Wednesday, December 19, 2012

It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie, Part 4: Alternate Realities

Kermit makes one last attempt to plead with Bitterman to reconsider her dastardly deed, but she shuts him down, hammering home the point that Kermit's foolish quest to follow his dreams has not only ruined his life, but the lives of his friends.

We cut back to the beginning of the film with Kermit alone on the snowy bench, and Whoopi God decides to send Daniel the Angel down to assist Kermit.

For some reason, he's dressed like an ice cream man from Hello Dolly.

Kermit is initially skeptical that Daniel can help him, and figures that he is only aware of his problems due to the fact that he probably runs a Muppet fansite.  On behalf of Muppet fansites, such as Tough Pigs, The Muppet Mindset, and Muppet Wiki, thanks for the shout out, movie.

Kermit concludes that he should have never been born (and goes a little overboard with his conviction) forcing Daniel to alter the universe to show what the world would have been like without Kermit.

Well, first, they must travel by way of pop culture references.

Kermit and Daniel end up in the middle of Bitterman Plaza, a mall that has replaced the park that once housed a Kermit statue with a quote from "The Rainbow Connection."  Now, everything is a big commercialized Christmas!

The horror!

Kermit is about to meet alternate versions of his Muppet friends, and I think it would behoove us to examine these new iterations on the plausibility scale.

Alternate Gonzo:  A homeless busker who attempts to earn money with "Amy the Dancing Brick"

Plausibility: 80%

If we are accepting The Muppet Movie as canon (which this movie claims to be doing), Gonzo would be back in the midwest running his plumbing business with Camilla.  However, assuming that he made it out to LA to pursue his dreams, Gonzo definitely would end up on the street, without his Muppet support system.

Alternate Rizzo:  A prop/meal in NBC's sadistic Fear Factor

Plausibility:  40%

 Rizzo's origin is a little confusing, since Muppet rats just sort of showed up at the theater.  Rizzo's "official" introduction was in The Muppets Take Manhattan as a waiter.  Had he remained in New York, it seems unlikely he'd appear in LA for the filming of Fear Factor.  The reason I'm giving this so much weight is because it gets me through these obnoxious NBC crossovers.

Alternate Doc Hopper:  A popular fast-food chain owner

Plausibility:  99%

Despite not appearing in this film, Doc Hopper's influence comes back in a big way, having covered the nation with his frog killing restaurants.  Nice callback.

Alternate Electric Mayhem:  An Irish stepdancing team called "O'Mayhem Celtic Troupe"

Plausibility:  2%

No.  This makes no sense.  It's an amusing joke for a second, but it doesn't take any of the members' personalities into account.

Alternate Dr. Bunsen:  Hipster doorman at Bitterman's Club Dot

Plausibility:  10%

Bunsen is a man of science.  Only Andie MacDowell could make him behave this way.

Alternate Sam the Eagle:  Glow-stick-waving, pacifier-sucking raver at Club Dot

Plausibility:  100%

It would explain so much.  The very existence of the Muppets has been keeping him so repressed...

Alternate Scooter:  Cage dancer at Club Dot

Plausibility:  0%

Scooter's uncle owned the Muppet Theater, meaning that he would have been the one who Bitterman bought it from.  And since his uncle was greedy, he would have happily turned it over.  Scooter would have gone elsewhere.  Thanks for this horrible image, movie.

Alternate Johnny Fiama:  Bartender at Club Dot

Plausibility:  30%

Why are so many Muppets drawn to Club Dot?  Is this supposed to imply that the Muppet Theater is some sacred ground that telepathically attracts Muppets to it, no matter the dimension?

Alternate Waldorf and Statler:  Deadbeat barflies

Plausibility:  20%

I guess this is supposed to mean that the Muppets give these two purpose, despite their negativity, but you just know that without the Muppets, they'd be harassing some children's birthday clowns or some other form of innocent entertainment.

Alternate Robin:  Busboy at Club Dot

Plausibility:  90%

Originally, I was going to put this as an impossibility, but it strikes me that Robin is virtually the same in this universe as he is in the other.  I could imagine that without Kermit, he would have been the first frog to leave the swamp for greater things, but, being so young and naive, ended up here, struggling to do the right thing every day.

Alternate Beaker:  Bodyguard at Club Dot

Plausibility:  100%

Without Bunsen to push him around, Beaker would become a force to be reckoned with.  Also, this is a great visual and auditory joke.

Alternate Fozzie:  Homeless pickpocket

Plausibility:  75%

To me, this is the saddest moment of the film.  There's a chance that Fozzie is the same old nice bear that he always was.  But, without Kermit's help, he had no chance in LA.  As seen earlier in the film, we know that Fozzie would do anything for his friends.  Since he never met Kermit, he never had any friends and learned only to care about himself.

Alternate Piggy:  Struggling actress/fake hotline psychic

Plausibility:  100%

The move sets this up to be the most distressing change of the new world.  Miss Piggy, after having won Miss Bogen County as in The Muppet Movie travelled to LA thinking she'll remain on top of the world.  But without that Muppet support group, she had no place in the city.  A nice touch is that the moment she sees Kermit, she gets that "love at first sight" twinkle in her eye that she got when she met him in The Muppet Movie and The Great Muppet Caper.  She doesn't understand what it means at this moment, but tries to masquerade as someone more important than she is, even though Kermit is just a stranger to her.  This forces Kermit to be the one to highlight her positive qualities, admitting to himself that she is special.

But unfortunately, this only serves to upset the woman, as she drives Kermit away so she can have her annual Christmas cry.

Thankfully, we don't have to stay in this world too much longer.  Check back later to see the conclusion to It's a Wonderful Frog.

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