Pick of the week

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Television Free To Air -

The Mup­pets Tues­day, 7.30pm, Seven Yes, this is The Mup­pets, but not a faith­ful reimag­in­ing of the old fam­ily favourite. More ac­cu­rately, it’s like the Mup­pets pay­ing homage to 30 Rock in a mock­u­men­tary-style for­mat akin to Mod­ern Fam­ily or Parks and Recre­ation. In fact, the pro­fes­sional prove­nance of the show’s cre­ators Bob Kushell and Bill Prady ex­plains the ob­vi­ous con­tem­po­rary TV ref­er­ences: they’ve been separately in­volved in pro­duc­ing shows from 3rd Rock from the Sun and Dharma and Greg to Gil­more Girls and The Big Bang The­ory. In short, they know their pop cul­ture. Set in Los An­ge­les, it goes be­hind the scenes of the fic­tional late night show Up Late with Miss Piggy, which stars Miss Piggy, with her ex-boyfriend Ker­mit as ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer. All the old favourites have var­i­ous jobs on the set, in­clud­ing Fozzie, An­i­mal, Gonzo and Beaker, plus the can­tan­ker­ous duo of heck­lers, Statler and Wal­dorf. In this pi­lot episode, ac­tress El­iz­a­beth Banks guest stars as her­self and Fozzie Bear meets his non-pup­pet girl­friend’s par­ents, which oc­ca­sions some hi­lar­i­ous racially coded hu­mour. Though it’s rated G, the hu­mour will best ap­peal to adults rather than chil­dren. The writ­ing is crisp and know­ing, but never vul­gar. (By con­trast, I was re­minded of the to­tally re­volt­ing and lit­tle-known Peter Jackson-di­rected film Meet the Fee­bles.) It’s good clean fun and de­serves a watch.

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