Enough, Already, About Jason Segel's Version of The Muppets
This is the type of post that you'll scoff at simply as another example of us Movieline haters trying to hate. I assure you, though: It's not. I am not a hater. (In this case.) I love, love, love Jason Segel -- the man is a comic wizard, who is also capable of playing poignant, touching drama, and playing it well; see the last two episodes of How I Met Your Mother, or a lot of the downcast parts of Forgetting Sarah Marshall, for reference. I love that Jason Segel loves the Muppets -- so much that he cried when he met Kermit. I love the Muppets! Especially The Muppets Take Manhattan, which includes the perfect amount of melancholy, whimsy and song. That said: Enough, already, about The Muppets.
The Internet works in very non-mysterious ways: Considering so much of the pop culture writing you read on a daily basis comes from people born between 1975 and 1985, there are common threads running through almost every website. We all love the same stuff, hate the same stuff, and latch on to the "crappy-but-not-crappy" stuff that we think is cool. (Patton Oswalt touched on this in his expansive essay for Wired.)
Segel's upcoming reboot of The Muppets has become the thing that everyone loves. And really, you'd have to be the spawn of The Grinch and Scrooge not to feel warm and cuddly at the idea of a new generation watching a new Muppets movie on the big screen. It's no wonder that Segel has been able to recruit a roster of big name Hollywood celebrities to make cameos, and get Oscar nominee Amy Adams to co-star; it's The Muppets! Who wouldn't want to appear alongside Kermit and Miss Piggy? Maybe Mel Gibson; maybe. But otherwise, everyone.
So why did I take such issue with the latest behind the scenes photos and publicity stills for The Muppets? Because they're utterly pointless. For starters, this picture (go ahead and click) is from the same photoshoot as the original still that made its way around the Internet late last year. (Unless, of course, Jason Segel routinely wears that flannel button down and smiles broadly with Kermit by his side.) Further, the behind the scenes pics of Segel and Adams show us nothing but... Segel and Adams on the set of The Muppets. Yep, considering they're starring in the thing, I kinda figured they'd be on set at some point.
This speaks to a larger issue with behind-the-scenes set pictures. We've obviously run them before -- mostly with a silly caption idea pegged to them -- but do they offer anything relevant to the actual filmmaking process, or do they only serve to build hype? That's a rhetorical question, but -- spoiler alert -- the answer is hype. For The Muppets, hype is something that certainly isn't needed. Don't believe me? Ask ten of your friends if they'd be excited to see Jason Segel and bunch of stars in a new movie starring the Muppets, and I'll guess that at least six say yes. Or probably: "YES!!!!" The latest batch of Muppets-related imagery does nothing to move the chains forward; it's like the cinematic equivalent of New England's "two-minute" offense against the New York Jets on Sunday -- totally stagnant.
So, enough, already, about The Muppets. For now. It's January and this one isn't coming out until Thanksgiving. Can you imagine talking about Thanksgiving right now? Then why are we talking about The Muppets?
(And yes, snarky commenter -- yes, you -- I understand that by writing about how we should stop discussing The Muppets, I am in turn discussing The Muppets. This irony is not lost on me.)
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