2023 was a wild year to be a Muppet fan. We were elated that The Muppets Mayhem was great, but then deflated when Disney cancelled it for some stupid reason (seriously, the show just won an Emmy, what the hell, Mickey?). We were weirded out by the many strange things Sesame Street decided to do, and we said no thanks to Fraggle NFTs. Also, my 2023 just kinda stunk personally too, so I’m glad to see the back of it and look to the future!
But what does that future look like? Well, I don’t know, I’m not a Time Lord like some grouches we know. But I know what I’d love for 2024 to look like in the Muppety world, and I’d like to share those hopes and wishes with you now.
Sesame Street Gets Better
I’ll freely admit I am not the target audience for Sesame Street. I am a 34 year old man and not a 4 year old child. I know what comes after the letter L (it’s M) and I know how to count to 100 if someone helps me through the 70’s part. But I have a real nostalgia for the show, and a genuine desire for it to do well! Sure, the most I may see of Grover these days are quick clips on TikTok, but that doesn’t mean I want his furry blue face off television.
Unfortunately though, Sesame just keeps on making odder and odder decisions. The show is slowly toning down the monsters for more humanoid characters, and while I understand it’s important for children to see themselves reflected on the television, does it need to be to the detriment of the characters we know and love? Let’s not forget that Muppets like Big Bird, Cookie Monster and Oscar carried the show for 50 years. Sure, let’s make room for characters like Wes, but let’s make sure we’re still keeping up with Baby Bear.
Sesame Street needs to be funny AND educational, not one or the other. They’re barely even funny anymore, and perhaps the announced change to a more serialised format may allow more room for this sort of thing. Granted, we’ll have no idea what that looks like this year as Season 56 isn’t scheduled to start until 2025, so come back next year and we’ll probably mention it again (Hey Siri, remind me to talk about that again in 12 months. The Sesame serialised thing. No, don’t order me cereal. Actually, some Lucky Charms would be good.)
And let’s remember what Sesame Street has stood for, and get rid of partnerships with NFT companies or that god awful Cameo-AI atrocity they began a few months ago. I know you want Cookie Monster to say hello and ‘eat your vegetables’ to your nephew, but let’s not do it like this.
More Muppet Mayhem
No, not more Muppets Mayhem (although I certainly wouldn’t say no to that #RenewMuppetsMayhem), but more Muppets in general! It’s always concerning when Disney doesn’t renew something The Muppets have done. It places them back in this weird sort of limbo, where they’re relegated to short social media videos and the odd appearance on some ABC game show. Last year’s Muppets Mayhem really proved that The Muppets could be great again under the right circumstances, in fact I’d argue the last few years (since Muppets Haunted Mansion) have been the best under Disney’s reign.
Disney Plus is a great home to let The Muppets run wild, and I’m hoping the recent Emmy win as well as the critical acclaim that came with The Muppets Mayhem have shown Disney that they have a viable franchise on their hands. The current team at Muppets Studio are a wonderful bunch of people who seem to want the performers more involved in the creative side of the business, which can only mean great things. Adam Goldberg and Jeff Yorkes are a fun addition to the creative team, so partnering them up with Bill Barretta or whoever else might want a crack is an idea I’d love to see happen this year.
May I suggest a Mr Curly Twirly spinoff, anyone? I’ve had some ideas…
Fraggle Rock: Back To The Rock Season 2 Is Awesome
I can only assume we’re getting Season 2 of Fraggle Rock: Back To The Rock this year as production concluded close to 12 months ago. Season 1 was genuinely wonderful, and I’m really expecting a lot from Season 2, which I am sure I won’t be disappointed by. John Tartaglia seems to have thrown his entire heart into making it, which is truly joyful knowing how much he cares. Karen Prell and Dave Goelz are back, Donna Kimball will continue doing amazing things with Mokey, and Jordan Lockhart will, I’m sure, continue to astound with how good his Wembley is.
I hope they don’t rely too much on guest voices though. That was my least favorite part of Season 1, having Kenan Thompson or Ed Helms voice various creatures. I find it extremely distracting and it never quite worked properly. That said, Season 2 looks like it includes Brett Goldstein and Catherine O’Hara and they’re both damn treasures, so while I may not necessarily love the execution, I’m sure I’ll love the effort.
…How would Moira Rose pronounce ‘Gobo’?
More Fun On ToughPigs
What a silly site we have, filled with informative news pieces and opinionated reviews and fun interviews. Of all things on my 2024 Hopes list, this is the only one that’s a given. The team here are already planning a myriad of great content, which include some very exciting new podcast ideas. What else will be come up with? Who knows!?
Maybe Matthew Soberman will write an article about how that one character from that one thing is really funny! Maybe Shane Keating will write a news piece about some news that gets announced! Maybe Joe Hennes and Ryan Roe will remind me that I was supposed to write that article that I forgot about! Maybe Becca Petunia will continue to be the moral voice of reason! Maybe that one character you love might be doing promo for something and let us talk to them! All that and more (probably) on ToughPigs in 2024!
By Jarrod Fairclough – Jarrod@ToughPigs.com
Click here to get a Mr Curly Twirly spinoff on the ToughPigs Discord server!