My lovely pal Nancy wrote a lovely review of the new Muppet movie today. She liked it. She really liked it. Now normally, I would listen to Nancy. My recently discovered love of Parks and Recreation made me realize that she knows a thing or two about good comedy. But there is no way in hell I will be seeing The Muppets.
I think a large part of it is the nostalgia thing. I was not raised on the Muppets. Occasionally Kermit popped up on Sesame Street and there was a brief stint of watching Muppet Babies but otherwise nada. And I think that is a big draw for people. If there was a Doug or Rugrats or even David The Gnome (yes, really) film, I'd be there in a heartbeat. Because those shows bring me back to a time and place of innocence and happiness as I'm suspecting the Muppets do for some people. But not for me. For me, they are a little creepy.
I'm the most put off with them being a draw for adults. I don't feel like anyone refers to them as children's play things. We are supposed to love them as we turn into gray hairs as unconditionally as we did when we were in diapers. I've seen them on adult shows like SNL and Top Chef. And everyone pretends that they are real beings and not genitalia-less pieces of cloth. Jason Segel on Live with Kelly talked about traveling around with Kermit as though he's Paul Rudd. And I find that pretty darn strange. It would be like me telling a bunch of friends at a dinner party about how Santa hit on me at a bar. Except there, people would think I was fucking nuts. But with the Muppets, everyone continues to buy into the ruse, even when there are no children around. Hey Top Chef...I know Kermit didn't taste your ceviche. The jig is up.
Another sticking point for me is that, on a character level, I don't fine the Muppets all that likeable. Kermit is a fine every-frog, but the others? Miss Piggy is a bitch! What does Kermit see in her? Are we supposed to like them together? Are we supposed to like her? WTF? Gonzo and Fonzie are pretty darn immature which is problematic when it comes to things like character arcs. If they can't grow, why watch? And what on earth is up with Animal? Furthermore, what is Animal (other than, you know, an animal)? I want to see what everyone else sees in these furry fellows but I just don't. They seem like a pretty bratty group to me.
My final issue with the Muppets is that I know some awfully strange people who are into them. Like, potential serial killer strange. Perhaps it is wrong to make such a correlation, but I can't help it. I see those strange little puppets and I instantly think of the kinds of the kinds of people who want to own replicas and play with them. As adults. It's colored my view of Kermit and Co. And it is just another reason that I can not, will not see The Muppet Movie.