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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
What a mess. The puppets displayed more emotion and personality than Lady Gaga. This show sucked the Happy right out of Happy Thanksgiving. This show was like a shadow of its former self. Lady Gaga can really write and sing great songs but she can't act. Did Disney just let her do what ever she wanted? This seemed pieced together. They forgot to actually write humor into the show. In her first song she was barely dressed. Not appropriate for a show that can be expected to have young children watching, it is the Muppets after all. For her grand finale she sang the song she sang earlier simply with the Muppet's jumping around her? That's the Grand Finale? I guess they should have thrown the boom-a-rang fish instead. Would have been more entertaining.
I got nothing to say about this special that is even in any meaning of the word "special". There's nothing remotely "special" about what I just watched. Lady Gaga and The Muppets Christmas. Can you even say that and expect something spectacular? As soon as you put Lady Gaga's name in bold letters you know this show is doomed from the start. All the songs in this show are from Gaga's new album, and that's what took it away from the show. I was with my mom and dad and the whole room was in awkward silence whenever she came on, so awkward we were thankful this year to have DVR to fast forward through her acts. That bad, people! That bad!
A TV special starring Lady Gaga and the Muppets packs a lot of promise,
especially when the special is titled "Lady Gaga & The Muppets' Holiday
Spectacular". If you notice the repetitiveness of that last sentence,
it's to prove a point.
This special appeared to be less "Lady Gaga & the Muppets" and more "Lady Gaga featuring the Muppets". Consequently, even the word "Spectacular" in the show's title proved to be an excessive overstatement.
Lady Gaga is among the most polarizing pop stars today. People either like her or hate her, but no one can deny her talent, stage presence, or that certain X factor that relevant pop stars possess.
So this review would not be complete without this reviewer expressing how he feels about her. And truthfully, I like Lady Gaga. I think her songs are often times great, she owns every stage performance without a hint of gregariousness or desperation, and she was phenomenally great as host and musical guest of "Saturday Night Live" last month.
It just astonishes me that, while she worked so well alongside SNL cast members, the interactions between her and the Muppets were noticeably finite and pithy. Yes, Kermit sat alongside her as she sang a surprisingly touching rendition of her own "Gypsy", and there was a scene with her and the other Muppets brainstorming over a final act. There was also Miss Piggy's usual fame envy complete with karate chops.
However, when it came to many of the other musical numbers, the Muppets were noticeably absent. The exceptions were the songs where the major Muppet players seemingly rushed onto the scene near the end to lip sync the given song's final chorus.
Lady Gaga was right in toning down the sexuality of her musical numbers, wisely resulting in her performances of "Applause" in this special bearing little resemblance to her overtly carnal music video. You saw dance numbers mostly involving men in tuxedos, but no . . . well, Muppets!
Did the writers and choreographers of this special even see "The Muppet Show"? If they did, they could have, and should have, taken inspiration from famous episodes with Diana Ross performing "Love Hangover" alongside giant Muppet birds, or Raquel Welch dancing with a gargantuan black spider. Even Alice Cooper danced with Sweetums, Doglion, and other large Muppets when he sang "School's Out".
Sure, "The Muppet Show" left the airwaves over 30 years ago, but the box office success of "The Muppets" (2011) proved that people still had a soft spot in their heart for it. Plus, that movie succeeded because the Muppets were all doing things that were interesting and unique to their given personalities.
Here, they just pad Lady Gaga's stage appearances, and that's not enough. Especially because the special was partially intended to promote the upcoming movie "Muppets Most Wanted", the Muppets deserve better.
There's really no fault in Lady Gaga's song performances, especially her charming duets with Elton John, Joseph-Gordon Levitt, and even RuPaul. However, if she's sharing top billing with the Muppets, they should be treated like co-headliners, not opening acts.
As a result, "Lady Gaga & the Muppets' Holiday Spectacular" could have been most sensational, inspirational, celebrational, and Muppetational. Instead, it was . . . okay.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
It started with some promise with Gaga talking about how she loved the
Muppets holiday specials.
John Denver and Muppets started with the "12 Days of Christmas."
A Muppet Family Christmas started with "We Need a Little Christmas."
This started with some crap song about Venus and, so far, there has not been one "holiday" song. I don't care if you're talking Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Kwanza, the Winter Solstice, or New Year's, but I expect a "Holiday Spectacular" to have holiday songs!
The title should be "Lady Gaga Concert with some Muppets running around."
The best thing is that Statler and Waldorf just summed it up:
S: "There's nothing like a classic holiday song."
W: "And that was nothing like a classic holiday song."
I like Lady Gaga a lot, more than I like The Muppets. Still, The
Muppets are great! As soon as I heard about this holiday special, I was
baffled. The Muppets are generally inoffensive family entertainment.
Lady Gaga is at best inoffensive pop entertainment and at worst
offensive pop entertainment.
Lady Gaga's latest album, which I don't think is aimed at children, has several songs dealing with sexual themes. Some of these are played during this holiday special featuring cute puppet characters that children are likely to enjoy.
I pretty much never consider "think of the children!" as a legitimate criticism, but it's extremely apt here. One could argue that The Muppets were never completely for children, but they also never had Lady Gaga wearing a clamshell bikini. I don't think kids' minds would be warped by watching this (they probably wouldn't notice the sexual undertones), but the very inclusion of so much sex is again baffling.
Lady Gaga is able to perform for an audience outside of her typical followers without ruining the venue she is given. Look up her performance of "The Edge Of Glory" on Howard Stern's radio show. She's not wearing a clamshell bikini, and she's not singing about sex. Granted, her outfit is skimpy, but it's *less skimpy* on this adult radio program than one of the ones she wore for the *Muppets Holiday Spectacular*. That's ridiculous.
To top it off, of the Gaga songs I like, very few were played in this Muppets show. They're all from her latest album, which is 1/3 great songs, 1/3 tolerable songs, and 1/3 bad songs. "Gypsy", my favorite song of the album, sounds much better in the studio recording than it does with Kermit the (blank)-ing Frog singing along.
There's no way to salvage this program, but it would be a 5/10 with me, a Gaga and Muppets fan, if it was more Muppets and less Gaga. Additionally, it should have had one or two of Gaga's older songs rather than more of her newest garbage. (Having more holiday songs would probably please most people more than having different Gaga songs, but I'd rather see Gaga singing her own material.)
The bits with Statler and Waldorf are just about the only redeeming qualities of this show, outside of one skit with Gaga and the Muppets about what clothes she should wear, which was okay. I've made an imaginary quote from them to finish this review. It should have been said during this special.
"I liked Lady Gaga better in 2011." "You thought her songs were better then?" "No, it's just that she wasn't doing a Muppets Holiday Spectacular that year."
Lady Gaga is a rather talented musician and songwriter who has made her
name with some provocative songs and videos over the last few years.
She will in due course be known as a performance artist as she marries
pop music with art.
The Muppets of course have been around for decades enchanting a new generation of children every few years but in their own way have always been subversive and edgy. So its no surprise that these two have come together to film a Holiday Special. In fact the avant-garde Elton John popped up in the original Muppet Show back in the 1970s. Elton pops again here as well.
However what is hard to stomach is that this is a cynical corporate cash in to promote the new Muppets film and for Lady Gaga to promote her new album on prime-time TV with The Muppets as hangers on.
There are songs, a few sketches and some guest stars along for the ride but its you the viewer taken in for a ride as there is little entertainment value unless you are a Lady Gaga fan.
Remember how the Muppets used to work? The Muppets were the headliners
and the humans were guests written into the show. The Muppets were
always madcap and funny and the guests were swept along with the flow
(The finale in the John Cleese episode of the original series was
Did that happen here? No.
Laughs stopped as soon as Lady Gaga was on screen and her outfits were not appropriate for the younger audience that the Muppets used to be aimed at. The result was a boring and often uncomfortable view.
Our whole family became bored with this production early on and the blatant promotion of her new album at every song was appalling.
Shame on you Disney for allowing this travesty. Jim would be rolling over in his grave.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
First off I like The Muppets and I think they've done great and I'm OK with Lady Gaga but I'm not a fan of her songs or music as it's all dub step rubbish. But this special is hardly called a 'Holiday Special'. There's nothing remotely holiday worthy, it's more like a Lady Gaga all stars show to promote her music with The Muppets for a ratings trap. A holiday special is suppose to be with the setting between Thanksgiving and Christmas with songs set around at the time of the year but here it's all Lady Gaga stuff. I've seen better specials that are focused around Thanksgiving and Christmas and they are far more worthy then this 'holiday special'.
If you happen to be a big fan of Lady Gaga, you might enjoy this hour
of her lip-syncing to various songs from her "Artpop" album. If you are
a fan of the Muppets, there is a gem or two in here. If you are looking
for a "holiday" special, you are not going to find it here.
This whole thing is a bit of a mystery. We start out with one of the worst songs on the album, and then continue on with Elton John and RuPaul, giving the special a very different flavor. If you are the least bit uncomfortable with homosexuality or cross-dressing, this is not something that will make your day.
Seeing Joseph Gordon-Levitt was a nice touch, as he is not fully appreciated for his singing. That was the best part of the show, I think. Why Kristen Bell was here is a mystery... not that this is a show that people will be watching year after year, but Bell is already something of a has-been.
I am a Muppet's fan... having grown up on watching them. I could not
wait to see the show with my kids. I was appalled that they would allow
Gaga to dress so scantily (my 8 and 10 year old were uncomfortable
looking at her in her seashell bra and panties). Seriously, why
couldn't she cover up her tattoos and take out the nose piercing? Such
a poor example for children to see all that! Should have been about the
Muppet's not Gaga's new album! I would NOT watch this with children!
In addition, Gaga was not even a good actress in the show. & Seriously...lets bring on a cross dressing man to sing too... really confuse todays children! Why can't it be a clean family show. I am not an old bitty or anything... just think that this is what is wrong with America that this stuff is OK to watch for kids.
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