The Muppets S01E03 “Bear Left Then Bear Right” Review
Airing in the UK on Sky One, Mondays, 8pm
Writers: Nell Scovell, Steve Rudnick (teleplay); Dave Caplan, Gregg Mettler (story)
Director: Randall Einhorn
Essential plot points:
- Kermit feels too awkward to tell Fozzie that the sketch he gave him to read is terrible, so instead he bluffs and says it can’t be on the show because it’s good enough to be a movie.
- Fozzie promptly quits and goes off to write a screenplay, leaving Kermit feeling terrible.
- Miss Piggy is furious when guest Christina Applegate plays a video of the porcine diva falling face-first into a cake during a party. Miss Piggy wants revenge.
- Gonzo is about a meet a woman he met through a dating website, but is nervous because his profile picture was actually a picture of Liam Hemsworth. So he ropes in Liam to tell his date it’s not really him.
- Fozzie’s replacement, comedian Nick Offerman, is a bit of a dick.
There are some wonderful lines in this episode (“I should just sell my house and move back to Mississippi,” says Kermit at one point. “Lower taxes, all the mosquitoes you can eat – I can make that work…”). However, for the third week in a row Fozzie gets a huge chunk of the story, this time elevated to the A-plot, and it’s fast becoming clear that while the hapless bear is adorable and funny in small doses, he’s such a clueless doofus that he can also be annoying if he’s around a lot. Perhaps it would be wise to let him rest for a while and give another member of the huge Muppets cast a turn in the spotlight, eh?
Still, with Fozzie out in the woods trying to be a writer (“I swallowed a bug!” he cries, channelling River from Firefly for a moment), Parks & Recreation legend Nick Offerman gets a few scenes to make us chuckle. You can’t help feeling he’s a little wasted, mind you, particularly when he can be as funny as he is here. Luckily fellow guest star Christina Applegate is charming to the max, even volunteering to end up with a face full of cake to save Scooter’s job, while Liam Hemsworth seems to enjoy being referred to as “Mr Handsome Man” and gets to deliver the line: “I’ve been gorgeous since birth, but I have struck out at few times. Just at a super-high level.” You can’t fault the calibre of stars on this show so far, or their ability to be good sports!
- Liam Hemsworth
- Christina Appelgate
- Nick Offerman
- Rowlf the dog turning up wearing a cone to stop him “biting at his stitches”. Naturally, he simply takes it off so he can bite them anyway. Brilliant.
- Fozzie being unable to hang up a phone is surprisingly funny. (Kermit, mournfully: “It’s been 30 minutes…”)
- The repartee between Gonzo, Pepe and Rizzo as they tutor Liam Hemsworth is marvellous. Pepe is definitely becoming the breakout star of this series!
- Best Quote Fozzie: “You ever been shot with a tranquiliser dart?”
Kermit: “No, but I did lick my third cousin once and the walls started melting, so I feel ya, bro’.”
- Chip the IT Guy is absolutely terrifying. His eyes blink in such a disturbing fashion he could be a horror film monster. And is he supposed to look like Michael Keaton? Because he does…
- Kermit and Fozzie’s, “You tha man!” exchange isn’t as funny as everybody seems to have expected it to be. Unless you consider the irony that they’re not, er, men at all.
- Yes, yes, this is a silly TV show full of puppets, but Fozzie keeps driving without looking at the road ahead. You keep expecting him to die at any minute. Please stop doing that, big guy!
- Is this episode’s pun-tastic title genius or tragic?
Reviewed by Jayne Nelson