Muppet Show Misses Mark

The Muppet Show that debuted last night was a drastic departure from my memories. And left me feeling disappointed for my daughter and in our media culture.
(Last Updated On: September 23, 2015)

One of my favorite parts of parenthood is watching the wonder and joy on my daughter’s face when I introduce her to precious memories from my childhood, so I was excited when I saw the Muppets were coming to ABC. So much television isn’t appropriate for families anymore, that I was really looking forward to having something we could all enjoy together.

I remember Saturdays were bath night; we all raced to finish in time for The Muppet Show, which we watched as a family. I remember the funny chickens and Gonzo, the Swedish chef, and poor unfortunate Beeker. I remember laughing at the grumpy old guys and Fozzy’s perpetually awful jokes. It is a sweet, baby soap-scented memory.

Muppet Show completely misses mark and market by ruining a childhood favorite.

Which ABC completely destroyed tonight.The Muppet Show that debuted last night was a drastic departure from my memories. And left me feeling disappointed for my daughter and in our media culture.

It felt like watching a car wreck. Yes, Kermit, don’t look!

Within the first minute, a shrimp muppet talked about a bride’s dress being ugly because she was pregnant with 14,000 babies. Seconds later was a joke about an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting because alcoholism is hilarious, right? I lost track of the sexual references. Fozzy monologued about online dating, making thinly veiled homosexual jokes about getting the wrong kinds of offers (being a ‘bear’) and then saying there is nothing wrong with that, it’s just not for me.

I’m sure the old show had some humor directed at adults, but I don’t remember it. It certainly wasn’t as clearly adult as this new version. I don’t know if ABC meant kids to watch this at all, but I remember when the 8/7 time slot was specifically for family friendly programming. I did see the PG rating, too late, but I would have rated the content TV-14 at best.

Apparently, the previews suggested this new Muppet Show was for an older audience, but we don’t watch commercials. We even pause live TV to avoid them via fast forward, so we completely missed the warnings. Although, in this case the commercials were the least offensive part of this show.

We have so many choices about what we can watch, read, and do that I just can’t see watching this tasteless version of the Muppet Show.

When we put something in our lives regularly, we normalize it. Shows like this one normalize sin and gratuitous sexuality. Christian or not, no one needs childhood characters promoting alcoholism and every variant of sex possible. At one point, two rats were on a date and the segment suggested that they should have sex because he made such a nice dinner date for her. Do I want my child to think that she ever owes a man sex? or that sex on a first date is acceptable? She is way too precious to be treated that cheaply.

Philippians 4:8 ESV “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

True. Honorable. Just. Pure. Lovely. Commendable. Excellence. Worthy of praise.

The Muppet Show missed the mark in every way, except maybe that it is a pretty true reflection of the sad state we’ve let our culture and entertainment become.

The only way we influence the media is through what we watch because advertising dollars fund what is popular. More and more I’m choosing to support channels and programs that meet the Philippians 4:8 standard for myself as well as my daughter.

Advertisers won’t support it if we don’t watch. Just ask the ladies of the View.

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