To cleanse the palate, they mean “more adult” in the sense of adding faux-dramatic plot lines and backstories for the characters, not “more adult” in that other way you’re thinking. Although who knows? If the ratings are good and the public likes the idea of Kermit the Frog struggling with cocaine addiction or whatever, they’re bound to try out some sexual storylines. Expect a few double entendres about Gonzo’s nose at a minimum, I’d guess.
If we’re going to reboot every last iota of American popular entertainment from 1975 to 2000, we might as well camp it up, that’s what I say. Let “The Brady Bunch Movie” be your north star, Hollywood.
Intriguing exclusive details about ABC’s revival of The Muppets: EW has learned the project is a mockumentary-style series that goes deeper into the Muppets’ personal lives, and promises a “more adult” show than previous incarnations of the franchise…
Even more interesting: In what’s being billed as a first for The Muppets, the personal lives of the characters will be explored. ABC’s official new logline reads: “The Muppets return to prime time with a contemporary, documentary-style show that—for the first time ever—will explore the Muppets’ personal lives and relationships, both at home and at work, as well as romances, break-ups, achievements, disappointments, wants and desires; a more adult Muppet show, for kids of all ages.”
On the one hand, it’s depressing to realize that the Muppet now needs a thick shell of self-mocking irony to make them more palatable to American audiences. Evidently our cultural impulse towards lost innocence now encompasses a frog strumming a banjo and singing “Rainbow Connection.” On the other hand, the nostalgia factor notwithstanding, the Muppets have always had a fairly thick shell of irony around them, right down to the deadpan celebrity banter and show-within-a-show silliness of “The Muppet Show.” Since the beginning they’ve been aimed more at adults than kids, which is why they’ve never been particularly cute but have always been funny. A “more adult” version is a logical progression of that, even if it means losing much of the kiddie audience. Face it, we’re all going to laugh at the inevitable, and incomprehensible, gay love triangle between Beaker, Animal, and the Swedish Chef.
Speaking of lost innocence and reboots, am I to understand that the “Full House” sequel that’s coming to Netflix will not be a campy, edgier riff on the original? The stars seemed to be aligning for that. The show will be carried by Netflix, not the broadcast networks, so it has room to push the envelope. And Bob Saget, who got famous playing squeaky-clean Danny Tanner despite being one of the filthiest comics in America, will presumably be back and eager to lampoon his most famous character (as he’s done many times in his stand-up routine). The show’s so famously, cartoonishly wholesome that you’d think the now entirely adult cast couldn’t resist poking fun at that fact, but based on the early accounts, it sounds like the only real twist will be putting grown-up D.J. in the Danny Tanner role as a single parent with three kids living with a relative and a friend. Candace Cameron Bure, who’ll be back as D.J., is a devout Christian and likely wouldn’t participate in anything too, well, Saget-esque, for lack of a better word, so it’s probably going to be a more or less straight reboot. Huh.