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Discussion in 'Muppet Appearances' started by Phillip, Nov 25, 2013.
It was not that great my opinion doesn't matter I hate Gaga.
This review pretty much sums up my thoughts on this special.
This is my first post on this forum in a while. I should start coming back here more often...
Why is this forum becoming more and more negative as the days go by?
This is clearly a Lady Gaga special that got commissioned because her holiday special last year got great ratings and because she is massively famous and popular. Anyone thinking this was going to be a Muppet special with just a bit of Gaga is clearly deluded.
But remember a few years ago when nobody would have ever put the Muppets in a prime time Thanksgiving special on ABC with equal billing next to one of the (think of her music what you will) biggest names in music today? The best we could have expected is Kermit to duet on one song as a surprise guest or something.
And guess what? Now it can happen. And the Muppets were funny and current and had some terrific moments. In prime time. On ABC. On Thanksgiving. They weren't dull, lacklustre or too child-orientated like they were in many productions before the last movie. We got a taste of some Muppet Show wit. And I'm not saying it was perfect, but it was great fun and it should be exciting to fans. And if you hate Lady Gaga, then don't watch a Lady Gaga special thinking it will be A Muppet Family Christmas. And if you can't handle that some characters change a little with their new performers, then don't watch the new Muppet productions.
We're in a time where the Muppets are allowed to blossom again in a commercial and relevant way. Are we really just going to moan about everything because we've decided that it's time for Piggy to stop karate-chopping or because that one obscure background character we liked from a Muppet special from the 80s didn't happen to make an appearance?
Being a fan should be about taking joy from something, not about deconstructing everything to the extent that nothing can ever be more than a disappointment.
And yes, of course we shouldn't be uncritical either, but let's also be a little gracious.
Those are all very good points.We're fans so we're going to pick things apart and there are many lost opportunities, but I'm glad this special aired. I give the content, as a whole, a solid C grade.
The truth is, fans really just want the show back. And if it ever does, just wait for all those criticisms. But that's okay if the comments are constructive.
Again, I think part of the problem was the Muppets faded away into obscurity in the 2000s... then again, that probably wouldn't have happened (or, at the very least, the Muppets probably wouldn't have faded away as much as they had) if JHC didn't keep bouncing them around from company to company, who had no intentions of actually doing anything with them, only wanting to own them for the sake of owning them.
It seems this special will go down in the Muppet history books as one of the most debated. Apparently, it was either really loved or really hated. Personally I thought the show was great! As mentioned by others here, it was basicly Gaga's show WITH the Muppets not the Muppets WITH Lady Gaga. That would have made a big difference with fans. I'm sure there were many who were already biased against Gaga and no matter if it had starred her, Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, or Ke$ha, somebody would still complain. To me Lady Gaga IS a Muppet! She's larger than life and thinks out of the box and that to me fits well with them. There aren't many pop stars out there who write, produce, play an instrument, or sing live in concert as she does. She's very talented but I guess some get tired of her the off the wall antics. Someone mentioned that she was inappropriate for a Muppet special. Let's go back to the late 70's when Alice Cooper was a guest star on The Muppet Show. People tend to forget that it caused quite a controversy back then because he was the Marilyn Manson of his day who like Gaga, had a wild Rock N' Roll persona. He was deemed a devil worshiper because of the dark content he presented on stage but as always, you should never judge a book by it's cover. He's actually a very nice and laid back guy. And just like Gaga... it's all Rock N' Roll showmanship.
I understand what people said about the show being rushed or not enough holiday material etc. I agree there could have been more but for me, I'm just happy to see the Muppets on TV. They could have read the phone book and I would be happy! I think we as fans have reached that point where we look back and compare things to the time when Jim was there. That magic will never come back so I think it's best we just enjoy what we get when we get it. Not trying to be blunt but it's the truth! The Muppets had really faded from sight for such a long time and I'm really glad that Disney is doing what it is to bring them back into the spotlight. 90 minutes with them, Lady Gaga, and other guests on the special was great for me and I look forward to it being released on DVD (but I hope they release Muppet Show seasons 4 & 5 first)!
Okay, here is from the perspective of a Gaga fan... I watched the Muppet special because of Lady Gaga, not the muppets. But I have always liked the muppets, so it was a double pleasure for me. I'm not such a big fan that I know all the muppets names or anything, but I enjoyed it. I didn't know they had a new movie, so that was a surprise and I'm sure tons of other "little monsters" were also watching and may now go see the movie because of it. I assumed this special was a vehicle for Lady Gaga to promote her new album-- I mean it is called "Lady Gaga & the Muppets..." I agree about the duet with kermit of "Gypsy" being a bit awkward. But kermit was so adorable, I didn't really mind. I know that Gaga has worked with muppets before, she used a giant fame monster muppet in her Monster Ball tour onstage a couple years ago. I think she is a big fan of the muppets herself. I loved the special, it was much more fun with muppets in it... In fact, I would like to see it again! This may have not been considered the best performance for the muppet fan base, but it drew in so many new watchers that would not have tuned in without Gaga.
Yes, this was Lady Gaga WITH the Muppets, HOWEVER, the thing that some of us are trying to get across is that the Muppets took a serious backseat in the special: Kermit did an incredibly awkward duet with Gaga, and Piggy got her own number, but as others have pointed, for the other numbers, the Muppets were reduced to backup... in fact, in Gaga's first number, EM backed her up, then the rest of the Muppets joined in at the end, likewise, they joined in at the end of a later number, all the others were either Gaga solo or Gaga with the other celebrities. That's basically what we're saying: we knew the Muppets weren't going to necessarily be the driving force behind the special, however, with them receive equal billing, we weren't exactly expecting their usage in the special to be so limited either.
A lot of people are saying that the Muppets were treated more like guests despite sharing the title with Lady Gaga. And while the non-Muppet scenes may be a little too long, I'd say that if the Muppets were just guests they probably wouldn't have had all those Muppet segments without Lady Gaga.
It was absolutely mind blowing and amazing for me being a huge fan of lady gagas and the muppets! Two if my fav things together my life is complete! Haha my favourite scenes were the opening number and ending number and the scene were zoot mentions how he's been using the same wooden mouth piece in his saxophone for years that was hilarious! Very splendid for me indeed!
In the scenes with the Electric Mayhem, I kept expecting Lips to say something, considering that last winter Steve Whitmire supposedly had Lips say something in a way that makes him know who the character is now. This would have been an opportunity.
I can't believe that Janice was mostly cut from the picture (depending on what TV you watch it on... my TV is widescreen but I still barely saw her). There's three members in front, three in back... Why have a bigger space between members in the back?
There's really no reason whatsoever for this whole widescreen fad, especially TV... just because you crop out the top and bottom 25% of the picture doesn't magically make it "high definition" or something... that's like taking an old timey photograph, cutting off the top and bottom of it with a pair of scissors, and saying, "Look, now this photo is so much sharper and clearer!" Plus, you end up with one of three problems: the broadcast either has black bars on the top and bottom (which CAN easily be fixed by adjusting your TV screen to zoom, thus removing those bars), the broadcast is all squished in making everyone look like they tried driving inbetween two big rigs (SEINFELD has this problem on one of our local channels), or in the cast like last night the broadcast ends up getting the sides cut off to make it a fullscreen presentation (which everybody says is what happens when you don't watch something that's supposed to be naturally widescreen, but it's quite the reverse as I pointd out earlier).
You know what? Just read this; it gives the honest-to-goodness truth about widescreen and cropping:
Now, I WILL say this: yes, Muppet movies DO tend to look genuinely better in widescreen, but it seems like Muppet movies are the ONLY movies that have the side cropping issue people seem to claim happens to all movies, which is completely not the case, as the above mentioned article will point out.
There's a difference between cropping to widescreen and actually filming in widescreen.
I wondered why it was filmed in widescreen as well, I could not even see Janice in the band inserts! I did not even realize she was there until someone on here said she was!
Everybody was framed perfectly on my screen. I think your settings may be off. I wish television sets made it simpler for consumers. The items pictured on the left are correct. Those on the right are manipulated by the zoomed settings. I suspect this is the issue you've been having:
Also, I noticed Zoot's eyes are much larger now. They appear to be that way in the new movie too. Just an observation. Hmmm...
That's a funny article and it makes some good points, but there's more to it. I prefer to see recognizable film and television transfer samples that can be easily sourced because I'm certain that some of what is cited does go on more than we know. I've seen this butchery done to classic episodes of Law & Order and I don't like it.
Throughout the history of cinema there have been many aspect ratios and film stocks to accommodate them. You're right that the blacking out of the film negative is sometimes done in post production, but that is per the director's instructions much like a professional photographer cropping a photo to fit their vision. Most film is now shot and projected digitally so most of this is moot. I so miss the flicker of actual celluloid. That's the real crime.
Most directors of film and TV prefer widescreen because people naturally see in a panoramic view that covers our peripheral vision. (I'm talking about standard widescreen, of course. Nothing crazy.) It makes for a lush landscape rather than a confined box. Everything new is being shot and designed for widescreen without loss of quality. That wasn't always the case. Most modern films are also standardized for television's aspect ratio. Let's face it, most movies are in the theaters for less than a month anyway. They're being shot for the home entertainment market.
I prefer the wider screen too (so long as it's not crazy Lawrence of Arabia skinny), but I completely understand your angst about format changes. For decades, I special ordered many letterboxed films in order to accommodate the director's intended aspect ratio. These versions were relatively rare and they were not cheap. I'd often have to pay $50-80 more than pan-and-scan. That was a lot of cash to spend as a teenager. Ouch! LaserDiscs and DVD's later eased that pain a little by often offering bother versions.
I find it incredibly distasteful anytime I see an episode of classic television stretched into a widescreen. It's unwatchable to me. I love Lucy. She's silly enough. Syndication shouldn't treat her like Silly Putty! I'd rather have the vertical black bars on the sides.
The widescreen standardization began a decade ago. In fact, Joss Whedon shot the last two seasons of Buffy that way per the studio's request. However, he wanted the show's ratio to remain consistent so upon subsequent DVD reissues, he cropped out the extra widescreen bits and I don't fault him for it because that was his vision.
Someday screens will be projected holograms and there will be no box. The format ratio will no longer matter and artists will be free to choose their canvases freely. I hope there will be flying cars too. Shouldn't those have been invented by now? Anyway until that leap in technology happens, widescreen as we know it right now is probably here to stay.
I think they scalped Sweetums to make Gaga's wig.
I thoroughly enjoyed the show, though I was surprised they got away with some of Gaga's wardrobe (and with RuPaul). I'm not complaining, just surprised.
Here is the ratings for the show:
Not Good! Didn't A Very Merry Muppet Christmas, and Letters To Santa get really high rankings? Did not both of them air on Thanksgiving night on NBC? Looks like they need to do another TV movie for NBC...
Letters to Santa didn't originally air on Thanksgiving.
Ok according to Muppet Wiki it aired on Dec 17, but the point I was trying to make was that the Muppets seemed to do better on NBC, or by themselves in a Tv show, or movie like setting.
I wonder if ABC had put one of the older Christmas shows, or movies on at that time slot if it would have done better.
Sounds like most people either loved it or hated it, with legitimate reasons from both sides. The most prominent criticism seems to be that the Muppets took a backseat and felt shoehorned into the special. I think I'll give it the "Studio DC: Almost Live" treatment and just skip it. Hopefully as the Muppets regain their popularity we'll get more holiday specials like Muppet Family Christmas or Letters to Santa where the Muppets are truly the stars.
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