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DVD Review: "The Muppet Show - Season 2"

It's time to play the music!
It's time to light the lights!
It's time to meet the Muppets on the Muppet Show tonight!

muppets.jpg

I have some very vague memories of being a kid, but one of them I look back upon with fondness is waiting anxiously to hear that song, which meant "The Muppet Show" was about to come on TV. There was something about Jim Henson's eccentric imagination and humor that really struck a spark with my childhood brain. For some odd reason I have not kept up with The Muppets since then, even though watching reruns surely would have brought about a pleasing sense of nostalgia. Through the years I've missed them on TV as well as the many movies that were released.

That's why I met this review with a sense of excitement as well as apprehension. There have been times in the past where my childhood memory of a film is beaten into a senseless pulp by my adult viewing, while other times the nostalgia itself is able to override glitches in the shows of yore. How would "The Muppet Show" hold up against over 20 years of faded memories?

I'm happy to report that Season 2 was a pleasure to watch, all four discs worth. The zany antics of The Muppets alongside the memorable guest-list make for a wonderful (and humorous) trip down memory lane. I had the added pleasure of watching it with my 3-year-old son, who seems to enjoy the show as much as I remember my own amusement, and he's always asking, "Daddy, can we watch the funny puppets?"

If, like me, you haven't watched "The Muppet Show" in years, then any recollection you have will come from either this season or the ones following it. This is due to the fact that in Season 2, some changes were made to the show that carried over into subsequent seasons. Beginning in this season, Henson and company added a 'cold opening' to the show, the classic scene you may remember where Scooter tells the night's guest that the show is about to begin. The opening theme of the show is also more elaborate and evocative of a Broadway musical. You'll also notice a difference in some of the puppets from Season 1, given that Henson improved many of the characters, enhancing their look with better designs. Many of these changes carried over into the next few seasons, and are a large part of my memories of "The Muppet Show."

The guest-list from Season 2 is sometimes legendary, and yet sometimes oddball, no doubt due to the late-70's era in which the show was made. Here's a run-down of the guests:

* Don Knotts
* Zero Mostel
* Milton Berle
* Rich Little
* Judy Collins
* Nancy Walker
* Edgar Bergen
* Steve Martin
* Madeline Kahn
* George Burns
* Dom Deluise
* Bernadette Peters
* Rudolf Nureyev
* Elton John
* Lou Rawls
* Cleo Laine
* Julie Andrews
* Jaye P. Morgan
* Peter Sellers
* Petula Clark
* Bob Hope
* Teresa Brewer
* John Cleese
* Cloris Leachman

Unfortunately, the special features in this collection are rather sparse (much like season 1), but this makes sense given the fact that Henson has since passed, as have many of the show's muppeteers. In this 4-disc set we get “The Muppets Valentine Special," “Keep Fishin'" video by Weezer, and “The Muppets on the Muppets."

All-in-all, revisiting "The Muppet Show" lived up to the memories of my distant past, and even more so given the crystal clear rendering on DVD. If you enjoyed the Muppets as a kid, or want to share them with your children, you can't go wrong with this collection.

I'm eagerly awaiting the Season 3 collection (although that may be a long wait) to bring back the ol' nostalgia.

Grade: A
DVD Grade: B+

"The Muppets - Season 2" sings and dances its way to DVD shelves tomorrow, August 7th!
Suggested retail price: $39.99 U.S./$59.99 Canada


Posted by on August 6, 2007 2:09 PM
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Dies ist ein gro

-- Posted by: fahrrad at March 8, 2009 5:49 PM

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