tms01hendersonOkay, let’s take the house lights down a little bit. We’re going to slow down the music, and slip into something more comfortable — because on today’s episode, it’s all about the love.

Here’s Florence Henderson dressed in a flowing tie-dye dashiki, appearing and vanishing in a snowy forest, singing “Butterfly of Love” and getting all ethereal. Apparently in 1976 it was okay to just be Enya every once in a while. I like it. It looks relaxing.

You know, Kermit’s building a pretty strong sexual harassment suit in this episode. The case continues just a couple scenes later, when Piggy interrupts the talk spot between Kermit and Florence. Kermit is admiring Florence’s eyes when Piggy appears: “Don’t ‘Hi Piggy’ me, you frog-stealer!” Florence explains that Kermit was just practicing on her what he really wants to say to Piggy. The pig swallows this line and makes her move on Kermit again. Kermit falls out of the shot, and Piggy can’t find him. Florence tries to give Piggy some romance advice, but all Piggy wants to hear is that Florence’s relationship with Kermit is just platonic. “I’m off to find my love!” she declares. Kermit re-appears — and when Florence touches him on the shoulder, Piggy bursts back in and attacks Florence.

Now, by now everybody should know about my personal affection for Miss Piggy. She’s my favorite Muppet in the whole entire world. But even I think that Piggy is overbearing and horrible in this episode. This episode is supposed to be a showcase for Piggy — but, like Scooter in the last episode, she only gets one shtick that she has to repeat over and over. She rushes up to Kermit, acts overdramatic and passionate, kisses him, and then runs away again.

Later on in the episode, Kermit is trying to get organized backstage when Piggy approaches again. “I tremble with desire and uncontrollable passion!” She goes on about how great it is, when he finally explodes: “I have a SHOW to do! Will you get OUT of here!” Piggy sniffs. “He loves me.” Kermit shrugs: “I give up.” “I knew you would,” she says, and tackles him for another kiss.

I’m sorry, no. They can do this scene four times — and, actually, they do — but it doesn’t get any better for me. My problem with Piggy is that she doesn’t want anything yet, so there’s not much of a character. She wants to be with Kermit, but she’s not really demanding very much in the way of affection from him. Even yelling at her to go away is interpreted as a sign of love, so the standards are pretty low affection-wise. She can tackle him and kiss him any time she wants, so what else does she want from him?

She’s missing something, and it took me the whole episode to figure it out. The thing that she’s missing is that she doesn’t want to be a star yet. She’s not asking Kermit if she can go onstage. She did the Temptation number in the first episode, and she’s had some supporting roles on Vet’s Hospital and the talk panel, but so far, she hasn’t shown any real desire to be onstage. All she does is roam around backstage, tackle Kermit and then wander away. She needs love, and right now she thinks that the only way she’s going to get it is by frog-handling Kermit. But once she starts seeking that love from an audience — from the world — then it’s a lot harder to achieve. That’s when she starts getting interesting.

By next season, Miss Piggy will become a complicated, vulnerable, fierce diva who plants herself center stage and refuses to leave the spotlight. That’s the Piggy I love. But here, in this episode, she’s… well, she’s just annoying, really. It’s like Piggy’s awkward adolescent stage, and it’s kind of painful to watch.

Piggy, my love. You’re so close to becoming a superstar. All you have to do is grow up a little.

You know, Kermit’s building a pretty strong sexual harassment suit in this episode. The case continues just a couple scenes later, when Piggy interrupts the talk spot between Kermit and Florence. Kermit is admiring Florence’s eyes when Piggy appears: “Don’t ‘Hi Piggy’ me, you frog-stealer!” Florence explains that Kermit was just practicing on her what he really wants to say to Piggy. The pig swallows this line and makes her move on Kermit again. Kermit falls out of the shot, and Piggy can’t find him. Florence tries to give Piggy some romance advice, but all Piggy wants to hear is that Florence’s relationship with Kermit is just platonic. “I’m off to find my love!” she declares. Kermit re-appears — and when Florence touches him on the shoulder, Piggy bursts back in and attacks Florence.

Now, by now everybody should know about my personal affection for Miss Piggy. She’s my favorite Muppet in the whole entire world. But even I think that Piggy is overbearing and horrible in this episode. This episode is supposed to be a showcase for Piggy — but, like Scooter in the last episode, she only gets one shtick that she has to repeat over and over. She rushes up to Kermit, acts overdramatic and passionate, kisses him, and then runs away again.

Later on in the episode, Kermit is trying to get organized backstage when Piggy approaches again. “I tremble with desire and uncontrollable passion!” She goes on about how great it is, when he finally explodes: “I have a SHOW to do! Will you get OUT of here!” Piggy sniffs. “He loves me.” Kermit shrugs: “I give up.” “I knew you would,” she says, and tackles him for another kiss.

I’m sorry, no. They can do this scene four times — and, actually, they do — but it doesn’t get any better for me. My problem with Piggy is that she doesn’t want anything yet, so there’s not much of a character. She wants to be with Kermit, but she’s not really demanding very much in the way of affection from him. Even yelling at her to go away is interpreted as a sign of love, so the standards are pretty low affection-wise. She can tackle him and kiss him any time she wants, so what else does she want from him?

She’s missing something, and it took me the whole episode to figure it out. The thing that she’s missing is that she doesn’t want to be a star yet. She’s not asking Kermit if she can go onstage. She did the Temptation number in the first episode, and she’s had some supporting roles on Vet’s Hospital and the talk panel, but so far, she hasn’t shown any real desire to be onstage. All she does is roam around backstage, tackle Kermit and then wander away. She needs love, and right now she thinks that the only way she’s going to get it is by frog-handling Kermit. But once she starts seeking that love from an audience — from the world — then it’s a lot harder to achieve. That’s when she starts getting interesting.

By next season, Miss Piggy will become a complicated, vulnerable, fierce diva who plants herself center stage and refuses to leave the spotlight. That’s the Piggy I love. But here, in this episode, she’s… well, she’s just annoying, really. It’s like Piggy’s awkward adolescent stage, and it’s kind of painful to watch.

Piggy, my love. You’re so close to becoming a superstar. All you have to do is grow up a little.

by Danny Horn

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