Variety certainly isn’t the focus of this episode. While last week’s episode incorporated a lot more of The Muppet Show‘s sketch format into the mix, “A Tail of Two Piggies” definitely feels like it serves a larger purpose than simply trying to convert the show as a whole. That’s not to say there isn’t any sketches at all, and the ones that do appear deliver well enough, but viewers should be aware that this week’s showcase performs more as a message to its viewers. If you’re okay with this, you’ll be met with one of the season’s funniest episodes to date.
With Kermit and Miss Piggy preparing themselves for the red carpet opening of Disney’s Zootopia, (nice little plug there, Disney execs) Miss Piggy unfortunately becomes the victim of a wardrobe malfunction, revealing her curly tail to plenty of photographers and fans. While initially ashamed of her public image, Miss Piggy manages to find inspiration from a devoted little fan who suffered a similar accident, and proudly declares she will “unveil the tail” live on her program. However, this deceleration doesn’t bode well with the company executives, who threaten to pull funding if Miss Piggy goes through with exposing herself.
Sure, it’s admittedly a story line we’ve all heard before, but most of the episode’s best jokes manage to stem from it. Many serve as a funny little jab at how upset people get over these little accidents, whether they be an average Joe or the head of an entire studio, and it feels like a breath of fresh air to get that sense of perspective from people outside of the set itself. The protesters against Miss Piggy’s incident may not have the screen for long, but the jokes they pull off of them are so ridiculous, you can’t help but laugh. Not to mention, we get another visit from the studio president in this week’s show, and she brings the same brand of great laughs she’s becoming associated with. It would have been nicer to give her more screen time as well, but the time that she is given feels like just enough to satisfy regulars.
Yet, one of the episode’s biggest surprises and strengths is how sincere the message feels behind the entire segment. Fans will be pleased to know that the Muppets’ heart is beating as strongly as ever, thanks to the team banding together to help Miss Piggy with her personal dilemma, while sending a positively sweet message to everyone at home. This blend of salty satire and sweet sincerity is exactly why we fell in love with the Muppets in the first place, and it is more than welcome to see that sense of purpose growing stronger and stronger with each new show.
As far as cons go to this otherwise great episode, I do have a few little nitpicks. In this week’s installment, there exists a subplot focusing on Gonzo, Rizzo and Pepe purchasing a house together. While a good amount of jokes arise from the set up and resolution, it doesn’t quite mesh with the main plot’s focus, feeling like it could have been any episode really. It was nice seeing the story, don’t get me wrong, but it probably would have been better suited for an episode not dealing with personal image and acceptance, as it just ends up feeling a bit out of place. We also get a welcomed cameo from Joan Jett and her well known song “Bad Reputation,” but this only happens at the episode’s end. Again, it’s more of a nitpick than anything else, but it would have been so much more fun to see Jett involved in a sketch or two, instead of just her final performance for the end.
Nevertheless, “A Tail of Two Piggies” feels like a solid blend of mocking society’s shortcomings, while also sending out a great message in the process. Series regulars will have as much enjoyment as ever laughing along to the ridiculous humor, and while it’s not the series’ best episode as a whole, this installment’s strengths work well enough to help overlook the quirks. The show’s naysayers may not be disappearing any time soon, but to those looking to have as much fun as the cast clearly does, you definitely can’t go wrong with this one.