Rory. Period. Won’t happen ever. This reboot is a chance for mothers to curl up with their daughters once again, drink coffee and watch the show. Better yet, it’s a chance for a whole new generation of mothers to go back and binge watch the series with their daughters, then watch the revival.
Setting a precedent: Netflix answered the cry of “Gilmore Girls” fans and struck a deal with Warner Brothers to bring it back, even for a short time. Streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and Yahoo! have been the saviors for a few shows with cult followings (“Longmire,” “Mindy Project,” “Community”) and it might encourage them to bring back other shows that have actually ended too soon. Netflix brought back “Arrested Development” for a bit as well. So who knows, maybe if “Gilmore Girls” brings in the viewers (which it will) maybe other shows we miss can come back. “Firefly” anyone?
WHY IT MIGHT NOT BE
April Nardini: Who knew fans could hate a little 12-year-old character so much? Well, we did. April was the random character thrown in as Luke’s daughter who he never knew existed. It turned out she caused the demise of Luke and Lorelai’s relationship. The show has to correct this character somehow. Even the actress Vanessa Marano admitted recently that she is such a fan of the show she didn’t even like her character. If they must bring her back, they better make her likeable, if it’s possible or else we’ll revolt in the streets.
Nostalgia: Yes, we want a better ending. Yes, we want to see how these characters turned out. But by bringing it back, you’re messing with sacred ground in many fans’ minds. This is “Gilmore Girls” and one wrong move is going to shatter our adolescence, so please be gentle.
Luke & Lorelai: I know Sherman-Palladino has said if there was ever a reboot, she’d end the series right. But “right” is all up for debate. If it doesn’t end with Luke and Lorelai together, then we have a big problem. It’s the only right way to do it for the fans. Let’s hope that’s how she sees it too.
WHAT I WANT TO SEE
Wedding bells: We as the fans need a forever commitment between Luke and Lorelai. We need a wedding. We don’t need Christopher to come in and try to win Lorelai back and we don’t need any more random children to crawl through the woodwork. I want to see that final kiss. We fans deserve it.
Best friends: The main focus of the show should always be Lorelai and Rory. That relationship is so unique and special I just want to see how it’s been throughout the years. I want to see good things in Rory’s career and some good bonding time for the two because where it left off, it started to be a little rocky again. And maybe, Rory could start her own mother-daughter relationship. Final words: “Ready to be a grandma?” … OK, five words. Maybe Sherman-Palladino can strip it down to four with more elegance.
by Aprille Hanson
For the chance of a new crime-based T.V. show to survive rather than disappearing into the blood red abyss of all the rest -- “Blue Bloods,” “Person of Interest,” “Chicago P.D.,” “Castle,” “How to Get Away with Murder,” “NCIS” and all its spin-offs … I could go on and on -- there has to be an intriguing hook.
NBC stumbled onto a goldmine with their 2013 smash hit “The Blacklist,” starring the sarcastic charm that is Emmy-winner James Spader and Megan Boone, partly because it was so different. You’ve got Red (Spader), a master manipulator criminal who decides to help the FBI catch the strangest, most heinous villains -- from those who keep people in cages for years to the ones who can make every inch of a body disappear without a trace -- in order to get close to agent Elizabeth Keen, for reasons that are still not entirely revealed.
It stood out because it wasn’t just another local precinct-type serial crime show. It’s the same sort of appeal that drew fans to CBS’s “Person of Interest.” A unique, but intriguing crime show with a hook will keep viewers.
So, NBC’s new hook is a tattooed woman. The network’s newest crime series “Blindspot” premiered this fall with a pilot too intriguing not to keep people watching.
When a large duffel bag is left in the middle of Time Square, the bustling New York City icon is cleared and the bomb squad is called, anticipating the worst. In a dramatic scene after nightfall, with law enforcement officials everywhere, the bag begins to move.
No, it’s not a bomb, but a woman, played by actress Jamie Alexander, known for her role as Lady Sif in the “Thor” movies. She is completely naked except for the tattoos someone drew on her entire body. Jane Doe, as she’s been called so far, is understandably terrified as she has no idea who she is and has no memories of anything from before she emerged from that bag.
The FBI is called in, particularly Agent Kurt Weller, played by Sullivan Stapleton, known most for the 2014 movie “300: Rise of an Empire.” Agent Weller was an obvious choice, because his name is tattooed in large print on half of her upper back. As Weller and his fellow agents, Edgar Reade (Rob Brown) and Tasha Zapata (Audrey Esparza) try to crack the puzzle on her body, clues start to emerge from the tattoos and in each dangerous encounter they lead to seems to reveal more about Jane’s former life. At one point, when she’s attacked out in the field, she instinctively starts pulling out intense defense moves that no normal civilian would know. It turns out, Jane was trained as a Navy Seal and flashbacks to her life seem to reveal that she is part of a bigger plan and that tattoos may lead to a bigger conspiracy.
It’s truths like that that make it unsettling for many involved, including FBI leader Bethany Mayfair (played by Marianne Jean-Baptiste) who does not want details of a past deeply classified project with CIA leader Thomas Carter (Michael Gaston) revealed. Weller also must come face to face with his past with Jane because of a scar on the upper back of her neck. A young neighbor friend named Taylor he was responsible for as a child went missing and was never found. She and Jane have the exact same scar. His father was the primary suspect, despite no physical evidence, which tore apart the family. A simple DNA test reveals that Jane Doe is a match, but further digging in later episodes shows that her genetic footprint extracted from her tooth reveals she was born in Africa, not in the U.S.
It’s the constant twists and turns and mysteries surrounding her tattoos that make this show perfect for keeping viewers on the edge of their seats. With the sheer amount of tattoos and the multitude of ways to take this conspiracy to the next level, it’s a mystery that the writers should have their hands full with for several seasons.
Despite the show being a bit far-fetched at times -- chances are there are not going to be two executives at the Centers for Disease Control that actually work to kill people globally with the most deadly of disease outbreaks -- fans can suspend their disbelief because the acting, particularly by Alexander and Stapleton, is so convincing. No matter how crazy the premise seems, watching Alexander navigate these tricky waters of this character that will no doubt go through major changes as the show progresses, has already been compelling to watch.
NBC wanted another ‘Blacklist’ caliber hit and have almost completely nailed it. It is in no way the average crime show and it’s worth making room in your T.V. show line-up to watch it.
by Julian Spivey
Few cast members in the great history of “Saturday Night Live” have ever been as lovable as Tracy Morgan. Sure, there have been a handful of cast members funnier than Morgan, whose greatest comedic achievement is actually his Emmy-nominated performance on the great sitcom “30 Rock,” but as far as sheer lovable-ness goes few really top him. Those people who like Morgan seem to really love him and you can count me among that crowd.
As almost everybody knows Tracy Morgan was severely injured in an accident in 2014 when his limo was hit by a Walmart big wheeler. Morgan was left in a coma for a couple of weeks and with multiple broken bones and brain damage. He was unheard of for nearly a year while recuperating from his injuries.
When it was announced more than a month ago that Morgan would restart his comedy career by essentially returning home to host ‘SNL’ it was a moment that instantaneously turned into one of the few must-see television moments of the year for me.
Morgan did not disappoint. In fact, he hosted one of the best all-around episodes of ‘SNL’ in quite some time that might prove to be the best episode of the entire season come spring time.
There were two things the country was talking about following Morgan’s hosting stint on ‘SNL’ after Saturday. One was obviously his return to comedy after such a devastating tragedy. The other thing had absolutely nothing to do with Morgan, but with a surprise cameo in the cold opening mocking the first Democratic Nominee Debate last week when actor/comedian/writer Larry David, of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and “Seinfeld” fame, impersonated Bernie Sanders. It’s almost as if David was born to play Sanders. The only issue with this being can ‘SNL’ actually get David to portray Sanders every single time they want to use him?
‘SNL’ is almost always at its best when dealing with election season and this opening was up to par with many of the great debate sketches of the past with David as Sanders, Kate McKinnon doing the greatest Hilary Clinton impression in ‘SNL’ history (no disrespect meant to Amy Poehler, Ana Gasteyer or Jan Hooks) and another surprise cameo with Alec Baldwin impersonating candidate Jim Webb.
The cold opening was a great start to what would be a terrific show and would turn out to be water cooler fodder for a couple of days after, but the moment I was truly waiting for was Morgan’s monologue. The monologue was made all the more entertaining and special as it was done as a lost “30 Rock” episode where the cast of the show pays tribute to Morgan’s character Tracy Jordan thought to be deceased. This bit included Morgan’s “30 Rock” buddies Baldwin, Tina Fey, Jane Krakowski and Jack McBrayer and it was an almost tear inducing moment watching them welcome him back to comedy.
There are two things you always want from a Tracy Morgan hosted episode of ‘SNL’ (Saturday was his second hosting stint since leaving the show as a cast member in 2003): Brian Fellow and Astronaut Jones. Brian Fellow and Astronaut Jones were Morgan’s two most famous recurring characters during his eight seasons as a cast member on ‘SNL’.
Morgan brought back Fellow early on in the episode and it was a sight for sore eyes with his immature man-child host of an animal show who actually knows nothing about animals getting into arguments with not only actual animal experts, but their animals – which happened to be a beaver and a real-life camel that managed to hilariously block the camera toward the end of the sketch leading to Morgan’s fantastic ad-lib, “I can’t see, camel!” It was great to not only see Morgan hasn’t lost his humor, but is also still quick enough mentally to throw in a perfect ad-lib.
Astronaut Jones made a reoccurrence at the very end of the episode and really was the moment that made me the most excited and also made me realize that Morgan is going to be just fine in his return to comedy and acting. Astronaut Jones is basically a funny, catchy theme song with one punchline – he makes some raunchy come-on to a sexy femalien, played in this sketch by the week’s musical guest Demi Lovato. It’s the same thing every time Morgan has ever done it, but it’s so uniquely him and so funny in the manner he delivers the punchline that it leaves you in stitches every single time.
The one memorable thing, other than the political cold opening, on the show that wasn’t related to Morgan was Weekend Update. Co-anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che have been a little shaky in the past over their first year doing Update, but I’ve got to say that the chemistry between the two is starting to get really good and it’s really showing in the ad-libbed moments between the two. This makes Update all the more intriguing and fun to watch going forward.
The funniest sketch of the entire night was likely a digital short that showed off another of Morgan’s comedy strong suits – turning a stereotypical tough black guy character on its head. The digital short was called “Standoff” and featured Taran Killam wanting to stand up to a thug, played by Morgan, who had offended his girlfriend played by Sasheer Zamata with catcalls. Killam goes up to Morgan and asks him “would you like to dance” (as in fight) and Morgan wants to take him up on an actual dance. It’s made into the funniest bit of the entire episode by Morgan’s performance as the tough guy who just wants to be twirled and dipped.
It was great to see Morgan back on Saturday night doing what it is he loves to do and his ‘SNL’ homecoming certainly made for one of the better episodes of the long-running sketch comedy series in a few years.
by Julian Spivey
Jimmy Fallon tried to recreate a classic late night television bit on “The Tonight Show” on Tuesday, Oct. 6 and it failed pretty badly.
It seemed “The Tonight Show” wanted to have its “Johnny Carson/David Letterman” moment, when Fallon faked a hamstring injury during his monologue and tagged out, while former ‘Tonight Show’ host Jay Leno tagged in to finish the monologue.
The moment instantly brought back memories of a classic “Late Show with David Letterman” moment in 1994 when Carson, Letterman’s hero and mentor, came upon his show to a huge ovation, sat behind Letterman’s desk, soaked up the ovation and without saying a word walked off the stage. It was a moment that truly signified that Carson had passed the late night baton to Letterman, and not Leno who had been controversially tapped to replace him on NBC’s ‘Tonight Show.’ It would turn out to be Carson’s final appearance ever on television and has gone down in TV history as a classic late night television moment.
The reason why it was a great moment had to do with two things: 1) the relationship between Carson and Letterman, who would remain great friends until Carson’s death and Carson would even submit jokes for Letterman’s monologues throughout the years and get a genuine kick when Letterman performed them and 2) people generally loved and missed seeing Carson nightly.
This is where the Jimmy Fallon/Jay Leno recreation of this truly special moment fails. There’s likely a respect between Fallon and Leno, but there’s no real chemistry or likely friendship between the two and, mostly, Leno never leaves long enough to truly be missed.
In fact, Leno was on “The Tonight Show” briefly on Tuesday night just for the sole reason of reminding viewers that his new television series “Jay Leno’s Garage” premieres on CNBC on Wednesday night.
It was an obviously staged moment, where as the one in 1994 between Letterman and Carson had so much meaning and affection behind it.
All the Jimmy Fallon/Jay Leno moment on Tuesday helped to do was remind us how truly corny and unfunny Leno was doing a monologue during his long, controversial, though highly-rated tenure as host of “The Tonight Show.”
by Julian Spivey
The 41st season premiere of “Saturday Night Live” hosted by pop music sensation Miley Cyrus was better than expected, which for today’s era of the show is actually a huge compliment.
‘SNL’ has a great cast, for the most part, at the current time, but the show’s writing has been extremely poor over the last couple of seasons. When the cast gets the time to shine and the show doesn’t spend too much time worrying about the amount of screen time the host gets it’s typically better off. I felt this to be the case with the premiere as Cyrus wasn’t shoved down our throats nearly as much as I figured she would be. She didn’t have any highlights whatsoever from her hosting stint on Saturday night and that didn’t hurt the show one bit – it likely improved it.
The show kicked off its fifth decade on television with something that every single human on this planet could see coming for weeks, Donald Trump. Taran Killam, who’s basically considered the show’s MVP at the moment (although I’d argue it’s Kate McKinnon), debuted his Trump impression and despite seeming to be a hit amongst the Twitter crowd he left me wanting more. Killam’s Trump wasn’t the worst I’ve seen by any means, but it’s bothersome considering ‘SNL’ has a much better Trump on staff with Darrell Hammond as the show’s announcer. Hammond does the best Trump I’ve ever seen, whereas Killam’s isn’t even the best on NBC right now (Jimmy Fallon is better on “The Tonight Show”). This is a problem considering we might have a Trump bit on the show every week from now until the 2016 Presidential election. This seems like a case of ‘SNL’ wanting to give “the guy” the shot at becoming an even bigger star, when Hammond obviously should’ve taken the reigns. Sure, he’s not a cast member anymore, but he’s there and has multiple times (including Saturday’s premiere) reprised his terrific impression of Bill Clinton, so why not Trump also?.
Let’s get to the best sketch of the night … Kate McKinnon doing her great Hilary Clinton impression right in front of the real life Hilary Clinton, who played a bartender listening to the fake Hilary’s woes about people finding her boring and the hoopla surrounding Trump amongst other things. McKinnon is the game-changer right now on ‘SNL’ and her impression of Hilary will likely send her into even further stardom. It’s great, as is, but doing it right there in front of the real thing and having the ability to play it straight could prove to be the greatest thing we see on ‘SNL’ all season long. I’ll go ahead and pencil this one on my annual ’10 Best SNL Sketches of the Season’ list right now. What was truly surprising about the bit was how game the real Hilary Clinton was for the entire thing, including sly smacks at her taking a long time to jump on the gay marriage bandwagon. It was also amazing the real Hilary kept a straight face throughout the entire sketch. Another excellent bit of the sketch was Hammond’s reprisal of Bill Clinton, especially the line about Hilary multiplying before running out in terror.
Weekend Update is always going to be the centerpiece of ‘SNL’ and because of this one of the most talked about aspects of the show. The camaraderie between co-anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che continues to improve with each episode, but the premiere’s version of Update was hit and miss. Some of the jokes were excellent like Jost’s blackface for Halloween joke, but others were incredibly off-topic like the weird slap at Garth Brooks. Who really hates Garth Brooks that much? The Update guests were hit and miss too, but mostly misses this week, especially Kyle Mooney’s frat boy take on Pope Francis. Mooney has the ability to surpass Kristen Wiig as my least favorite ‘SNL’ cast member of all-time and every time I see him on the screen I cringe. Pete Davidson is the show’s most popular Update correspondent, but I always seem to find him hit or miss despite much of the country seemingly loving him. Sometimes he’s too immature for my liking, which really wasn’t the case this week, I just didn’t particularly find his take on things like Donald Trump funny. Leslie Jones, on the other hand, is one of my favorite Update correspondents (despite much of the country seemingly disliking her). She does roughly the same sort of comedy every time she’s on the show –
angry black woman with relationship trouble – but thus far I have not grown tired of it.
Speaking of Jones, she really carried two sketches directly after Weekend Update that could’ve easily been horrible without her – the fake orgasm sketch in honor of “When Harry Met Sally” and the bit about a black talk show host in the 1950s.
Another of the night’s best bits came during the latter half of the episode when the show took on the ludicrousness of Taylor Swift’s Squad phenomenon with Vanessa Bayer (possibly the show’s most underrated and often underused cast member) and Aidy Bryant playing friends who are running from being forced into Swift’s Squad that has taken over the world. It was a really fun take on sort of the stupid fascination our culture has with celebrity.
‘SNL’ is frequently hit or miss with its commercial parodies, as well, but the first one of the season was one of the better ones I’ve seen in quite some time. The commercial pimped a pill called Abilify that made delusional Presidential candidates like Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee and Jim Gilmore come back down to earth and realize they don’t have a shot in hell at winning the Presidency.
The problem with ‘SNL’ having a large cast right now is we run into the issue of not giving everybody enough screen time on a weekly basis. This is a main complaint of mine every week and this week, as in most weeks, I would’ve loved to have seen more Bobby Moynihan, Jay Pharoah, Vanessa Bayer, Cecily Strong and Sasheer Zamata (who at times it’s easy to forget is even on the show).
Ultimately, the season premiere wasn’t a home run – but when is ‘SNL’ that great anymore? It was a good, solid start to the season that hopefully will get even better, but that’s asking a lot these days.
by Aprille Hanson
In the 2015 reboot of America’s favorite cloth puppets, ABC’s “The Muppets” are making old fans and a whole new generation laugh.
But, as Kermit says, it’s not easy being green … or having an edgy TV show.
The original debut of Jim Henson’s Muppets began with the 1979-1981 “The Muppet Show” about the Muppets putting on a weekly variety show. The premise made sense for that time period which saw the rise in popular variety shows like “The Carol Burnett Show,” “The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour” and “The Johnny Cash Show.” I will admit, and this will surely lose me some credibility, but I don’t remember much about the original Muppet series. It was before I was born and although I have seen things like “The Muppet Movie” (1979) and likely had seen reruns as a kid of “The Muppet Show,” I am hard-pressed to remember much of them. I have yet to see the other two most recent incarnations -- “The Muppets” 2011 movie and “Muppets Most Wanted” movie in 2014. My main basis will always be 1992’s “The Muppet Christmas Carol,” which I watch almost every Christmas, so I’m certainly familiar with the Muppets.
That’s why going into the 2015 TV reboot, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. Even though the Muppets are beloved, I didn’t see how they were going to hold most young adults attention because I figured it would be more of a kid-type show.
Boy, was I wrong. The series is a mocumentary-style (think “Modern Family”), interviewing the Muppets behind the scenes as they work hard to put on Miss Piggy’s late night talk show. It goes beyond the show however, into their personal lives -- Kermit dumped Miss Piggy for a pig in marketing named Denise (isn’t that always how it goes?); Fozzie the Bear is trying hard to impress his girlfriend’s parents who don’t like that he’s a bear (his girlfriend Becky is played by Riki Lindhome); Dr. Teeth and The Electric Mayhem band is full of hippies and heavy rockers that were more than eager to buy a large supply of cookies because they were, um, uh … unexplainably hungry?; and there is of course Miss Piggy who is the ultimate diva who reminds me so much of Jane Krakowski’s Jenna Maroney in NBC’s multi-Emmy winner “30 Rock.”
In fact, that’s exactly the show “The Muppets” can be compared to -- “30 Rock” with Muppets. This is amazing for fans because it’s extremely funny and witty, way beyond what I ever thought it could be. Parents can watch it with their young kids who can laugh at the funny Muppets while the jokes fly over their head and right to their parents, who will also be busy laughing hysterically.
It never occurs to me when I’m watching the show that I’m watching a bunch of … dare I say it … inanimate objects. Gasp! OK, I’m sorry, the Muppets are real actors; at least that’s what it feels like. It helps to have guest stars come in and out -- so far it’s been people like former “Tonight Show” host Jay Leno, actress Elizabeth Banks, singer Josh Groban, rockers Imagine Dragons and a brief, but hilarious, moment with actor Laurence Fishburne.
The show works because it caters to young adults with biting and sometimes crass humor. So what’s the problem? Well, the group that claims to fight “indecency” called One Million Moms is up in arms because the Muppets are “perverted” and are no longer what Jim Henson envisioned. If parents actually think their children will understand the jokes, then by all means, don’t have them watch. But the subtleties and the innuendos are not something that most will get and even if they do, they’ve heard much worse, probably on a Disney show.
The Muppets are no more perverted than they are human. It is a hilarious show and while it’s not always easy being green or edgy, the Muppets are better for it.