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Very Merry Muppet Christmas reairs on NBC December 6th

Discussion in 'Muppet Appearances' started by Aaron, Nov 21, 2003.

  1. Tera

    Tera New Member

    I have to disagree with most of what's been said in this forum. I LOVE VMC, and will be watching it for many years to come. Bear with me while I summarize my responses to what's been said...

    I think it was more adult than most Muppet shows, and I'm OK with that. Its not surprising, considering how adult the movie they were parodying was. My 2 and 7 year olds might not like it (except for select chase and Cirque parody scenes) yet, but I think they will as they get older.
    It also seems a bit weird to complain about pop culture references when the movie is a parody of a pop culture icon - Its a Wonderful Life. Are some of the references dated? Yes, but I still don't get all the references in the original Muppet Show, because it had dated references as well. Think about sketches and characters like Pigs in Space, Vet Hospital, Electric Mayhem esp. Janice...I could go on. As for new Muppets, what about Johnny?
    How can you like the Muppets without liking cultural references? :confused: All great comedy laughs at culture, espcially contemporary culture. Shakespeare and Jane Austin did it - why can't we? If we can't laugh at our own world, who can we laugh at? If the jokes are good enough, they'll hold up anyway. I think the vast majority of these are.

    I loved the Dot scene. I think these will hold up over time because the mood is dark and somewhat surreal. Even when this form of club has gone the way of the Dodo, the mood of the scene will carry the message.

    I didn't think Whoopi was 'dispassionate and uncaring' as God. I think her portrayl of God showed a Creator who deeply cares, but doesn't get involved in the day to day details of our lives. Only when something goes beyond our ability to change or cope does She step in. This is a very common modern concept of God.
    I thought it interesting that she didn't fix the problem for Kermit - she just helped him to see the good in his life. God didn't change the world; She changed Kermit's heart. If God can harden the heart of Pharoah, why not lighten the heart of a frog? (Its easier on the frogs than having the rain down on someone :) )

    I, too, was bothered by the topless thing. The joke didn't work, and stepped over the line for me. But that was one line in the entire show.

    I loved Gonzo's song, The Divine Miss P as the Cat Lady, all the parody sketches for the Xmas Eve show, Fozzie's chase scene, the Doc Hopper reference, and the tushie grab. I think its funny that a pig did it. I kept waiting for Kermit to parody the Indian Jones line & say "Pigs? Why did it have to be pigs?"

    Bottom line, I'll skip MCC and watch VMC and MFC every year.
  2. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    Well, he didnt say "Are you one of those Muppet Central people?" but we knew what he meant. Btw, Steve Whitmire wrote a really cool letter to MC readers not to long ago.

    Muppet fandom is unique, in that the fans are pretty underground (even though I think Muppets are well known the world over more than Disney)

    I dont feel VMC holds a candle to Muppet family Xmas...I feel that is the greatest thing JHC has ever produced, but for the era were in, I cant complain to much about VMC. The fact we got two pseduo Muppet features last year is really good.
  3. Don'tLiveonMoon

    Don'tLiveonMoon New Member

    Yeah, I didn't think she was too bad. Sorta similar to Morgan Freeman's take on God in "Bruce Almighty." I guess you're kinda treading on dangerous ground anytime you try to portray God. I just figure that nobody really knows for sure, so I'm not going to be quickly offended by someone's interpretation.
    Erin
  4. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I have to say, a lot of the complaints don't hold too much water.

    Innuendo... I counted 5, 2 from pepe, and one from a human in a longer string of jokes. Even still, it was very very mild! I've heard worse on kid's shows. One in particular, the hero said something like "(So and So) and her friends can join me! We can have a foursome... for golf!"

    Pop culture refferences. Yeah, the NBC placements and camoes sucked, and They were mad to make a Crocodile hunter joke, but come on... it's the writers... they were from the Simpsons, and every five seconds on that show is a pop refference. And Moulin Rouge deserved to be parodied!

    The Magic is gone... that is the biggest load of BS and you all know that! The performers give there all, no matter how bad the script is. it's like blaming an actor for a bad script. Not the actor's fault! The writing was much better here than MFS, and I would rather see more films like this than KSY, or those preschool videos (even the ones Jim made). The magic is still there! They give 110% to their performances, writing doesn't count. And saying they died with Jim... I can't even dignify that with a responce! :eek: If they did die, they'd cancell Sesame Street, they wouldn't do anything, and we'd just be all here saying "Remember that episode? that was a great episode. Too bad they can't make more!"

    Personally, VMC is the best telefilm I've ever seen. And though it's not the Muppet Movie or Follow that Bird, it's definately much better than "You're as Funny as Fozzie Bear!"
  5. pachalafaka

    pachalafaka New Member

    I have to agree with Dr. Tooth.

    I think Very Merry Muppet Christmas and Muppets from Space represent a new dawn for the Muppets and the very slightly more adult tone is more appropriate to that.

    If the Muppets had continued to make movies like Muppet Treasure Island, I think they would have got stale.

    To be honest, first time I saw VMMC, I didn't notice that it was a bit risque. I just found it funny.
  6. jediX

    jediX Active Member

    I don't believe this is the first time Muppets have attempted being edgy post-Jim. Back in the late 80's, the Jim Henson Hour was edgy (such as Kermit [jokingly] saying he would show 'maybe a little sex' to boost the 'ratings'). Once Jim passed away, they sort of went to "comfort" projects, IE Treasure Island & Christmas Carol. Neither of which pushed any major barriers such as the difference between The Muppet Show and Jim Henson Hour. After a while they began pushing the barriers again by attempting to appeal to the more adult audience, seeing as people began seeing them as children's entertainment rather than entertainment for everyone which JHH and many of the other projects done when Jim was still with us. Muppets Tonight sort of went towards the 'edgy' factor by doing things such as introducing a somewhat sexual character (Spamela) and the Tales From the Vet sketch where Dr. Phil gets drunk on egg nog at the holiday party. Frankly, I think The Muppet Show could have gone on for several seasons past 5, had Jim and the crew WANTED to do that many. I don't believe Muppets Tonight was phased out because they didn't want to make it, but moreso because they couldn't find an audience. That show was moved around more than any show I can think of, frankly. Friday nights, Sunday nights, then moved to Disney Channel, and moved around all the time there. TMS had its audience, MT just couldn't find its. The other reason I believe this series failed is because it attempted edginess (there were quite a few scenes on there that were VERY edgy when compared to the "feelgood" films of the mid 90's. One that comes to mind is probably THE funniest scene in the series, when Bobo is trying to seduce Cindy Crawford and says the wrong information from Rizzo.) that just wasn't targeted properly. I was in 5th grade at the time MT came out, and I thought it was absolutely hilarious...I guess not too many non-Muppet fans thought the same.

    It's 3AM, I'm exhausted, so I'll finish up this rant. This rumored "Muppet Oz" is nothing more than a step backwards to the days of MTI and MCC. Yes, Muppets have made quite a lot of progress towards the direction they were headed in the late 80's.

    Muppets HAVN'T lost their magic. It may seem that way because you might not be a child seeing it for the first time (no special effects impress me anymore -- cgi killed that) but a child seeing this stuff for the first time would have a similar feeling we all did the fist time we saw Muppets. And you also have to remember, the genius Jerry Juhl DID NOT write this film. I believe it lacked that feeling other Muppet films have because of that very reason. The characters still have the magic they always have.

    Ok, I seriously need some sleep. lol
  7. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    If we want to get technical, the first Edgy Muppet project for adults was of course the Land of Gorch segments on the first season of SNL! :zany:

    >>I think Very Merry Muppet Christmas and Muppets from Space represent a new dawn for the Muppets and the very slightly more adult tone is more appropriate to that.

    If the Muppets had continued to make movies like Muppet Treasure Island, I think they would have got stale.<<

    exactly! That's why I'm hoping up and down at MupOz. not only is it a step backward, but it's a giant leap in the WRONG direction. They have to follow a story line that someone else made up, with only minor changes. The Muppets play third string to humans, and they feel more like children's movies overall. Though I would have to say MTI was pretty good... much better than MCC...
  8. Chinchilla

    Chinchilla New Member

    I remember some scenes different...

    Is is just me, or did this year's airing of AVMMCM have some scenes changed from last year? These are the things I remember which seemed different...

    -did the guitar-playing Gonzo in the mall last year have a "tap-dancing brick" sidekick that was missing this year?

    - did the riverdancing electric mayhem rehersal degenerate into a fistfight last year instead of just keeling over this year?

    the followwing are things I am less certain of...

    -in the scene where Pepe was telling everyone how he got the theatre registered as an historic site, last year I thought he was still wearing the suit & tie, this year he was in a green sweatshirt?

    -in the scene where Pepe tells Ms. Betterman he wants to work for money instead of stardust...last year I heard him say "starbucks" and this year I thought I heard him clearly say "stardust" (which made the following latte joke kind of out of place)?

    So, am I totally mistaken? I couldn't figure out why they'd go to the trouble of reshooting/dubbing over those scenes anyway... :confused:
  9. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    No... everything was exactly the same.
  10. jorwick

    jorwick New Member

    I didn't think Whoopi was 'dispassionate and uncaring' as God. I think her portrayal of God showed a Creator who deeply cares, but doesn't get involved in the day to day details of our lives. Only when something goes beyond our ability to change or cope does She step in. This is a very common modern concept of God.

    Like I said. I didn't get through the whole thing yet.. but if you contrast the beginning scene where an Angel is trying to convice God to look at Kermit, with the beginning scene in "Its a Wonderful Life" where the Angels are proactively sending help, it sets up an image that is less than compassionate.
    Maybe the modern view of God IS that of the disinterested clock maker, but that is in direct opposition to the story of Christmas. Sending your son to be die for the salvation of Mankind is DIRECT involvement - that is the story of Christmas, and that is why I felt the portrayal was out of wack and inappropriate.

    I, too, was bothered by the topless thing. The joke didn't work, and stepped over the line for me. But that was one line in the entire show.

    Actually, I laughed out loud at the joke till it clocked in for me I was watching with my Child. Its not that I think that the Muppets should never make such jokes or use innuendo, but since this particular forum was a Chirstmas Special, and it came without warning (you know-- like the one they put on before South Park) it seems pretty inappropriate. I haven't had time to sit down and watch it by myself, and when I do, I will probably find it very funny. But part of the strength of the old muppets was that both Adults and Children could be entertained. I know, the clock can't be turned back, but that doesn't mean the goals of the production company should change.

    Oh, well, to each his own I guess. I am just sorry that another venue for "Family Entertainment" seems to have fallen into confusion about what is appropriate and what isn't, and so a degree where I have to start editing it for content.


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