The Muppets S01E12 “A Tail Of Two Piggies” REVIEW
Airing in the UK on Sky One, Mondays, 8pm
Writers: Nell Scovell, Steve Rudnick
Director: Randall Einhorn
Essential Plot Points:
- Miss Piggy struts her stuff for the press at the premiere of Zootopia, but suffers a slight wardrobe malfunction when her tail pops out of her dress.
- The network orders her to apologise on the show amidst protests.
- However, a young fan comes up to Miss Piggy and explains that seeing her tail made her feel better about the time her own tail popped out during gym class and she was bullied for it.
- Miss Piggy suddenly realises that she can be a role model, and sets out to change the world by tweeting she will “#UnveilTheTail” on the show that night.
- Unfortunately the network threatens to fire everybody, but Kermit comes up with an alternative plan: everybody else wears tails instead.
- Joan Jett joins in. (Joan Jett, guys!)
- Elsewhere, Gonzo is still sad about his relationship breaking up, so rents a bachelor pad with Rizzo and Pepe to help himself move on.
Now here’s an episode that’s firing on all cylinders, rather beautifully parodying our looks-obsessed age by having Miss Piggy accidentally showing off her twirly tail and scandalising everybody… while other species quite happily parade their perfectly-straight tails without anybody saying a word. Add to this a pointed little game that has Animal trying to guess Kim Kardashian’s tweets from Miss Piggy’s and the writers are basically telling us that modern society is vacuous and petty – yes, we see what you did there guys!
It does work, however, as there is something rather shocking about that little curl of tail popping out of Miss Piggy’s dress. Although, to be fair, it’s more shocking that the caterers on her show serve bacon…
There’s another subtext going on here, too, as Gonzo, Pepe and Rizzo throw a pool party and can only entice ladies along if they show they’re supportive of feminism. Wow, was the original Muppet Show this subversive in the ’70s? Course, the sight of prawn Pepe chatting up a human does open a whole new can of worms we’re really not sure about.
And then, in a rather glorious finale, none other than Joan Jett (Joan Jett, guys!) comes on the show and sings “Bad Reputation”, bringing the house down. Bravo, The Muppets. Bravo.
- Joan Jett (Joan Jett, guys!)
- Sharknado 1, 2, 3 and 4 star Ian Ziering
- Miss Piggy says she’s spent her career downplaying being a pig. “You are aware your name is Miss Piggy?” asks an incredulous Dudley. Her reply? “So? Letterman doesn’t work at the post office.” Can’t really argue with that one.
- Rizzo to Gonzo, about his ex-girlfriend: “You gotta let this go! That chicken has crossed the road!”
Pepe: “And you gotta stop wondering why.”
…The dialogue in this episode really is top-notch.
- Big Mean Carl’s cousin, Carla, is a blast. But what happened to Scooter? He got eaten by Carl!
- Sweetums blunders around the show’s set against a painted skyline. Kermit takes one look at him and says, “It’s like a Japanese monster movie.” It’s a tiny, throwaway line, but boy, is it spot on. Why hasn’t there been a Godzilla Vs Sweetums movie yet?
- Miss Piggy says her new album will be called Piggy 25 – a reference to Adele naming her albums after her own age. Thankfully Miss Piggy, who is most definitely not 25, qualifies her statement by adding, “Give or take.”
- Animal recognises a quote by Winston Churchill? Is he a secret history buff? A well-read connoisseur? A genius? THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING.
- Miss Piggy is fond of using waterboarding to maintain her looks. “I tell my waterboardist everything,” she says proudly. Jokes about waterboarding on a kids’ show? Well, taste-wise it’s probably not the best idea, but to be honest we’re more worried about how she tells her waterboardist everything given that her mouth would be full of water… There’s a puzzler.
- See how Disney snuck in a little ad for Zootopia (aka Zootropolis in Europe – read our review here) at the start of this episode? Well, you can’t really blame them – it’s a cracking film. But what next? Subtle prods for viewers to go to Disneyworld? Plush toys of the Muppets cast and instructions for where to buy them? It’s a slippery slope…
- The reference to the One Million Angry Parents Association protesting about Miss Piggy’s tail is a sly reference to the right-wing One Million Moms organisation, who regularly complain about the immorality of US life. A puzzled Kermit says, “I can only see three of them.” Sam replies, “They like to round up.” One Million Moms is, funnily enough, also fond of doing this, as their numbers are actually in the thousands.
- One Million Moms, by the way, don’t like The Muppets because Kermit doesn’t wear trousers. …Seriously. We’re not making this up.
- Best Quote: Scooter, holding a newspaper: “Did you guys see this?”
Chip: “Yeah, it looks like they printed a computer on some weird paper.”
Reviewed by Jayne Nelson