Here, There be a Writer

Saturday, November 21, 2015

The Muppets (TV): a look into the Modern

Do not own this picture. Used under Fair Use.
Did you ever stop to think that The Muppets would be back on Prime Time television?

I didn't.

~May contain spoilers and personal opinions~

The Muppets is the newest incarnation of the Muppets in the media. It was NOT what I was expecting either. I guess I am a bit of the classical Muppets gal and hoping for something like the regular variety type style Muppet Show, or even Muppets Tonight.

"The characters in The Office and Parks & Rec were always kind of Muppety, so it's nice to see that format being done with actual Muppets. It's not the Muppet Show everyone wanted, but for prime time TV, it works." ~David A. Scott Jr.

Having wandered through some of the review of the first episode I got the feeling that this show was thought to be overdone tripe in the vein of shows that have already come and gone Parks and Rec, The Office, or Modern Family. See there's a 64% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and about 69% of viewers enjoy the show. There must be something to it, I mean its the Muppets, the magic must be there, somewhere, even if its gotten mixed reviews. Right?

"It is like the office meets the Muppets. It is charming and true to the Muppets hilarious nature." ~Kaylara Allington

I was a little on the fence after the first two episodes. See, there were a few a points that made me question if I could watch this show for longer than an episode or two.              
          *First, there weren't a lot of musical numbers. The Muppets are about singing and music in my book. This show seemed to not have that staple with usually one, maybe two musical numbers per episode at most.
          *Second, the characters seemed to be out of character for their typical goals, desires, and pursuits. I will not spoil much, but it is strange to see Sam the Eagle trying to hit on a another Muppet character. It felt weird.
          *Third, and I have gotten this from others that here has always been a this thing about the Muppets. They are timeless and multi-generational, for kids and adults  are into them. They enjoy the songs, dancing, and general goofiness that comes with the Muppets. So for some people this show hasn't felt very Muppety.

"Like many people, the Muppets are a major part of my childhood - from the classic films to the not-so-classic films, to Muppet Babies, etc.  Particularly with the show (and the much loved but short-lived Muppets Tonight) and the films, I have watched them at different points in my life and been able to access them in different ways.  You get different jokes at different points in your life.  My issue with the new show is the total abandonment of those layers.  The Muppets were never "for kids" (well, except maybe for some unfortunate televised specials), but they always reached out to kids with love while still entertaining older audiences.  This show is funny.  The Muppets still seem like themselves (aside from whatever is going on with Janice), but it is frustrating for me to watch the show which is in no way inviting to children.  It loses some of that sense of magic and wonder in favor of giving over entirely to the cynical.  Yes, it is funny and entertaining, but for me, it just isn't the Muppets." ~Sara Love

I sort of felt the same way after watching the first two episodes. Being a classic Muppet person when it comes to the Muppets, its always been The Muppet Show or Muppets Babies, the countless specials and most of the movies (except Muppets Most Wanted, still need to watch that one). I love to see The Electric Mayhem play all manners of songs from Rock to Opera. The guests on the original show were unique, varied,  and always made it interesting, even when I didn't know who they were. See the Zero Mostel episode (Teyve from Fiddler and Pseudolus in Funny Thing Happen on the Way to the Forum) in a bit written bu Jerry Juhl in the style of Edgar Allen Poe.

What does that mean for the The Muppets new show? Currently, it looks like they are on top and riding a wave of success. ABC has green lit (pun intended) 16 episodes. That's a full season! I have watched 8 of the aired episodes. The reviews are a mix bag, as most things tend. Having asked my group of friends what they think, I was surprised that overall more people were into the show and found it entertaining. So, really what makes this show so appealing to the masses?

There's the BIG BREAK UP between Kermit and Piggy. No gonna lie, I was a little excited about that as I have always secretly loathe piggy. That doesn't mean I hated the Muppet Show or the subsequent movies. It was a charming annoyance, tongue and cheek type of humour about a relationship with a Pig and a Frog. Although when I first saw Muppets take Manhattan I was put off by the 'wedding' of Kermit and Piggy. I know some of the movie are just stories told using Muppets characters, but yeah that wasn't my favourite part. So, with Kermit and Piggy free to be the possibilities at more open. What does Kermit do? Date another pig.... ~shrug~ You love what you love.

"What I like about it is the update to the times. The characters take vaguely about sex, they talk about drinking or how safe their jobs are, it's really up to date and much more for adults than teens or children." ~Todd Chichester

Then there's the secondary characters and those have really made the show rather enjoyable for me. Even with the raunchy take on Swedish Chef or Pepe and Rizzo's hijinks, I can say that I understand why the show is doing well. It is funny and I have warmed up to much of the modern take on the lives of my beloved Muppets characters; Sam the Eagle macking on Janice, weird, yes, but funny. A wide variety of guests in funny and interesting situations with Piggy, Kermit, Fozzie, or the Electric Meyhem. They have opened up something that I didn't think about until I started writing this review. To stay in the same pattern isn't always going to keep you in good standing, sometimes you have to try something new, especially if something old isn't working. Change isn't bad. Change can be scary. Will it always work out perfectly? Not necessarily. But, if you make people happy with your TV show then you are doing something right. If you are happy with your work, you are doing something right. If at the end of the day realize that the world is better for ditching Kristen Chenowith in the desert, then so be it.

What I thought of Pig Girls don't Cry versus Hard to Handler is very different. I might not always roll on the floor at every joke, but I do like the show. I love the Muppets. And I like knowing that they make people happy. Half watching half the season I will definitely be tuning into the next 8 episodes. I hope they can make another season, but in the mean time Fozzie will always tell terrible jokes, Gonzo is awesome, Pepe is the best thing to come out of the sea, and the Swedish Chef's "Gropin' the Groban" is still my favourite line thus far.

Cheers to the Muppets!

I was introduced to the Muppets through re-runs of the old Muppet Show and the movies. They were on Sesame Street too. A whole chunk of my life was about the Muppets, and as I got older I discovered some of the older specials and rarer gems from the archives, thanks to David. There was much time was spent enjoying these specials, movies, and TV shows. Christmas suddenly became about Emmet Otter, Muppet Family Christmas, and the Christmas Toy. Today I can still pull out something Muppety and feel good. Even better is when the movie from 2011 came out, it blew me away and showed me that the Muppets were definitely a force to be reckoned with. I sing the song and laugh at the jokes. Wokka Wokka!!

Now because I love a top list. My top 10 Muppets moments from everything Muppety.

10. A, B, C...Cookie Monster

9.  Elton John - Benny and the Jets (The Muppet Show)

8. Gonzo - I'm Going to Go Back There Someday (The Muppet Movie)

7. Linda Ronstadt - Blue Bayou (The Muppet Show)

6. Rainbow Connection (The Muppet Movie)

5. Nothing! There are  my.... (Muppets Wizard of Oz)

4. Manha Manha

3. Pepe!

2. Life's a Happy Song - The Muppets (2011) Most of the song and I've wanted to do this song for a music review, because THEATRE!!! And it's awesome.

1. Harry Belafonte - Turn the World Around (The Muppet Show)

Check out my friends twitter and Tumblr sites for more silly and interesting stuff in the links above. Without their input I wouldn't be able to write this. Leave me a comment about your opinion on the Muppets new show. I love all opinions. Please share your favourite moments from the new show, old classic songs and skits. What turned you onto the Muppets? What don't you like about the Muppets?

"Just watch it, okay." ~Pepe

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Pantoum for Paris and Lebanon

From a post late last week. I wanted to shared it again on the social networks.

In a world where people still cannot find peace with each other, it is nice to see that people are still good. Words fail me today.

To me it seems easy to accept people for ours differences, to enjoy and celebrate what makes us different. This is not okay. It will never be okay. I stand with Paris, France, and the whole world in saying you are not alone. I stand by you as a friend. Together we are stronger.

I am a writer. I am a poet. I write words. My favourite style is a pantoum, it's a song-like style. This is for the bad day and the good days to come. Nothing can change thee feeling, the hurt, but I give you what I can today, Paris. A little ray of sunshine to help you feel less alone.

When in the dark you stand,
after the lights have been turned out
and maybe you feel alone
in a large and crowded room.

After the lights have been turned out
and there you are standing
in a large and crowded room,
you will feel a hand upon your shoulder.

And there you are standing--
the world spinning around you
you will feel a hand upon your shoulder, 
know that you are not alone.

The world is spinning around you
maybe you want cry
know that you are not alone
I will help carry your burden.

Maybe you want to cry,
yell obscenities to the sky.
I will help carry your burden
because I am your friend.

Yell obscenities to the sky,
maybe it is wanting to be with others
because I am your friend,
I will not let you fall.

Maybe it is wanting to be with others
when the tragic has befallen.
I will not let you fall
I will see you through that which you face.

When the tragic has befallen
and maybe you feel alone
I will see you through that which you face
when in the dark you stand.

I STAND WITH YOU, PARIS and LEBANON!! ‪#‎StandwithParis‬ #StandwithLebanon

Sunday, November 8, 2015

The Clock Struck Four

Rory's Story Cubes! My new favourite thing...

Roll all nine die.

Tell a story using all nine pictures.

This is my ROW80 update today. Check out my fellow writers over at the Blog Hop!

The Clock Struck Four

Once upon a time when the clock struck four, there was a knock at the door. It had been quiet for so long that she was startled. There were footsteps, something sounded familiar and the sudden sound of a key turning made her leap to her feet. She wasn’t expecting anyone, certainly not anyone on a Sunday afternoon. The autumnal evenings were waning fast. Looking around for something, she saw the poster if the ancient pyramids, slowly peeling off the wall and her cell phone lying on the table and thy key continued to unlock the door. Standing up, she grabbed the nearest item on the counter behind her, a flashlight. Thinking maybe it was an intruder, because there wasn’t anyone supposed to be stopping by, and certainly not with a key. There was a low thump and a crash, she turning back away from the door to see that her cat knock over an abacus and was crawling over the large magnifying glass holding her papers down. The orange tabby jumped down from the table, casting large eyes up and her softly mrrowing. “Oh you,” she said as she turned to watch the door slowly creak open. Her flashlight raised high, ready to lay a surprise on her visitor. Then there popped inside a bouquet of flowers waving slowly in the crack of the door and she dropped her flashlight, “you scared me,” she said, “I wasn’t expecting you.”

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Late but Here...

Somewhere in the middle of my life I found a pearl and I held it up to the sun. As I stood there with the sun upon my cheek, iridescent skin casting rainbows on my eyelids. When I open them I saw the truth, and while it was bright and burned I couldn't help but feel that maybe the pain of the sun's glare was only temporary. I would see again, thanks to the sun and the pearl.

Feeling very determined. And after a really long ass week of tears and mutually choosing to separate from my husband of 17 years (almost 10 in marriage) I am entering a new world. I don't regret a thing. There will be a separate post on the whole story, because I want to share it. But, Dear Readers, I wanted to tell you that what I lost in a husband has allowed me to keep my best friend. Simply put, we drifted apart. He found another. I was aware, but I turned away. I was wrapped up in other things and projects. I realized I wasn't in love anymore.

I am on day four.

It's NaNoWriMo! And I am not doing it. I don't have it in me. David he told me a lot things in the last  four days, the two most important things being that he was proud of me and didn't want me to stop writing to change myself to please him. And he suggested that instead of trying so hard to do the next writing challenge, that maybe I should work on editing my stuff to get it published. That I didn't really edit anything, I just jumped to the next thing.

I am on day four.

I am going through withdrawals. But my best friend is there for me and I for him. He is starting a new journey with someone I trust to make him happy. She is a friend.I am lucky this ending like this. I am looking towards the future with eyes cleared by the rainbow streaks of the sunlight.

I haven't written in four days. Time to start.

I hadn't done much in those four days, mostly cry, ask questions , and try to get through the day. I am eating, thanks to Sara (another friend). I am writing this because while I am healing from the wounds of this split, I am now understand what my mentor has said about  life sometimes needing a course correction. Not the real quote, but the sentiment is there.

I missed ROW80 Sunday, barely catching Wednesday's now.

I am on day four.

I want the people that matter to know about this. David and I are okay, getting better I lost a few people in this process. The naysayers neighed I guess. I am not sorry that I made a choice to make David and mines life better. He is happy, why should I take away. I couldn't live with myself if he was miserable. so I look inside myself and saw that I had grown apart and separate from him. He is still my best friend, I look forward to many more adventures with him, but am supporting him in his journey towards his happiness and passion.

I am reading again, making my way through Inkheart (Cornelia Funke). Today I am writing. Day four was filled with my chest and heart feeling tight. After a full rehearsal and countless support from friends, especially David and Sara, I am convinced I will life and am happy for David. A decision made with love is right even when its an ending. Hint: an ending is just a new beginning.

Here's my unfinished entry for Sunday...I think I will revisit my goals. NaNoWriMo can wait. It's time to get my self published. Make my best friend truly proud. Tomorrow is a new day with new chances to make something awesome with your lives. Go for it! I am. David is.

This Week: (What I left off on)
       *Reading: making progress on Inkheart (Cornelia Funke), but left my book at work on Friday and couldn't make any progress on that.
       *Writing: finished OctPoWriMo (about a 100 words per post), Friday Writing Blitz (300+ words)...
       *Theatre Stuff: working on typing bios, finish my scene breakdown for the crew...
       *Social Media: 4 blogs daily Weds through Friday.

A Round of Words in 80 Days a blog challenge that knows you have a life. Come and visit the Blog Hop and see what everyone is up to.