One Million Moms Group Wants 'The Muppets' Off the Air & I Don't Totally Disagree

A controversial new prime-time version of The Muppets premiered this week on ABC, and I had the misfortune of catching the first episode. I actually think it stole a part of my inner child's soul. Advocacy group One Million Moms has started a campaign to get The Muppets off the air, and I can't say that I entirely disagree with them.


I heard some controversy about the group One Million Moms trying to get The Muppets off the air because Kermit wasn't wearing pants, and I scoffed. Come on. That's ridiculous, right? Neither does Donald Duck. Or Chip and Dale. Or any other number of anthropomorphized cartoon animals. So I did what any sensible person wanting to get to the bottom of something would do -- I went to the source.

I watched the debut episode of The Muppets, which aired at 8 p.m. on Tuesday. It's 22 minutes (plus Hulu ads) that I will never get back.
The million moms group has been criticized for being overly critical of the show, and while I usually think that they tend to go overboard on issues such as these, I have to agree with them.

This show is absolutely inappropriate for children. I am personally glad that I didn't know it was on, otherwise I might have sat my 7- and 11-year-olds down to enjoy it before bedtime. I would have ended up spending hours afterward answering questions about sad breakups, waxing jokes, and why Fozzie Bear's human girlfriend's parents asked them about their ability to have children together.

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The people behind the show quoted the late great Jim Henson in his 176 pitch for The Muppet Show to defend their decision to make the character more edgy. They quoted the muppeteer, saying, "Small children will love the cute and cuddly characters. Young people will love the fresh and innovative comedy ... College kids and intellectual eggheads will love the underlying symbolism of everything. Freaky, long-haired, cynical hippies will love our freaky, long-haired, cynical muppets because that is what show business is all about."

Let's be clear -- I love kids' shows where adult humor flies over their heads. But there was not only nothing kid-friendly about this -- it wasn't even funny. Kermit and Miss Piggy went through a very painful, and very real breakup. Fozzie struggled with getting along with his interspecies girlfriend's parents. Piggy had a weird and uncomfortable interaction with Elizabeth Banks, who was playing herself.

If The Muppets were going to be an adult retelling of one our favorite childhood memories, shouldn't it at least be funny? This was depressing, morose, and served no purpose whatsoever. I'm just glad my kids didn't see it.

The show doesn't deserve to be taken off the air just because it's not appropriate for kids. It deserves to be because it's just a sad and depressing show in general.


Image via ABC

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