I feel that a lot of people are being too hard on the latest reinvention of the Muppets. Apparently they think it’s ‘The Office’ formula tears the living felt heart right out of Kermit’s chest. That is an overreaction.
First thing’s first, yes the new show would have been much better if it was in line with the original Muppet show. Their first incarnation is arguably the best incarnation with its mostly clean sketch comedy, smiling guest stars, and enthusiastic sincere theatricality. That being said, since then the Muppets have built their legacy on pretending to be other things. In Muppet Treasure Island they pretended to be pirates, in a Muppet Christmas Carol they pretended to be ghosts, and in the Muppet Wizard of Oz they pretended to be all sorts of crazy things.
In the new Muppet show they’re pretending to be neurotic passive-aggressive office adult-children. That’s all. This is their latest game of pretend. They’ve looked at ‘The Office’ and ‘Thirty Rock’ and said, ‘oh hey us too yaaaaaaaaaay’. This hasn’t killed them. It’s not a black mark on their record. If anything it’s just one sketch that only elicits chuckles in a generally hilarious decades-ling sketch program. Chill out. Go listen to Kermit singing the Rainbow Connection a few times and by the time you’re done the Muppets will be pretending to be something else. My votes: Muppet Law & Order, Muppet Star Wars, Muppet Lord of the Rings, and something like This is Spinal Tap with Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem. Only half-kidding with those.