Show: The Muppets.
Episode: 6, “The Ex-Factor.”
Directed by: Randall Einhorn.
Running Time: 21 min.
Entering episode six of the show and finally we see the return of Kermit’s new girlfriend with a character arc in which he frantically tries to find her a birthday gift, while guest star Kristin Chenoweth (You’re a Good Man, The West Wing, Pushing Daises, Wicked, etc.) meanwhile agrees to a little road trip with The Electric Mayhem.
The strongest parts of this episode had to be the characterizations and some of the dynamics such as Chenoweth who was in top form in this episode, you can tell she was enjoying herself, and worked off the Muppet characters beautifully. Her interactions with the band were hilarious, and were by far the best part of the episode, Ms. Piggy during her reactions to Denise and Kermit was also very entertaining, reflecting a good balance of maturity and revenge on Kermit quite well, and a nice little side moments for cementing Scooter’s character and Uncle Deadly’s (I would enjoy seeing an episode with a story arc with just those two characters).
Getting the Muppets outside of the studio for a large portion of this episode was also well handled, utilizing some of what a pottery barn and a band van in the middle of the dessert could provide; though a part of you wonders exactly where the fictional filming crew of the Muppets lives is sitting during some of these scenes.
The weaker part unfortunately lies in the return of Denise since her conspicuous absence since the first episode in the opening, and this time the creators have given her a bit more of a fleshing out, but other than a decent one-liner delivered to Kermit, which was admittedly funny, the filling out felt rushed and haphazard, and wasn’t particularly helped by her lack of presence since the first episode. I doubt this will cement her or the relationship of Denise and Kermit in the minds of the viewers yet, though Kermit’s uncomfortable position between his current girlfriend and his ex was portrayed quite well on his part. You believe his presence within the awkwardness of this relationship is at least real.
What would work well for Denise’s character is if there was an episode that just had her centered in a story arc of her own, perhaps working as a Marketing representative and less like being there for the sake of Kermit. Another episode sometime after she’s established as an individual character somewhat, can be perhaps an episode with her and Ms. Piggy having to work together directly. While the later may sound a little old hat in terms of it being seen before, there is this needed conflict between the two, both to resolve the plot point, and as a sort of catharsis for those viewers who are not keen on Denise an what she implies in her relationship with Kermit. You can see hints that this episode was trying to do some of that a bit her and there, but not really.
A good episode for laughs, characterizations, and dynamics with some creative scenes and a well set up sequence of events on part of Ms. Piggy, but Denise’s own rounding out as a character could use a bit more work, so a mixed, though enjoyable, episode.
Episode Promo (i laughed a little I admit when I saw this): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5baqZURRhXk