Author Topic: Muppets Now  (Read 1531 times)

Small Man Big Horse

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Muppets Now
« on: July 31, 2020, 10:55:48 AM »
This is a new Disney+ series that's supposedly unscripted, though that's a fucking lie, maybe a couple of responses from the celebrities involved are but the rest of it clearly isn't. There's a couple of funny moments but it surprised me by being quite shit elsewhere, and whoever they've got doing Kermit's voice is pretty poor at it, it's way too nasally at times. I had high hopes and I'm a big fan of these furry bastards, and the advance reviews suggested this was a return to form after the previous attempt at making a tv show, but it isn't, and I was hugely disappointed.

Re: Muppets Now
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2020, 10:59:51 AM »
This is a new Disney+ series that's supposedly unscripted, though that's a fucking lie, maybe a couple of responses from the celebrities involved are but the rest of it clearly isn't. There's a couple of funny moments but it surprised me by being quite shit elsewhere, and whoever they've got doing Kermit's voice is pretty poor at it, it's way too nasally at times. I had high hopes and I'm a big fan of these furry bastards, and the advance reviews suggested this was a return to form after the previous attempt at making a tv show, but it isn't, and I was hugely disappointed.

I've just finished it. It's not great yet. Throughout watching it I kept thinking of funny or moving (Muppets at their best do pathos really well) from Muppets treasure Island and the 2011 Muppets movie, which isn't a great sign for their new muppets show if all I thought about was how much I'd rather be watching older Muppets content.

Kermit's voice is terrible.

Lisa Jesusandmarychain

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Re: Muppets Now
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2020, 11:00:05 AM »
Francis Ford Coppola considers

I can be a right Muppet meself, on occasion.

Re: Muppets Now
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2020, 11:01:26 AM »
Francis Ford Coppola considers

I can be a right Muppet meself, on occasion.

Boo!

Lisa Jesusandmarychain

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Re: Muppets Now
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2020, 11:05:38 AM »
Should have got Ray Romano in to do Kermit's voice.

Re: Muppets Now
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2020, 11:10:40 AM »
I read that the guy who used to be Kermit's voice from the 90s - a few years ago was unceremoniously dropped by Disney for no reason. Pretty bad decision because the new guy is bad.

Re: Muppets Now
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2020, 11:15:45 AM »
They should've got Jordan Peterson

Gurke and Hare

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Re: Muppets Now
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2020, 11:53:04 AM »
whoever they've got doing Kermit's voice is pretty poor at it

That's generous, I'd have gone with "not even trying".

Re: Muppets Now
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2020, 11:55:23 AM »
I read that the guy who used to be Kermit's voice from the 90s - a few years ago was unceremoniously dropped by Disney for no reason. Pretty bad decision because the new guy is bad.

Allegedly, he was dropped because he was difficult to work with, and had quite a lot of "unreasonable" demands. But essentially - he was Kermit. Henson chose him to be Kermit. And he was bloody good at it. For a beloved character to survive a voice change in terrible circumstances, and to retain its popularity with the sucessor, you keep that performer and you do what you can with his demands. Because that guy was Kermit for thirty years, and WAS Kermit.

The new guy is a good performer; he's been with the Muppets for just as long. He was Whitmire's stand-in for ages. But he's not a good Kermit; he's the touring Provincial Theatre Kermit.

Small Man Big Horse

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Re: Muppets Now
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2020, 11:59:30 AM »
I've just finished it. It's not great yet. Throughout watching it I kept thinking of funny or moving (Muppets at their best do pathos really well) from Muppets treasure Island and the 2011 Muppets movie, which isn't a great sign for their new muppets show if all I thought about was how much I'd rather be watching older Muppets content.

I did wonder if having watched The Muppets Movie and The Muppets Christmas Carol in the past six or seven months had influenced my response, so I'm glad I wasn't the only one disappointed by it, the AV Club gave it a really positive review which I can't understand at all, though it was based on the first four episodes so I can only hope it gets better.

Quote
Kermit's voice is terrible.

That's generous, I'd have gone with "not even trying".

You're both not wrong and I was way too kind, I didn't think it was horrendous in the RuPaul segment but everywhere else it was appalling.

Re: Muppets Now
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2020, 12:04:41 PM »
Disney Muppets is a twat

Re: Muppets Now
« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2020, 12:18:42 PM »
I did wonder if having watched The Muppets Movie and The Muppets Christmas Carol in the past six or seven months had influenced my response, so I'm glad I wasn't the only one disappointed by it, the AV Club gave it a really positive review which I can't understand at all, though it was based on the first four episodes so I can only hope it gets better.

You're both not wrong and I was way too kind, I didn't think it was horrendous in the RuPaul segment but everywhere else it was appalling.

The problem extends to the Larry Sanders esque sitcom they did a few years back. I think the Muppets is going through a bit of a zombie Simpsons stage. But, considering their golden age extended to 90s and they were still making good content (2011 Muppets and Muppets Most Wanted are both solid if not spectacular) until the mid 2010s shows just how consistent they had remained in their writing.

Small Man Big Horse

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Re: Muppets Now
« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2020, 12:28:08 PM »
The problem extends to the Larry Sanders esque sitcom they did a few years back. I think the Muppets is going through a bit of a zombie Simpsons stage. But, considering their golden age extended to 90s and they were still making good content (2011 Muppets and Muppets Most Wanted are both solid if not spectacular) until the mid 2010s shows just how consistent they had remained in their writing.

I really loved the 2011 movie but struggled with Most Wanted, I really tried to stick with it but my dislike of Ricky Gervais is so strong, and I found him so irritating in it, that I ended up quitting after about half an hour, but I guess I should give it another shot, and perhaps in the light of the last two series it will seem better.

Re: Muppets Now
« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2020, 01:05:59 PM »
I really loved the 2011 movie but struggled with Most Wanted, I really tried to stick with it but my dislike of Ricky Gervais is so strong, and I found him so irritating in it, that I ended up quitting after about half an hour, but I guess I should give it another shot, and perhaps in the light of the last two series it will seem better.

I hate Ricky Gervais. I love Ty Burrell. I'm torn.

Re: Muppets Now
« Reply #14 on: July 31, 2020, 01:16:33 PM »
It's perverse that they insist on not doing the obvious and making a straight revival, in format if not in name, of The Muppet Show, even though that's what the two recent movies sort of teased. I know Muppets Tonight flopped 20 years ago, but I hardly think that means it wouldn't work on a streaming format in 2020.

I much preferred Muppets Most Wanted to the 2011 movie, which was sort of nice I guess but too nostalgia-driven , and too human-centric. I know Frank Oz is a bit of a grump, but I think his comments about Kermit etc being out of character were fair.

Old Nehamkin

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Re: Muppets Now
« Reply #15 on: July 31, 2020, 01:20:13 PM »
Kermit, Wallace from Wallace and Gromit... why do they keep handing these iconic voice acting gigs to people who are totally shit at doing the voice.

Shit Good Nose

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Re: Muppets Now
« Reply #16 on: July 31, 2020, 01:26:52 PM »
Kermit, Wallace from Wallace and Gromit... why do they keep handing these iconic voice acting gigs to people who are totally shit at doing the voice.

I haven't heard the new Kermit (though I am aware it's a guy who's been with them for ages), but I think the guy who does Wallace now is alright.  In fact the first time I heard him (in an ad for summat or other) I thought it must've been one of the last things that Sallis did before he died.

Old Nehamkin

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Re: Muppets Now
« Reply #17 on: July 31, 2020, 01:38:21 PM »
I haven't heard the new Kermit (though I am aware it's a guy who's been with them for ages), but I think the guy who does Wallace now is alright.  In fact the first time I heard him (in an ad for summat or other) I thought it must've been one of the last things that Sallis did before he died.

Hmm, maybe I should look up some of his more recent efforts. I remember hearing his Wallace for the first time in this ad for the London Science Museum and finding it far too low and hoarse for my tastes, like he was really struggling to reach the higher end of Sallis' vocal range. But to be fair that was 11 years ago so maybe he's made some progress since then.

Jumblegraws

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Re: Muppets Now
« Reply #18 on: July 31, 2020, 01:57:19 PM »
The thing that really sets The Muppet Show apart from the various attempts to make new prime time show featuring the Muppets (Muppets Tonight, The Muppets, etc) is that it featured sketches that were just pure, dazzling puppetry, sometimes without any overt comic element. Is there anything like that in this new show? Something that showcases the techniques and artistry involved as opposed to just chasing Muppet yucks?

Re: Muppets Now
« Reply #19 on: July 31, 2020, 02:15:51 PM »
Kermit, Wallace from Wallace and Gromit... why do they keep handing these iconic voice acting gigs to people who are totally shit at doing the voice.

It can't be hard to find someone who can do a decent Kermit voice; I'm guessing the problem is finding one who's also an experienced puppeteer.

Re: Muppets Now
« Reply #20 on: July 31, 2020, 02:17:22 PM »
Hmm, maybe I should look up some of his more recent efforts. I remember hearing his Wallace for the first time in this ad for the London Science Museum and finding it far too low and hoarse for my tastes, like he was really struggling to reach the higher end of Sallis' vocal range. But to be fair that was 11 years ago so maybe he's made some progress since then.


The new guy is pretty indistinguishable from Sallis these days. I think part of the issue initially was Sallis was so much older, it's hard to convincingly put that into the voice. He's got it now.

Re: Muppets Now
« Reply #21 on: July 31, 2020, 02:31:30 PM »
I much preferred Muppets Most Wanted to the 2011 movie, which was sort of nice I guess but too nostalgia-driven , and too human-centric. I know Frank Oz is a bit of a grump, but I think his comments about Kermit etc being out of character were fair.
I think the 2011 movie is pretty solid, and I say that as someone who is not all that keen on musicals. Muppets Most Wanted, on the other hand, makes a mis-step so jaw-droppingly bad it even made me forget Gervais was in the movie. Namely, it features comedy gulags. The Minions movie had a comedy torture chamber, which I thought was bad enough in a kids' movie, but creating a so-called comic interlude set in riffing on a death camp is genuinely unforgivable. I'm surprised it didn't get more pushback at the time.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2020, 02:51:28 PM by Pavlov`s Dog`s Dad`s Dead »

TheMonk

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Re: Muppets Now
« Reply #22 on: July 31, 2020, 02:49:27 PM »
There’s something off about the whole Whitmire thing.
And recent attempts seem to focus on being down with the kids.
The old muppets had an odd mix of warmth and cynicism. The warmth is gone now.
Pass.

Shit Good Nose

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Re: Muppets Now
« Reply #23 on: July 31, 2020, 03:10:36 PM »
There’s something off about the whole Whitmire thing.
And recent attempts seem to focus on being down with the kids.
The old muppets had an odd mix of warmth and cynicism. The warmth is gone now.
Pass.

As the Whitmire thing was happening, there were mentions of sexual misconduct (in addition to the "difficult to work with prima donna" stuff), but he denied them and nothing else ever came of it.

I was one of the (very) few CaBbers that didn't mind the 2015 series, but I know what you mean about the warmth missing - they didn't even subtly hide the fact that every muppet had some form of mental health issue and most of them dealt with it by boozing up after every show.

Re: Muppets Now
« Reply #24 on: July 31, 2020, 03:18:54 PM »
The YouTube sketches the did regularly a few years back are tremendous fun. Just pure Muppet action that could've been clipped from The Muppet Show. They still do them now and then.

Stand By Me ("I'M A BUNNY") and the Swedish Chef doing Popcorn being ace.

Re: Muppets Now
« Reply #25 on: July 31, 2020, 03:24:52 PM »
There’s something off about the whole Whitmire thing.
And recent attempts seem to focus on being down with the kids.
The old muppets had an odd mix of warmth and cynicism. The warmth is gone now.
Pass.

You've hit the nail on the head. As well as chuckles, what's made the Muppets endure is their warmth and melancholy. Rainbow Connection is a very melancholy song, and that runs all the way up to the 2011 movies.

These lyrics are from Pictures in my Head point to that quite well:

Quote
Is there more I could have said?
Now they’re only pictures in my head.
That’s why my green is feeling grey
Sometimes even frogs have rainy days.

...

Would anybody watch or even care?
Or did something break we cant repair?


That feeling has been missing for years.

But it's definitely salvageable. The 2011 movie was as nostalgic as it was because it had to revive the franchise. It had been a while since the last good movie. It did the same job that Goldeneye did for Bond, so it definitely could happen again.

Re: Muppets Now
« Reply #26 on: July 31, 2020, 03:56:37 PM »
Don't bank on it. Though The Muppets 2011 was great, these days Disney have far too much control over the franchise. Now it's just about money.

That's not to say when the Hensons were in charge it wasn't also about the money, but they understood the soul of the characters.


Re: Muppets Now
« Reply #27 on: July 31, 2020, 04:04:11 PM »
I’m genuinely surprised at how well people seem to regard The Muppets (2011). I’d just finished a binge watch of the original series and subsequent movies and felt the 2011 offering was completely tonally misjudged.

The muppets were always charming, heartfelt, and sincere, but the ironic tweeness of Life’s A Happy Song seemed more in keeping with Disney’s self-lampooning in Enchanted than any of Henson’s work.

It also seemed like utter madness to relegate the muppet’s cast of incredible, impactful characters to what felt more like a series of cameo vignettes, in order to have the story focus on a new, bland, unremarkable ‘everyman’ character puppet.

Re: Muppets Now
« Reply #28 on: July 31, 2020, 06:00:14 PM »
The thing that really sets The Muppet Show apart from the various attempts to make new prime time show featuring the Muppets (Muppets Tonight, The Muppets, etc) is that it featured sketches that were just pure, dazzling puppetry, sometimes without any overt comic element. Is there anything like that in this new show? Something that showcases the techniques and artistry involved as opposed to just chasing Muppet yucks?

I think you'd need involvement from The Jim Henson Company to pull that off. Disney just wants to use the properties they've bought. As with Star Wars, there's little incentive to create anything new.

Re: Muppets Now
« Reply #29 on: July 31, 2020, 06:16:35 PM »
The Muppet Show is the greatest TV entertainment* programme of all time.


*it's really its own genre, but it has to be categorised as something

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