Aaron Barnhart lays out the case on his blog that ABC is colossally misguided in attempting to bring the Muppets back to TV with Americaâ€™s Next Muppet. His opinions, not mine:
- Commercials? OK.
- DVDs? OK.
- TV? No way!
After some comments on his site, I think the general concensus among Muppet fans is that we want respect for the soul of the Muppets as well as the humor. I think that’s not only possible, it’s probable, if not immediately.
Listen, the Disney/Henson marriage isn’t that old and the mouse has moved pretty quickly to make Muppet-themed ideas a priority for the company. It’s only a matter of time, in my opinion, before that union produces something really excellent. Disney, like all the big entertainment companies, might not be the same tight-knit, passionate entity it once was, but they still manage to wow us. Maybe not at the rate they once did, but don’t count them or the Muppets out yet.
I think the script for this new project would have to be good, but the project seems to have been in the works in some small form since last Summer. That either portends of a committee that will ruin it, or the slow, gradual build of a great concept.
The world needs Muppets. Sesame Street has used them to great results for the past 30 years. Fraggle Rock, Labryinth, The Dark Crystal and the original Muppet Show and Muppet movies still hold up well.
Muppets are awesome, and they always will be. True, they need a good steward now that both Jim Henson and Jerry Juhl are gone, but I think that will happen.
Look, the Muppets might not ever be what they once were, but how could they be? The world keeps on spinning, you know? Nothing holds the same bright sheen of childhood memories once you hit adulthood.
Still, the Muppets could be great and entertaining and sincere and silly and heartwarming again. I think they will be and obviously so does Disney.
Let’s not judge too harshly until we see where they go with this new concept, Americaâ€™s Next Muppet.
And if you want to see what respect for the Muppets breeds, check out Muppets Overtime, which I’m mirroring on this site now.