Miss Piggy and Reese Witherspoon Battle it Out on ‘The Muppets’

Miss Piggy puts a positive spin on revenge.

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Caution: This review contains spoilers.

Leave it to Miss Piggy to use something seemingly straightforward as charity work as a vehicle for revenge on The Muppets. In “Walk the Swine,” Piggy is determined to outdo Reese Witherspoon. She lost out to the Oscar-winning actress for the memorable role on Walk the Line. As Kermit points out, Piggy’s grudges are not pretty, perhaps with the exception of the fake grudge towards Natalie Portman.

Piggy and Witherspoon get competitive at Habitat for Humanity the next day, complete with the classic Piggy karate. They knock a wall down during an ensuing scuffle, a spat that is caught on camera by the media. “How could something like revenge on a person take such a dark turn?” Piggy laments to Kermit as the fallout emerges. Even if Piggy is so self-centered, one can’t help but feel sorry for her. It’s wonderfully played, but never forget that she is always plotting something.

The Muppets
Photo credit: ABC

Continue reading “Miss Piggy and Reese Witherspoon Battle it Out on ‘The Muppets’”

Review: ‘The Muppets’ Premiere Offers Few Laughs

It’s not a promising start, but don’t count “The Muppets” out yet.

“The Muppets” have returned to television on ABC, centering its plot on the behind-the-scenes activities with a show, “Up Late with Miss Piggy.” As might be expected, Miss Piggy comes out in full force as a veritable drama queen, rejecting Kermit’s booking of Elizabeth Banks (“30 Rock”) for one evening. Kermit, the executive producer, feels exasperated for most of the episode as he corrects the crew in staff meetings. It ends up leaving one rather disappointed about a comeback that fails to hit the mark.

The Muppets
Photo credit: ABC

Continue reading “Review: ‘The Muppets’ Premiere Offers Few Laughs”

Looking Ahead to San Diego Comic-Con: Thursday Edition

Comic-Con will be in full swing come Thursday, July 9. If you were fortunate to snag a badge to the biggest convention in San Diego, which panels should you attend? Let’s run through a few must-sees:

“Hand of God”

In this Amazon series, Ron Perlman (“Sons of Anarchy,” “Hellboy”) plays a corrupt judge who may be “in the midst of a religious epiphany” after a family tragedy. It’s now a question of whether he’ll continue along the same course or try to do the right thing. It’s a full panel with Perlman, Ben Watkins (“Burn Notice”), Garret Dilahunt (“Justified”), Andre Royo (“Happyish”), Alona Tal (“Supernatural”), Julian Morris (“Pretty Little Liars”), Emayatzy Corinealdi (“Criminal Minds”), and Elizabeth McLaughlin (“Betrayal”). From the trailer, could it potentially fill the void left by the cancellation of Kelsey Grammar’s “Boss” a while ago?

“The Player” Sneak Peek and Q&A

This new NBC drama premieres in the fall. It’s no surprise that the high stakes chase after criminals feels somewhat like “The Blacklist,” because the same executive producers are on the project. Philip Winchester plays successful security tester and agent Alex Kane, whose life is turned upside down by the death of his wife. His adversary and quasi new employer is the enigmatic and smooth Mr. Johnson, portrayed by Wesley Snipes. Catch this sneak peek and the ensuing discussion!

“Doctor Who” Q&A The stars of “Doctor Who” are coming to Comic-Con! It’ll be Peter Capaldi’s first appearance at SDCC this summer. He’ll be there along with Jenna Coleman, Michelle Gomez, and Steven Moffat. Missy is due back for Season 9, but I wouldn’t expect Steven Moffat to be forthcoming with spoilers. Will Peter Capaldi share any surprising facts and possibly outdo last year’s reveal about how he turned down a “Doctor Who” audition years ago?

“Sherlock”

Later on Thursday afternoon, Steven Moffat will address another segment of the BBC America fan base: the “Sherlock” fans! Will there be any more light shed upon the Victorian special? Also joining him are executive producer Sue Vertue and Rupert Graves, who plays DI Greg Lestrade.

While there’s a plethora of things to do at San Diego Comic-Con, you’ll miss out if you don’t put these panels as a priority. For a complete list of Thursday’s programming, visit the SDCC website. Check back soon and we’ll run through Friday’s program schedule.

Review: ‘HAPPYish’ Premiere is More of a Tragedy than Comedy

“HAPPYish” offers a couple of promising moments, but it emits a sense of arrogance and anger that is more likely to chase away rather than draw in viewers before Thom has a chance to engage in a real and game changing revolt.

Steve Coogan plays the role of Thom Payne in
What’s the key to happiness? Steve Coogan plays the role of Thom Payne in “HAPPYish” in a new series. Photo: Showtime

Caution: This review contains spoilers on the first episode of “HAPPYish.”

There seems to be a fascination with covering the world of advertising and new marketing. Sure, there’s the social media obsession, but it’s more or less overkill to situate an entire television series in that world. 2013 brought us “The Crazy Ones,” which at least started well on CBS. Then last year, ABC brought “Black-ish,” which some may argue, adds the element of being African American to the mix; however, I find it often disintegrates to low humor and gimmicks. The most recent (and hardly improved) endeavor comes from Showtime in Shalom Auslander’s “HAPPYish.” Continue reading “Review: ‘HAPPYish’ Premiere is More of a Tragedy than Comedy”

‘Fortitude’ Season One Finale is Hardly a Buzzworthy Finish

Caution: This post contains spoilers. “Fortitude” is for mature audiences only.

After such a gain of momentum throughout the first season, “Fortitude” descends into quite a lackluster series of events in its finale. Continue reading “‘Fortitude’ Season One Finale is Hardly a Buzzworthy Finish”

News: ‘Veep’ Creator’s Surprising Departure, an Advance Screening of ‘Mr. Holmes,’ and More

If you’re wondering what on Earth happened to my blog, rest assured that I will return to the full swing of things by the end of next week. I’m working on my debut interview project on film with a planned release date of April 15th.

Anyway, let’s touch on a couple news stories that are circulating today. Firstly, there is the surprise announcement that Armando Iannucci will be leaving “Veep” after 4 seasons, as reported in an exclusive release by The Hollywood Reporter. The creator of the HBO series is returning to the U.K. where his family still lives. David Mandel has been put forward as Iannucci’s replacement. Continue reading “News: ‘Veep’ Creator’s Surprising Departure, an Advance Screening of ‘Mr. Holmes,’ and More”

TV Review: Polar Bear Gives Answers in ‘Fortitude’

Caution: This review contains major spoilers on the eighth episode of “Fortitude.”

DCI Morton (Stanley Tucci) peers in a window in
DCI Morton (Stanley Tucci) peers in a window in “Fortitude.” Photo: Sky/Tiger Aspect Productions

If you haven’t watched the new Arctic thriller “Fortitude,” you are missing an amazing and riveting series. Unfortunately, it’s not a program that airs on cable television in the United States, but rather through the millennial-targeted distributor Pivot TV or through streaming afterwards on the Xfinity service. UK viewers can watch on Sky Atlantic. I’d mentioned “Fortitude” before its premiere in an earlier post and it’s a relief that the series delivers the quality that the previews appeared to promise. It traces a series of murder investigations by outsider DCI Morton (Stanley Tucci) in the town of Fortitude, which hasn’t been hit by any murders before. As we might expect, the supposedly quaint but freezing locale is rife with secrets. Continue reading “TV Review: Polar Bear Gives Answers in ‘Fortitude’”