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Author Topic: The Christmas That The Muppets RUINED  (Read 1303 times)

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Offline bratpop

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The Christmas That The Muppets RUINED
« on: December 18, 2008, 02:23:38 AM »
There have apparently been quite a few Muppet Christmas specials over the years, and I have a feeling "Letters To Santa" will be joining the ranks of those that never get seen again by anyone.

The director, strangely enough, also did The Muppets' Wizard of Oz and It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie, but none of the color or humor of those are here. (They both included the color red, which does not appear in this special.) He happened to write Muppets Tonight and Muppet Treasure Island, but that's neither here nor there.

The special was written by (in typical Bruce Vilanch, ruin-Star-Wars fashion) three writers from "The Showbiz Show with David Spade"... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... Yeah, let that sink in for a minute. Only one of whom also wrote for Craig Ferguson and Saturday Night Live. Nothing of which says, "I can write for Muppets," "I can write a Christmas special," or in fact, "I am human."

The special guest "stars" were two guys from The Sopranos (checking calendar... yes, Sopranos jokes are officially dated), Nathan Lane, Whoopi Goldberg, Uma Thurman, Petra Nemcova, Mayor Bloomberg, "Uncle Vernon" as Santa Claus, and "Jane Krakowski" whom you might "remember" from "Ally McBeal" but probably "don't."

The "music" is by Paul Williams, who looks like (and here plays) an elf, and thus was probably confused with Andrew Lloyd Weber. Incidientally, he wrote "Rainbow Connection," then apparently must have been in a tragic accident wherein he lost the ability to write music. I believe that accident was called "the 80s."

The incredibly daring and high budget production involves the Muppets going to the post office, returning to the hallway of their New York City apartment building, going back to the front door of the post office, going back to the hallway of their apartment building, going to the airport, and then travelling on the wing of an airplane to the North Pole, where they stand at the front door of Santa's workshop before riding on Santa's sleigh back to the hallway of their apartment building and into the actual apartment of "Jane Krakowski." It's actually much less exciting than it sounds.

Despite the one-hour length, the special feels like at least ten hours due to uninspired, forgettable songs and editing techniques not seen since the 70s (once known as the "none" technique of editing).

As has been the case for several years now, the newest "hip" characters Pepe and Rizzo seem to be the only Muppets capable of being funny. The best thing about the special is that the new voice of Piggy, Eric Jacobson, isn't the WORST thing about the special, like he was in his first outting, It's A Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie.

The jokes are stale and obvious and linger several minutes after they've been delivered as if to remind you there were jokes before the boring part of the scene you're watching. The songs are sung musicial-style, which means that you will not want to listen to them. The Christmas cheer and holiday spirit were left out for budgetary reasons.

The "plot" involves the Muppets, who now for some reason no longer have a theater and all live in an apartment or perhaps in several apartments (not shown for budgetary reasons) delivering letters to Santa to the post office so the post office can burn them like they always do, but in a wacky mixup, some of the letters get stuck in Gonzo's backpack and thus can't be delivered to the furnace Santa. So to keep a promise to the inexplicably non-Caucasian daughter of nextdoor neighbor "Jane Krakowski" who apparently can't use one of the many millions of mailboxes in New York City and for some reason left her very important letter to Santa under a ham sandwich until the afternoon of Christmas Eve, some of the Muppet gang postpone their tropical Christmas vacations to deliver the letters. (The rest go on their tropical Christmas vacations, because they aren't stupid.)

Pepe, pretending not to believe in... shh, don't tell the kids at home what might or might not be believed in... goes to a couple of Italian mobsters, who happened to be taking a break from stabbing pregnant women and mutilating horses, to ask them to deliver the letters to Santa, which they agree to until Rizzo shows up and ruins Christmas the deal with murderous Italian mobsters to save Christmas. So sacrificing a holiday of sexual intercourse with a pig, Kermit settles on taking the gang to deliver the letters.

They end up at the airport, where they book a flight on North Pole Airlines or somesuch with ticket lady Uma Thurman's boobs, but are rudely postponed by evil airport security bully Nathan Lane, who is the only character in the history of Muppet fiction to think there's something weird about a bunch of felt animal puppets walking around New York and booking flights on nonexistent airlines. Turns out he once wrote a letter to Santa, so he lets them go, but now that they are late they must hang onto the wing of the plane. The plane, which only goes to the North Pole, for budgetary reasons does not stop at the North Pole, so the Muppets must depart by falling to a bloody death safe landing provided by a Christmas miracle (snow).

Finally at the North Pole, they soon encounter Santa's workshop and are greeted at the door (not opened for budgetary reasons) by a hideous demonic troll who wrote a good song once. Sadly, they have just missed Santa, who is gone because he actually has a JOB, so Gonzo (the person solely responsible for a child's irresponsibility) sings a sad song about it, sadly. So moving is the Muppets' song about everyone being Santa and simeltaneously being more like "you" (seemingly Gonzo, an abject failure, and - let us not forget - an alien), that a talking walrus dressed as Santa lands and takes them home while granting all their Christmas wishes by evil Satanic powers magic.

After opening their neighbor's daughter's letter and realizing all she wanted for Christmas was for her friends to have a joyless holiday and stay home so they could selflessly shower her with the attention that her clearly adoptive mother doesn't, they barge into her apartment and either sing a cheerful holiday song, or stab me with a needle full of sedative. Either way, same effect, but I can't remember which it was.

I might be mistaken but I believe the special ended with a frog having sexual intercourse with a pig.

I'm still trying to figure out how the Muppets, owned by Disney, who owns ABC, got a special on NBC. And if in fact, that was the reason it had a budget of exactly thirty-seven dollars and eight cents (leftover, one can only assume, from the "victory over ABC" party the producers threw, at which only a seamstress and an ex-SNL writer and his two unemployed friends were present).


Offline Chaos

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Re: The Christmas That The Muppets RUINED
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2008, 03:45:27 AM »
Trainwreck Muppets are almost as funny as regular Muppets.

It couldn't possibly have been worse than that Shrek Christmas thing. Unless of course they actually showed the frog/hog consummation on screen. :P
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Offline gammer

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Re: The Christmas That The Muppets RUINED
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2008, 08:54:32 AM »
Wow...wow.

And I thought Elmo's Christmas Countdown, with "Stiller the Elf" (a puppet voiced by Ben Stiller), was bad.


Offline Darth Geek

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Re: The Christmas That The Muppets RUINED
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2008, 10:19:31 AM »
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There have apparently been quite a few Muppet Christmas specials over the years
Huh? I thought there was just the one Muppet Christmas special from a few years ago (it had Tarentino and Whoopie, and man did it suck). There was Muppets Christmas Carol, but that was a theatrical movie, and Emmet Otters Jug Band Christmas didn't have the regular Muppet characters in it (I don't think). The other one is the one from the 70s with John Denver. Are there more?

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The director ... did The Muppets' Wizard of Oz
Holy crap did that one suck! Why doesn't Brian Henson direct these? He did a great job with Muppet Christmas Carol and Muppet Treasure Island.

Very funny review, bratpop. Probably a lot funnier (and more thought put into it) than the special itself. The only thing that would make such a travesty worth it is if it caused Jim Henson to rampage through Disney execs as a zombiefied corpse. Of course, if he's looking for brains, he may be dissapointed.



Offline bratpop

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Re: The Christmas That The Muppets RUINED
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2008, 05:42:50 PM »
Are there more?

Quote

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The Christmas Toy is a 1986 made-for-TV movie by The Jim Henson Company. It originally aired on ABC on December 6, 1986, and was originally sponsored by Kraft Foods.

Originally introduced by Kermit The Frog, it was last released on VHS format in 1998. In 2008, HIT Entertainment (distributed by Lionsgate) released the special on DVD, but edited out Kermit's appearance due to legal issues.

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John Denver and the Muppets: A Christmas Together is a 1979 Christmas television special starring Jim Henson's Muppets and singer/songwriter John Denver.


Offline N.E.S. TOR

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Re: The Christmas That The Muppets RUINED
« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2008, 07:19:21 PM »
Trainwreck Muppets are almost as funny as regular Muppets.

It couldn't possibly have been worse than that Shrek Christmas thing. Unless of course they actually showed the frog/hog consummation on screen. :P

Shrek The Halls didn't even have a plot, it was just a line of jokes and a sentimental ending.  :gouge: But "The Flight Before Christmas" is pretty good, except for the "reindeer games" (one night stands) :o
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Offline tgeorgic

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Re: The Christmas That The Muppets RUINED
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2008, 06:22:01 AM »
i agree totally with the review of the special but would add 2 things.  i was extremely dissapointed that after a whole hour (actually probably 35 minutes if you remove the comercials) about christmas and santa, they end with the whole group wishing everyone happy holidays.  the other thing i would add is that you forgot to metnion that the director of this special also played punk on bus in star trek 4 and wrote the song he was listening to there.  it obvisously cant have been his fault that the show sucked but it might have been super great if he had been asked to write the music :)


Offline darkchashy

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Re: The Christmas That The Muppets RUINED
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2008, 04:48:35 AM »
Metnion..... word has a certain ring to it, metnion, I like it.
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