Remember a few months ago I did an article on John Denver and The Muppets:A Rocky Mountain Holiday? It’s dreadfully slow and boring, but I went easy on it and said it was decent. Want to know why? BECAUSE THERE ARE WORST THINGS OUT THERE MY FRIENDS! I give you:
Ok, Ok. It’s not the worst thing ever. But it has problems. This came out a few years ago on NBC, and watching it makes me understand why The Muppets don’t appear on NBC anymore. Let’s take a closer look :
Kermit and Co are planning on spending Christmas apart for the first time ever. Kermt and Piggy are going away, etc. Gonzo has a young friend named Claire who asks him to make sure he mails her letter to Santa. A mishap at the post office causes the letter to not get mailed along with two others. Kermit, Fozzie, Gonzo, and Pepe then try to find a way to get the letters to Santa in time to for Santa to keep Claire’s Christmas wish.
What I Liked-
The Opening Scene/Music-Yeah the way this special opens is pretty decent. There is a cameo which makes sense followed by some shenanigans at the post office and it’s kind of cute. It feels like classic Muppet stuff. This will not last. I also have no problem with the music used in the scene or the rest of the special.
The Closing Scene-If you forget the plot, the special basically does, the ending scene is also just a classic Muppet song with the whole group singing when all the Muppets return to spend the holiday with Claire. Oh, you’re wondering what made all the Muppets drop their plans and come back? Yeah, like this special is going to explain that!! At least they tried to give Piggy an explanation, the rest just wander back for no apparent reason.
The Carrier Pigeons-Mostly because I need something here, I will say this scene was kind of cute. This was another idea to get the letters to Santa but doesn’t work out. The scene can be considered filler but they had to show them trying something before jumping to the airport.
North Pole-There is some good stuff when they finally get to The North Pole. Fozzie and Gonzo have a song which is nice. Yeah the scene is to fast and they don’t actually get into Santa’s Workshop but it’s still ok. Especially when Santa appears out of nowhere to grant the wishes.
Santa Claus-The scene with Santa and The Muppets in the sleigh was good. True there is some plot related stupidity in this scene but we’ll get to that in a bit. On its own it was a really good Santa.
What I Hated-
Miss Piggy-Alright let’s get this one over with. One of the common complaints from this special is the way they botch her character. What I didn’t mention in my summary is that while the gang is trying to figure out a way to save the day, all Piggy is interested in is getting away with Kermit and the more he delays the angrier she gets. People say that Piggy would never be THAT selfish and self involved. And to those people I say….yeah, you have a point. Even if she didn’t want to help, she would at least care about the situation and be understanding that Kermit is trying to save the day for the girl. She just comes off as a nasty bitch here, and that is not Piggy.
The Airport Garbarge-The show was ok till this point. But this is where the special just lost it for me. This is obvious filler, but that’s fine. The problem is that it’s IDIOTIC! Where do I start with this? The Muppets arrive at the airport looking for a flight to the North Pole. The find a magic airline run by a lady named Joy. The lady is played by Uma Thurman. Ok, this isn’t so bad so far and even had a cute 4th wall joke from Pepe. Then we meet this security guard played by Nathan Lane along with that bear who can never decide if he is a good guy or a bad guy. The guard doesn’t trust the Muppets, and then ends up detaining them after Fozzie makes a bad joke. Apparently that’s against FDA regulations. Just so dumb, and all it does is stall our heroes so that they miss the flight. Well, they nearly do because they up hanging on to the wing while the place flies….WHAT???Â I like Nathan Lane an all but this whole scene is just awful. I do find it funny we learn more about this stupid gaurd than we do Claire!! Speaking of whom…
Claire-I didn’t hate her, but I do have a question. WHY ARE WE SUPPOSED TO CARE ABOUT HER?? And why didn’t she just ask Gonzo to spend Christmas with her? And if they are friends, why did her mother look like she had never seen The Muppets before? And why was Jane Krakowski wasted in this special?
The Mafia Scene-Man, first it was the lame Sopranos spoof in Elmo’s Christmas Countdown, now this. While looking for a way to get the letters to Santa Gonzo and Pepe try to contact the Godfather, or something. I don’t the scene is just stupid and is obvious filler. The two mafia men are played by Tony Sirico and Steve Schirripa…THE SAME TWO WHO APPEARED IN THE ELMO SPECIAL!! This is worst because the scene makes no sense! Maybe I would appreciate this more if I liked The Sopranos but I doubt it.
Plot Cop Out-Ok, this is what happens. Santa finally gets the three letters. Now understand, the letters were accidentally taken by Gonzo, he had no idea where they came from except Claire’s. So the time comes to find out who the letters belong to, but the writers either gave up or something because the special just throws its arms up here. One letter is from Claire, fair enough. The other two? One is from Pepe who wants to sing like an Opera singer and the other is a callback to that Nathan Lane character. Um, THIS DOESN’T MAKE SENSE! It feels rushed like they just wanted to get the thing over with. Why not just have it be the one letter Gonzo needs to deliver? By the way, Claire’s wish is to have some friends to spend Christmas with. You know, the very thing she expressed in her one scene in the beginning! So her asking Gonzo to stay for Christmas gets a shrug, but reading her letter to Santa gets his attention?Â And why did Gonzo wait until Christmas Eve to mail the letter anyway???
Beaker’S Girlfriend-Ok, one last moment I can’t stand. We get the typical Bunsen Honeydew bocthed experiment, which somehow creates a hot model who falls for Beaker. This is just one of many dumb cameos, did I mention Whoopi Goldberg’s pointless one? You know, I am done with this. Let’s just wrap it up!
Final Thoughts-I guess if I had to sum this up in one word it would be-FILLER!! There was so much potential with this and it goes nowhere! The plot is so insignificant they have to struggle to make the story work in an hour long format. The story concept wasn’t bad but the execution sucked and a lot of the characterizations just felt off. The pacing is also real slow, and yeah even the songs feel flat. It may be the worst Muppet Christmas special out there. Instead go watch A Muppet Family Christmas, that is freaking awesome!!!!
By the way, this Thanksgiving The Muppets were featured in a new special with Lady Gaga. And while the Muppets were clearly supporting cast, they were still charming and in character. I am gradually becoming a fan of Lady Gaga, and the Muppets are always fun.