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kicking up a fuss since 1997 | by maryann johanson

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The Muppet Show: Season Two (review)

Yea! Muppets! Nobody doesn’t love the Muppets, and here, at long last, is the second season of their beloved 70s variety show, 24 episodes of goofy, self-referential, self-deprecating goodness during which the long-running show finally hit its stride. (It won an Emmy for Outstanding Comedy, Variety or Musical Program for this 1977-78 batch of shows.) The list of guest stars is literally legendary — Don Knotts, Rich Little, Steve Martin, Madeline Kahn, George Burns, Elton John, Peter Sellers, Julie Andrews, Bob Hope, John Cleese, and others — but the real fun, at least compared to Season One, is how the Muppet characters really come into their own: Kermit’s perpetual angst, Miss Piggy’s arrogance, Gonzo’s gonzoness… And ho boy, does Sam Eagle, self-appointed moral arbiter of the show’s “shocking” “lack” of propriety or decency, comes across as even more hilarious now that we are deep in the culture wars he unknowingly was presciently parodying. There’s tons of Swedish Chef silliness, the soapy “drama” of Veterinarian’s Hospital, and the first of many exciting and outrageously ridiculous installments of Pigs in Space. The image has been digitally remastered and the sound upgraded to Dolby 2.0 digital, too — this may be the best-looking and best-sounding show this old I’ve seen on DVD. The extras are, alas, sadly lacking when compared to Season One: the little-seen The Muppets Valentine Special is here (it served as something of a pilot for the show) is here, but missing is the continuation of the brilliant and entertaining popup trivia we had on the first-season set. Imagine Kermit making that pouty frown of his… [buy at Amazon]

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MPAA: not rated

viewed at home on a small screen

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  • MBI

    Oh, God… Sam the Eagle. That didn’t even occur to me until just now. You almost want to call it ahead of its time, but of course people like Sam have been around forever, waiting to be satirized. Still, can you imagine a children’s show from 2007 making fun of prudish, uptight self-described patriots? You have to go to South Park for that kind of stuff now.