September 29, 2015

If I was never meant to see these muppets, why are they being given a prime-time network television space?
I overheard a promotion for this program going on like “It’s the muppets like you’ve never seen them before!” Except I HAVE seen them before and they actually looked rather a bit like this. I do not like the “ooh yeah these are the GROWN UP muppets that are scumbags and talk about sex! They take pictures of themselves!” And then is a clip with Kermit saying in a bro voice “what can I say, I’m attracted to pigs.” Like we need to turn them into proud jerks to make them marketable, but different than the original sense that they were proud jerks in, since the initial appeal of muppets was that they were kind of pathetic and usually messed up at what they did.

I do not think sleazy Kermit devalues the original, and it may even be the most potentially lucrative decision. I just personally think it is unfortunate. Fortunately, ads also like to lie and imply that a minor uncharacteristic aspect is the most important thing or happens in a different context than intendewd because people who make decisions based on ads usually have terrible judgement, and may be more likely to continue watching a misrepresented program than somebody with good judgement. In my case, I have enough television already. If these are not my grandmother’s muppets then I will have to accept that I am a grandmother now. We already have “dark” or skeevy muppet parodies like Avenue Q and Meet the Feebles, and then every amateur video featuring a puppet ever made. Give a series to them if that is important to you.

However, I did witness the recent muppet program. It was not bad. But it was not scandalous or raunchy or whatever. I am glad it isn’t, but I wish we did not have to present it like it is to get dorks who watch ads to watch it. The promoters want me to believe there is some controversy over Kermit the frog dating a different pig muppet than before, and people who buy into that rubbish then have counter-outrage over misogynistic remarks made by internet users toward the new pig. But I saw the show and the whole point is that the seriousness of it is ridiculous. The “attracted to pigs” line that makes Kermit seem like a creep the way the ad frames it, as if I am meant to think Kermit is a cool ladies man dude, is actually designed to make Kermit seem like a dork for trying to sound like a cool ladies dude man talking like that.

This is not a revolutionary, earth shaking presentation, but it does not have to be; just by being a bearable puppet-based program it is unique. In fact the 1976-1981 Muppet Show was never canceled; Jim Henson just wanted to go make terrible movies with serious muppets instead. As far as I am concerned there has never been a definitive referendum on whether the muppet formula was working. There was the Jim Henson Hour in 1989 which was cancelled while Henson lived, but it suffered from my never having heard of it. And then Muppets Tonight which aired on flippin dippin Disney channel in 1997, during the period when it was transitioning from a pay-network to basic cable and consequently replacing its 60 years of high budget material shown ad-free with made-for-tv movies about kids with secrets who lie to their parents about it with 6 totally unnecessary commercial breaks advertising junk from the company that made the shows per hour.
Also I have not seen The Dark Crystal and it might well be just the sort of terrible that I appreciate.

But I am very discriminating with my terribles.

With all that said, I stand by, and if necessary on my earlier statements that I do not need new tv shows in my life and hope to not get stuck watching this one until such time that I decide I wish to. I like that DVDs and illegal filesharing give me some level of control of this.

Why can we not stop to appreciate the fact that we can watch any movie we want or listen to any music we want? VHS tapes were frustrating. FM radio was awful. I like being aware of that. “Binge-watching” is the only way to keep up with all the new junk. Buy everything and watch it all at once. Do not act, do not think, just watch junk every day. There will be more new junk before you finish! Watch faster! Then watch somebody play all your old video games! Then watch somebody play all your new video games! Then watch somebody draw fan art of the game! Then draw fanart of the dork playing the games! Then subscribe to this exclusive pay-per-view fanart feed! Subscribe to everything and pay money forever! You can never stop watching or paying!

Hey I came into possession of a divvid featuring episodes from the program called Breaking Bad. I watched two episodes in succession and had to stop. I felt like a slug. My thinking: if I bought copies of all the trendy tv shows and watched one episode a night for a year I would never run out.
I like having that option, but dislike being forced to use it. And people who are even more impatient buy all the pay-tv channels that this stuff debuts on, and then assume that everyone else does. Hey did you catch the new Game of Thrones? No, because I don’t buy that channel and didn’t watch the old ones either! I didn’t pay for the Disney Channel either! My experience at some better-off relatives’ house showed that the pay version was preferable, but I still would not have paid for it.


7 Responses
  1. 1
    1:17 pm, September 30, 2015

    Purplespace sez:

    Cable television confuses me as it used to be commercial free because you payed money for it. However, now it has commercials too, just like the defunct signal channels to which it was supposed to be an alternative, and you still pay for it, perhaps even more money than before. Something changed where it used to be ok to not have commercials if you payed a monthly fee, to now where it can’t exist without commercials AND you have to pay for it. The only reason I ever started getting cable was most shows stopped being aired on regular tv.

    Also, game of thrones supposedly has a cool dragon eventually, but you have to sit through unpleasant medieval people being unpleasant to each other.

  2. 2
    11:17 am, October 1, 2015

    Indighost sez:

    Please don’t tell bums crumblingham about game of thrones, I fear if he knew about it then Nimitz would somehow gain unholy powers. The whole thing is mutilation pornogrpahy.

    On a random topic, Mr bimshwel if you were rich and powerful would you do a puppet show? Or perhaps something else.

  3. 3
    7:59 pm, October 1, 2015

    Frimpinheap sez:

    What bothers me is that pay-cable used to be special, but now it is treated as barely adequate. It is called “basic” cable like it is not special in the slightest.
    Yeeps, some basic cable channels have more advertising than the free networks.

    I do not mind unpleasantness so much when it is not set in a contemporary setting and supposed to make me think about life or whatever like every critically-acclaimed misery movie about scumbags who yell at each other. If the show is primarily for entertainment I can take misery a bit better. Prolonged storylines are generally better for that, since somebody who dies early on is generally not given great emotional prominence. Although I have also been led to believe that deaths on this show are unexpected. But I have also had much of them spoiled by other contemporary entertainment that presumes I watch Game of Thrones already. So I will get the misery without the pleasant anticipation of what happens next.

    Nemitz is already unholy in its scoundrelitude. It will be unpleasant, but also impressive if nemitz finds a new way to be annoying.

    I would not have to be rich to make puppets, just less terrified of and inept with 3d construction, and better at managing the bits of free time I have. Although if I were rich I would feel less bad about freeing additional time.

  4. 4
    3:21 am, October 2, 2015

    anteater sez:

    My brother had an unhealthy obsession with Under Wraps as a kid. I’m not surprised that the only other person on earth that has heard of it is you.

  5. 5
    11:48 am, October 2, 2015

    Frimpinheap sez:

    My sister was born in 1989 and was prime restructured Disney channel age when it switched. She watched all that trash. There was another called Halloweentown that was on incessantly but my anti-educated guess is that Under Wraps is the worst of the ones I was exposed to. There was another website called “Iceanvil” back in the period when everybody wanted to have a website where they complained about this stuff, and the writer obsessively cataloged all the disney channel movies and then dismissed them with negative-adjective combos, and my take-away from that was that he was paying too close attention, because outside of the Disney channel none of this junk was ever promoted or mentioned anywhere. He also was one of those people who knew who Uwe Boll was and expected everyone else also did and thus referred to the topic regularly but never provided any explanation.
    Of course I was in just the right position to watch Nickelodeon in 1991 when that was trendy, and managed to avoid becoming an ideological slave to it afterward, I hope.

  6. 6
    3:08 am, October 4, 2015

    Charmlaton sez:

    Wait, does your sister like Halloweentown, too? She and I should make a fansite! We’ll trick it up with the best pageview counter. Be sure to sign our guestbook.

  7. 7
    4:51 am, October 4, 2015

    chesse20 sez:

    hahaha here’s the funny muppets and their just looking at their phones instead of doing anything interesting with their lives haha just like you the intended audience.

    muppets? More like puppets hahahahaha

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