If you were worried The Muppets‘ first episode was a fluke and it wouldn’t be able to keep the momentum going, then episode two, “Hostile Makeover,” should totally alleviate those fears. “Hostile Makeover” was just as good, if not better, than last week’s episode, with more cameos, (Muppet and celebrity) hilarious one-liners, music, and mayhem!
“Hostile Makeover” starts off with some silly Muppet banter over signing Sweetums’ birthday card, Gonzo’s discovery that his mother is lost in South America, and Fozzie’s announcement that he was invited to a party at Jay Leno’s house. Suddenly, Scooter and Uncle Deadly burst in shouting that there is an emergency and they are at a code red. The office freaks out and everyone hides as Miss Piggy bursts in and destroys the room in a fit of rage. Apparently, the People’s Choice Awards are coming up and Miss Piggy has no date. As Miss Piggy storms out of the room, leaving traumatized Muppets in her wake, Uncle Deadly tells Kermit he has to find her a date.
Kermit puts Miss Piggy’s date at the top of the office’s priority list and everyone pitches in to find her someone. As they call people, Kermit reveals he has an edge; he knows which celebrities Piggy would want to date because he and Piggy made “Free Pass” lists while they were still dating. He says it was just for fun, unless he and Lea Thompson found themselves alone in an elevator.
As the group strikes out on Keanu Reeves, Bobo comes in to ask if anyone wants to buy some Girl Scout cookies for his daughter’s troop. Kermit shuts him down. As Bobo leaves, Yolanda Rat pipes up and suggests Josh Groban as the perfect date for Piggy. Scooter books Groban immediately and they come up with a plan to make he and Miss Piggy fall in love during the show.
As Josh Groban and Miss Piggy sing a duet during his appearance on her show, the rest of the Muppets work behind the scenes to make the mood more and more romantic as the song goes on. The scene culminates in a passionate kiss, sealing the deal. Miss Piggy has her date.
A couple days later we find the newsman from The Muppet Show now working at the news building across the street, visiting the Up Late studio as he tries to sell Girl Scout cookies for his daughter. Understandably, this leads to a confrontation with Bobo. As the newsman flees in terror, Miss Piggy walks in happier than anyone has ever seen her. Kermit realizes that, for the first time ever, they are in a code green!
Later that day, Piggy tells Kermit that she and Josh talked and he had some great ideas for making her show a smarter, more sophisticated version of itself. These ideas include interviewing authors and getting the Electric Mayhem to go acoustic. Kermit hates the idea, but what Piggy wants, Piggy gets.
The next day the show is a quiet, tranquil disaster. The Electric Mayhem go acoustic with a soft, sleepy musical number and Piggy’s guest is religious history author Reza Aslan. The audience literally falls asleep and Miss Piggy insults her guest, as well as the entire library system. Of course, she thinks the show went perfectly.
That night, Fozzie attends Jay Leno’s party. He gets the chance to talk to Leno himself, who tells Fozzie that he considers him a friend. Overcome with excitement, he decides he needs a souvenir from the night and takes a small candy dish home with him.
The next day the newsman is back and selling a box of cookies to Big Mean Carl just as Bobo walks in. Once again he flees in terror.
At the morning meeting, Fozzie shows the candy dish off to all his coworkers who are shocked that he would take it. Fozzie tries to explain himself, but is unable to justify his actions and realizes how terrible his decision was.
When Kermit comes in he tells everyone that, due to last night’s train wreck of a show, he’s getting rid of Groban. Everyone freaks out and tells him that he can’t. Ever since Piggy and Groban started going out, coming to work is a dream. Sweetums reads everyone the beautiful things that Piggy wrote in his birthday card, but Kermit points out that those words were written under the influence of Groban and that they need the real Piggy back.
After the meeting, Fozzie still worries about what he did. As he leaves, Big Mean Carl flags him down and tells him that Jay Leno called and left Fozzie a message: he wants to see him at his house. Fozzie is terrified.
Kermit goes to confront Piggy, but when he gets to her dressing room he finds Josh in a bathrobe, as they are currently getting hot stone massages. He won’t let Kermit in, so Kermit tries to tell Josh that he’s ruining the show by making Miss Piggy more like him. When Josh disagrees and tells him that the world would be a better place if everyone were more like him, Kermit tries to leap over him to talk to Miss Piggy herself. He fails, thumps into Josh’s chest, and falls to the floor.
At Jay Leno’s house, Fozzie decides to sneak the candy dish back inside, with no one the wiser, but he drops the dish and it shatters. Inside, Leno tells Fozzie that he wants him to open for him in Vegas. Fozzie is immensely relieved that the meeting has nothing to do with the candy dish, and says yes immediately. When Jay goes to get a bottle of champagne to celebrate, Fozzie decides that this is the best day of his life, and that he needs a souvenir to remember it. This time Leno catches him taking a brass rooster off the table. Surprisingly, he understands and admits that years ago he too stole something from his idol, George Carlin: the candy dish that Fozzie broke. When he goes to get it, he realizes that Fozzie took it and is no longer understanding, yelling at him to get out.
Back at the studio, Kermit drives his golf cart around the lot in frustration and almost runs into Laurence Fishburne driving another golf cart. Laurence tells him the show last night sucked and zooms off. Kermit wonders what he can do about it, but resigns himself to the fact that, “It’s her life, it’s her show.” He looks up to the Up Late With Miss Piggy billboard on the side of the building and gets an idea, saying, “Maybe I need to remind her of that.”
Inside, Bobo is eating the cookies, having been unable to sell much of anything. Scooter comes in and suggests that he try selling them to the band, who would almost certainly buy some. The band, in a state of legal happiness, buy and devour everything he has and Bobo decides he will get his daughter a Prius.
Back outside, Kermit tells Josh and Piggy that he is now totally on board with all the changes Josh made to the show and, to prove it, he modified the show’s billboard to read Josh Groban Presents: Up Late With Miss Piggy. Josh loves it and Miss Piggy is dumbfounded. As she stares, openmouthed and unable to speak, Kermit whispers to Josh, “Bye, bye.” He’s gone immediately.
As the credits roll, Kermit gets into the elevator and finds himself alone with none other than Lea Thompson! Just as his wildest dreams are about to come true, Gonzo bursts in and announces that they found his mother! The door shuts as Gonzo excitedly tells him about a goat riding expedition up Machu Picchu gone wrong, and Kermit’s dreams are dashed.
This episode was even better than the last one. There were so many great moments, lines, and cameos. I loved almost every second of it. As I did last week, lets break down the good, the bad, and the “other.”
Once again the show was brilliant. The jokes were on point, and every plot line was ingeniously woven together. The interactions between the Muppets were all hilarious and the plot with Josh Groban was so well written and had one of the best payoffs for a show in a long time. Kermit’s manipulation of Miss Piggy at the end was genius and literally laugh-out-loud funny.
The Celebrity Guests and Cameos
Josh Groban has been one of my favorite singers since I was a kid and my admiration of him grows exponentially every time I see him act. The man is not only a “Velvet throated piano god,” as Kermit so eloquently put it; he is also hilarious. The writers made the perfect decision to use him as more than just a musical guest.
Aside from Josh Groban, we also had Jay Leno in a smaller, but still significant, role, as well as Reza Azlan, Laurence Fishburne, and Lea Thompson in hilarious cameos. Fishburne’s line delivery, especially his, “NEVER!”, was hilarious.
This kind of goes along with the writing, but there were so many good lines that I had to take special note of them. A few of my favorites include:
Statler (cheering over the Groban/Piggy duet): “Woo!”
Waldorf: “Did you just ‘Woo’?”
Statler: “What? I’m allowed to feel things!”
Swedish Chef: “Der Pig in de Gropin’ de Groban!”
Kermit: “This is on me. I set Piggy up with that horrible, evil, incredibly talented, velvet-throated piano god.”
Swedish Chef (sniffing while walking by the room where Miss Piggy is getting a hot stone massage): “Somebody cookin’ der bacon!”
The Muppet Cameos
Much to my surprise, Big Mean Carl was back in this episode with just as many lines as last time! Is he going to become a main secondary character? Only time will tell, but I was happy to have him back! Uncle Deadly also had his screen time extended from the last episode and he has the potential to be one of the funniest characters on the show. We also had a pretty substantial role for the newsman from The Muppet Show, a character I really wasn’t expecting but was happy to see. There was also a ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ appearance by Lew Zealand and his boomerang fish. That tiny appearance was this episode’s Muppet-iest joke, with Kermit telling the office to “Throw everything you’ve got at Keanu Reeves” followed by Lew chucking a fish at the photo of Keanu. It was classic.
This episode’s musical selections were a vast improvement over last time’s. As much as I enjoy Imagine Dragons, they were terribly underused in the last episode. This time we got an excellent duet between Miss Piggy and Josh Groban as they sanf the classic number “If I Loved You” from the musical Carousel. We also had a great, but quiet, number from the Electric Mayhem, which I actually enjoyed despite it being played for a joke. The fact that it was entitled “Dead Inside,” made it all the better for me. There’s still room for more music, but I felt satisfied this time.
The Fozzie/Leno Story
I did not really enjoy this B-plot at all. I didn’t like that Fozzie stole the candy dish and I really didn’t like how it ended with Leno yelling at Fozzie to get out of his house. It had some amusing moments, but the whole thing just felt awkward and uncomfortable to me. I realize that this was probably the point, but I didn’t find much humor in it at all. It wasn’t bad enough that it made the whole episode unenjoyable for me, but I wish it was handled differently.
The “Adult” Content
Like I said in my last review, I don’t really have a problem with the slightly more mature content as long as it doesn’t go overboard and so far I don’t think it has. There were really only two instances in this episode, both of which were actually pretty clever and subtle enough to go right over a little kid’s head. As long as the writers feel the need to add some adult content, I hope that they keep it smart.
Pepé’s line about Josh Groban being handsome, and that gender is fluid, struck me as kind of hilarious because, for a shrimp (or a prawn, as he is), that is literally true! Many species actually do change genders; having this line delivered by Pepé was especially amusing to me.
The revelation that The Electric Mayhem was “Legally happy” all the time now was probably pushing the envelope a little bit, but it was still funny. Really, the fact that they may use something stronger than cigarettes should not come as a surprise to anyone; they are hippies after all. Frankly, I’m surprised it took this long for someone to point it out.
For those who may have been worried that Denise was going to ruin the show, they should take comfort from this episode as it is proof that the writers know what they are doing. Denise was nowhere to be seen. As far as I noticed, she didn’t even get one second of screen time! I’m not saying this is automatically a good thing – I’m still looking forward to getting to know her a little better – but the fact that she didn’t show up at all tells me the writers know they should not overuse her. I think, if she just makes an appearance every once in a while, no one will be able to complain about this new character stealing screen time from their favorites (as often happens when a show introduces a new face).
All in all, this episode was a brilliant, hilarious half hour of television and I enjoyed almost every minute of it. The good far outweighed the bad and even the stuff that was not as good was still pretty good. The Muppets just keeps getting funnier and I can’t wait to see what happens next week!
What did you think of this episode of The Muppets? What was your favorite moment?
Edited by: Hannah Wilkes