Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Gonzo, You're Fired

This has to be the best news in a long time, and I mean that: America’s Next Muppet, a spoof of reality TV starring Jim Henson’s creations, is slated for sometime next year. I imagine it's going to mock the elimination format of Survivor, the cattiness of the contestants on America's Next Top Model, and maybe even the populism of American Idol. Do I watch Survivor? No. Do I watch Next Top Model? No. Do I watch American Idol? I plead the fifth. But I know they deserve to be mocked, and mercilessly.

I also know that the country, in these dire times, could use a new Muppet.

The Henson gang has always been a reliable source of fun. The Muppet Show was deliriously weird, and while I don't remember every nook and cranny of The Muppet Movie, it does feature one of my favorite lines, spoken by Fozzie: "Ah, a bear in his natural environment. A Studebaker." That just seems to apply a lot in life, I've found.

In short, the Muppets should make you happy, unless you’re my friend Ray, who once, after hearing me say that I enjoyed E.T. as a child, asked, "How could you care about that little raisin?" Where most of us have a heart, I suppose, Ray has a pile of soggy leaves -– not even the dry kind, which are fun to jump around in.

The one thing holding back my enthusiasm is that this does continue a troubling trend of using reality TV to choose public figures of importance. Pop stars, supermodels, and otherworldly comedic creatures made of felt are, I fear, the first steps on a slippery slope. I can easily see Presidential elections being similarly staged in the future -- twenty weeks of debates, with one candidate voted off at the end of each week (thanks for playing, Al Sharpton), and the ultimate winner sworn into office during sweeps week.

Come to think of it, that sounds easier for voters and fairer to candidates than our current set-up. I'll call Tyra Banks to see if she's free to moderate...

4 Comments:

Blogger Dezmond said...

Nah, the Muppets are cool. ET did look like a little raisin, though. It was Spielberg at his touchy-feelie worst.

5:51 PM  
Anonymous Dread Pirate said...

Isn't that how Presidential elections are run? All we are missing is Simon Cowell but if we could all vote by phone - the turnout would be amazing

3:37 AM  
Blogger Catsmeade said...

To me the Mupetts represent a simple splendor emondied in Kermits self-described raison d'être "...to sing and dance and make people happy."

Not to mention wisdom not born of cynicism. Life's like a movie, write your own ending.

Also, my inexplicably favorite quote:
"Look, father! A bear!"
“No, dear. That's a frog. Bears wear hats."

I mean, c'mon. Eh? Eh?:)

I also Must reccommend Wallace and Gromit (http://www.wallaceandgromit.com/fla/wg.html)to this category. Roger Ebert said it best "(they) venture out every morning to make the world into a safer place for the gentle, the good and the funny."

Possibly even Greg the Bunny (http://www.gregtbunny.com/). But he eats weed brownies.


Reality shows showcase people at their best, such as the talented young people of american idol dripping and squelching with classic doe-eyed dreams of stardom. Not unlike the muppets come to think of it. And at worst survivor's pettiness, back biting, and betrayal. Surely this is overall healthier for our collective beans, than, say, Knightrider. But, i mean, one has to appreciate it as such. I worry that we watch this goop and forget that it's telling us something about ourselves, friends, neighbors.

Dezmond's brain is a raison.

1:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love your "favorite quote." It has the same loopiness as my favorite, where Polonius, humoring Hamlet, says of a cloud "Ay, very like a whale."

The Baron

5:40 PM  

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