“The Muppets” Episode 1.3, “Bear Left Then Bear Write" Starring Steve Whitmire, Eric Jacobson, Bill Barretta, Dave Goelz, Matt Vogel; Guest Starring Christina Applegate, Liam Hemsworth, Nick Offerman. Written by Nell Scovell & Steve Rudnick; Directed by Randall Einhorn. (8 out of 10)
Whatever apprehensions I had lingering about “The Muppets” disappeared entirely this week. I laughed and laughed at the latest episode. There was a lot less Miss Piggy and more Pepe and Gonzo, as well as a belly-laugh-inducing scene with the Swedish Chef. Whom I love.
For her latest show, Miss Piggy invites Christina Applegate on as a guest, but the interview goes awry when the guest shares an embarrassing video of Miss Piggy falling face first into a cake. Miss Piggy, not one to take being embarrassed lying down, vows revenge.
The Swedish Chef runs into Christina and asks her for an autograph, and to make it out to “Meegan”. At first she thinks it’s a woman he’s asking for, but then she realizes that “Meegan” is the Chef. Again misunderstanding, she says “You go girl, live your truth.” Chef snaps his fingers and says “Okey dokey.” It’s a scene I can’t do justice to with words, but it was hysterical. And “how to say me in Swedish” is something I did just Google.
The cameras follow Fozzie after he decides to leave Piggy’s show to write a movie, but Fozzie’s scenes are the least interesting, in spite of his trek inspiring the episode's title. "He wasn’t funny, but he kept it clean,” Sam the Eagle says after his departure, and that mostly sums up the bear comedian’s segments. He doesn’t even talk about a fork in the road or moving right along, so I was eager to move right along to the next part.
And oh, boy. Pepe. Dear sweet Pepe. He is the true star of the show. When Chip the IT guy discovers emails and a dating profile on Gonzo’s computer, it’s revealed that he used Liam Hemsworth’s photo instead of his own. He’s supposed to meet Debbie that very afternoon and asks what he should do. Pepe: “Drink poison. That is the only move that will satisfy a Debbie.”
They sit down to talk to Liam “Mr. Handsome Mans” under the guise of asking him to be on Miss Piggy’s show, and they convince him to meet Debbie and then direct her attention to Gonzo. When she walks in, Pepe again has something to say, “You wouldn’t think a Debbie would wear slacks to the first date.” But the date doesn't go as intended.
The end segment reminded me of that time in “Muppets Take Manhattan” when Miss Piggy wears disguises and follows Kermit around, convinced he is involved with waitress Jenny. Evoking memories of beloved early Muppet movies is not a bad thing. Miss Piggy continues to seek revenge on Christina Applegate, but her plan, too, backfires. Hopefully next week our beloved Muppets will have more luck in love and revenge.