Tag Archives: Tina Fey

Comedy Care — “Only Murders in the Building”

“Only Murders in the Building” is a love letter to New York that translates even to people who loathe New York. It’s a multi-faceted comedy that features two greats from the 80s who have evolved with the times: Steve Martin and Martin Short. It anchors Selena Gomez as an exceptional actor. It features one of the best ensembles in recent memory. It’s a mystery that’s more successful and intriguing than most of what passes for a mystery.

Steve Martin plays Charles, the former TV star of a terrible detective show. Martin Short is Oliver, a has-been Broadway producer who’s heavily in debt. Selena Gomez is Mabel, a woman who’s recently moved into the same expensive apartment complex. The three exist in separate worlds until one day they enter the same elevator as a man who’s minutes away from being murdered.

Their sudden discovery of loving the same true crime podcast (“All is Not OK in Oklahoma”) sends them barreling down the road of producing their own. After all, they have a murder in their building. One of them’s a producer, one an actor, and Mabel turns out to be a natural investigator. They can be first on the scene for any developments. The police suspect it’s a suicide, but three random New Yorkers with nothing else to do know better, right?

The show starts out with each episode considering a different suspect, but quickly gets more complex. The supporting cast is ridiculous: Nathan Lane, Tina Fey, Amy Ryan, Aaron Dominguez, Jane Lynch. Even Sting makes an appearance. It plays with the idea that it’s usually the famous guest star who’s guilty on a show. If half the supporting cast is famous, that assumption’s out the window.

“Only Murders in the Building” remembers the art of the red herring, the false clue that leads our investigators down the wrong path. The episodes sometimes mirror their podcast’s episodes, toying cleverly with ideas of filler and overdramatization.

What really makes “Only Murders in the Building” special is its understanding of being surrounded by people and yet being lonely. Charles, Oliver, and Mabel are each painfully lonely in unique ways, and each of them responds differently.

Charles follows daily routines that anesthetize him to the world. Their structure creates a space where he can’t get hurt, or feel much of anything. He’d rather perform an emotion than let someone witness a real one. What we can forget about Steve Martin’s comedy is how melancholic it can be, how aching he can make a moment, how he can share shame and embarrassment in a way that’s universal.

Oliver keeps on reaching out, garrulous, friendly, charming in an often desperate way. His isolation isn’t a finely-tuned discipline like Charles’s, but rather chaotic and uncontrolled. Too many productions of his flopped. Too many people have loaned him money. No one trusts him anymore, and the minute they let him back into their lives, he’s asking for something. Martin Short walks the fine line of someone who’s honest but doesn’t know when to stop, who’s sure the next idea will be the one to save him instead of dig him deeper.

Mabel is determined. Her loneliness is created out of trauma and loss, though it takes us time to understand it. She’s still figuring out who she wants to be. Her concern is keeping people at a distance for their own safety. If everyone around her suffers tragedy, why would she keep anyone around her? Charles and Oliver are in many ways safe because they’re set in their ways. She may hide things from them, but she doesn’t imagine she can influence their decisions.

Selena Gomez is the standout here. That shouldn’t be a surprise by now, even when paired with generational actors. It might be easy to dismiss her as a pop star, but she’s had a few awards-worthy performances over the past decade. She’s the dramatic core, and matches Steve Martin’s acerbic wit while often carrying the show.

So everyone’s lonely and tragic. Sounds like a hoot, right? Yet “Only Murders in the Building” is one of the funniest shows of the year. It humanizes these things rather than exploiting them. It finds the identifiable and empathetic in them. That’s where the comedy comes out. These three people can understand each others’ loneliness. Because they understand it, they can poke fun at it as a way of drawing closer and building trust. They can communicate out of it. It’s a private grammar they understand and the rest of the world doesn’t. The situational and physical comedy, the mystery and true crime parodies – these all work because of our fundamental empathy for these characters. They speak to parts of us on a level not many things do.

I love a parody that can poke fun at its genre, but when it houses itself in that genre, believes in it, and understands how that genre captures us, even manipulates us – then it can exist both inside that genre and as a comment on it, it can create its own world with its own comedic logic that we’re willing to follow because its humanity feels more transparent and honest. When it gets abstract or shifts into performance art, or has a celebrity play themselves, there’s a trust that’s been earned that many other shows couldn’t even imagine is a possibility.

“Only Murders in the Building” is about a murder mystery, the true crime industry, dry wit and pratfalls, sure. What it really speaks to is our desperate need to build community around whatever we can get our hands on in a world that evokes more loneliness by the day. Making a joke of that has to be done a certain way – to disarm it rather than exacerbate it. “Only Murders in the Building” helps us feel in on that joke, helps us feel seen, gives us moments where we can have power over that lonely part of ourselves, even if only for 10 episodes.

You can watch “Only Murders in the Building” on Hulu. It has been renewed for a second season.

If you enjoy what you read on this site, subscribe to Gabriel Valdez’s Patreon. It helps with the time and resources to write articles like this one.

New Shows + Movies by Women — January 8, 2021

I considered not writing this. The week has taken it out of all of us. Researching shows and movies can feel like such a small thing to do in the wake of an attempted coup. All of us are so raw. We watch a coup chase our government out of office, delaying certification of our next president, the seditionists who spurred it get to take their seats in Congress, and then we…what, go back to work?

I’ve prided myself on missing only three weeks since I started doing this last March – two were to take Thanksgiving and Christmas off, the other was to feature pressing Black Lives Matter actions instead. When I miss a week, I make sure to wrap that week’s content into the next week. I’ve refined how I research and what my sources are as I’ve done this, so I’m sure a few things have slipped through the cracks, but I’ve tried to be thorough and I’m proud to say I’ve covered everything I can for the last 10 months.

This week I just wanted to give up, though. None of this is to say ‘woe is me’ or anything like that, because we’re all feeling some version of this. Whatever we do, whatever we’re proud of, whatever we feel can make an impact, it begins to feel inconsequential when we hurt so much at what’s happening. I talk about this because I know I’m not alone in that feeling, and I don’t want anyone else to feel alone in it either. We’re all so exhausted and debilitated by what’s been happening, and we can all feel that what we do is inconsequential in the face of it.

Yet the day before this coup, we won two Senate seats in Georgia and took control of the Senate. Two months before, we won a presidency and the House. Early last year, we mobilized to stop an escalation toward war with Iran. We pushed some police reform through – not nearly enough, but a first step. The list goes on, from saving the core of the ACA to blunting the reach of ICE. A lot of these actions weren’t enough, but they stopped far worse.

And if, in the midst of it, you wrote a poem and made someone feel connected, like they could do this one day more, it mattered. If you convinced someone to watch a movie by a director of color, a woman writer, or that cast disabled actors, it mattered. If you put your mask on correctly every day, it mattered. If you called your Congresspeople, it mattered. The only way that what we do now becomes inconsequential is if we stop doing it entirely. The only way we really lose is if that apathy takes over, if we’re really convinced of that inconsequential feeling, that impostor syndrome that tells us we don’t belong and we shouldn’t act.

Some of these things may feel like a drop in the ocean, but they don’t feel meaningless to those who connect with them, who feel moved by them, who change a decision because of them. And I don’t know if this message belongs in this space or not, but that knowledge that what you do matters and changes the actions of others belongs in every space until we genuinely know it.


Mr. Mayor (NBC)
co-showrunner Tina Fey

A wealthy businessman runs for mayor of Los Angeles for a list of terrible reasons. He has no idea what he stands for; he just wants to have the position.

The show was originally set to follow Alec Baldwin’s “30 Rock” character in his New York political career. When Baldwin stepped out, Ted Danson replaced him under the condition he didn’t have to move from Los Angeles. This required the show to re-orient itself around L.A.

Tina Fey showruns with Robert Carlock. Fey is best known for writing and starring in “30 Rock”, “The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”, “Mean Girls”, and “Saturday Night Live”.

You can watch “Mr. Mayor” on NBC or on Peacock with a subscription.

Suppose a Kid from the Last Dungeon Boonies Moved to a Starter Town (Funimation)
directed by migmi

Lloyd is the weakest warrior in his village, but his village lies in one of the most dangerous parts of the world. In the capital, he’s an overpowered superhuman. He’s sent by the chief of his village to become a soldier in the capital for his own protection. There, a witch named Marie will help look after him.

For those unfamiliar, this is a play on RPG and video game progression, where dungeons and lands later in a game are much harder than those encountered early in a game. This allows players a challenge that escalates with their own skills. Of course, as a game mechanic, it often avoids engaging the logic that the people who live in the harder territories would have to be tougher themselves.

This is based on a manga that started publication in 2017. An Min-Gi, who stylizes her name as migmi, has previously directed on Marvel anime adaptations of “Iron Man” and “Blade”, as well as on series including “Death Parade”. This is the first series where she’s directed all episodes.

The series is also written by Deko Akao, the screenwriting alias for singer Hitomi Mieno.

You can watch “Suppose a Kid from the Last Dungeon Boonies Moved to a Starter Town” on Funimation with a subscription.


Herself (Amazon)
directed by Phyllida Lloyd

Sandra and her children leave her abusive husband. She has no home, no land, and barely any money. While her husband has all three, she and her children simply aren’t safe with him. It calls attention to how often this tenuous situation happens in the real world, and how little support our cultures offer to women and children at such risk.

Director Phyllida Lloyd has previously directed “Mamma Mia!” and “The Iron Lady”. Writer Clare Dunne also stars as Sandra. It’s her first screenplay, here co-written with Malcolm Campbell.

You can watch “Herself” on Amazon Prime with a subscription.

The High Note (HBO Max)
directed by Nisha Ganatra

Grace Davis is a singer whose star is fading. Her management is happy to push her through tours and residencies where she sings her greatest hits, but she wants to take a chance and record a new album. Her personal assistant Maggie is a hopeful producer who connects with her on this. The combination of Tracee Ellis Ross and Dakota Johnson in these roles is an appealing dramedy duo.

Chances are you good you saw previews for “The High Note” a year ago. The film never got its intended theatrical release because of the COVID pandemic. It’s been rentable since last May, but this is the first time it’s come to a subscription service.

Nisha Ganatra directs. She also directed the Emma Thompson-Mindy Kaling comedy “Late Night”, which shared a similar theme of women from different generations connecting on their ambitions in a male-run industry. Ganatra’s also directed on “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”, “Dear White People”, and “Transparent”. “The High Note” is the first screenplay for writer Flora Greeson.

You can watch “The High Note” on HBO Max with a subscription or rent it.

Gun and a Hotel Bible (VOD)
co-directed by Alicia Joy LeBlanc

“Gun and a Hotel Bible” has an intriguing premise: a man ready to commit murder has a conversation with a personified hotel bible. The bible’s in a tough place – even as it spiritually argues against the act, the man points out that the bible textually prescribes the specific act of murder he’s about to commit. As you might guess given the dialogue-heavy, two-people-in-a-room premise, the film is based on a play.

Alicia Joy LeBlanc directs with Raja Gosnell (yes of Scooby-Doo fame). This is LeBlanc’s first film as a director.

See where to rent “Gun and a Hotel Bible”.

Take a look at new shows + movies by women from past weeks.

If you enjoy what you read on this site, consider subscribing to Gabriel Valdez’s Patreon. It helps with the time and resources to continue writing articles like this one.

Replacing Jon Stewart — Some Better Choices, and the Obvious Best One

Jeff Goldblum

by Gabriel Valdez

Let’s get this out of the way first: NOT Brian Williams. In the wake of Jon Stewart’s announcement that he’s leaving The Daily Show later this year (most likely to become a full-time director), some voices across the internet have trolled the zeitgeist by suggesting Williams. Instead of getting the “fake news” joke, others have echoed the suggestion. No. Let’s put a stop to this right here.

Regardless of his fictional story about being shot at and his 6-month suspension from NBC News, do you want to hear every joke delivered in the same deadpan, aren’t-I-clever rhythm over and over again? Neither do I. Williams works in brief snippets, or even when leading a serious news show (at least when he doesn’t insert himself into the story). He would be a disaster at leading a nightly comedy series.

Let’s also keep John Oliver where he is. HBO is a better format for him, allowing him to condense one week into a single show that he can swear a blue streak across. Last Week Tonight is the best format for Oliver. We’ve seen him host The Daily Show for an extended period of time before and he’s good at it, but he’s great in HBO’s looser format. Why lose that for a distillation of Oliver? It’s a pipe dream anyway, since I’m sure HBO wouldn’t let him out of that contract anytime soon.

So who do I think are the best options to replace Jon Stewart?

Jessica Williams Daily Show


This choice is so obvious, I can’t dream that Comedy Central could recognize it in a million years. Like Stewart, she rarely plays a character, coming across as more of a genuine comedian than an actor-comedian. The Daily Show correspondents who rely on characters more often – Jason Jones, Kristen Schaal, Samantha Bee, John Hodgman – use those characters to excel in investigative and interview segments, but they aren’t as well-suited to host an entire show.

Ringleaders can’t rely on being one-note comedic foils. Even Stephen Colbert on The Colbert Report needed to infuse his conservative character with enough of himself to step outside and around that character on a regular basis. He needed to make fun of himself as often as he did the character he played or the news he lampooned.

I have no doubt in my mind that Jessica Williams is dynamic enough to do this. She also seems to have more of a vision for where she wants her comedy to take us and what she wants it to speak about, and that’s needed to manage the creative direction of a show. To step into the shoes of Jon Stewart and do more than hold the fort for a few months, you have to be pointed and decisive about where the show’s heading. That has Jessica Williams written all over it.

She is the best choice. Period. End of story. Sign the petition.

But in case you want some other options:

Craig Ferguson Late Late Show


Give Craig Ferguson the show he’s always wanted. It seems like bad form to dig through other people’s discards, but Ferguson has been the most interesting late night personality on network television for years now. CBS just never “got” his brand of humor.

Ferguson often lamented on the The Late Late Show that his ideal format would simply be to sit down with a personality and discuss for the entire length of a show anything at all that came up. CBS allowed him to do this exactly once. Ferguson chose Stephen Fry and the ensuing discussion ranged from hilarity to a frank conversation about dealing with depression. It was fascinating – perhaps not always funny, but neither is The Daily Show. It was relevant, and that relevancy is what Jon Stewart takes with him. Funny is easy to get on Comedy Central. Relevancy isn’t.

Ferguson is wacky, but he’s deceptively capable – he won a Peabody for his Desmond Tutu interview. He also connects emotionally in a way no other late night host can – he once opened his show with a 10 minute, tearjerking monologue about when he was an addict and considered killing himself. He knows how to disarm a guest and an audience, and he doesn’t follow late night conventions. For my money, he would be the most interesting choice, the biggest chance with the biggest payoff.

Bassem Youssef


Known as the Egyptian Jon Stewart, he was such a thorn in his government’s side that he was arrested for insulting Islam and President Morsi. His comedy relies on strengths that Stewart’s doesn’t, which is what you really want in a replacement: he’ll charm his way through a segment where Stewart would play at bumbling or being surprised by a revelation. There’s a little more nodding and winking to Youssef.

Youssef also brings a different life experience: he’s a cardiothoracic surgeon who served as a field medic for wounded protesters during the 2011 revolution. You might say he’s more familiar with Middle Eastern politics than American ones, but he’s certainly far more qualified on both than Stewart was when he first took over The Daily Show.

Glenn Beck


I’m just seeing if you’re paying attention.

Sarah Silverman


Honestly, this would be the best single way to maintain the format of The Daily Show exactly how it is while infusing it with a completely different voice and set of priorities. The writers, producers, and supporting cast there are good enough to train someone on the job when it comes to the political side of The Daily Show. Hell, that could even be the running bit: Silverman as an opinionated neophyte playing an analogue for the audience when it comes to learning about corporate political issues.

This would end up being more of an ensemble piece, at least at first, but a top-notch late night ensemble is the one thing The Daily Show already boasts that no other late night show can.

Russell Brand


Brand hardly needs the money or exposure. In fact, The Daily Show would almost certainly be a pay downgrade for him. It would give him, however, what he’s sought most in recent years – a ready-made platform to take down a poisonous news media atmosphere from equal footing.

What shape would the show take? Who knows? Could Brand be relied upon for years on end? You’ve got me. But it’s a chance that might be worth taking, and the upside could be huge.

Patton Oswalt


Comedy’s nerd-in-residence might not be as equipped to tackle politics and corporate America, but he’s a quick study and he’s already well-schooled in every single weird cultural nuance America now enjoys. He’s a quick wit, though I don’t know if he has the ego or vision to master The Daily Show. He’s essentially the best hold-the-fort candidate, a direction I don’t think Comedy Central should go. If they do, though, Oswalt’s the one to make it work.


OK, just kidding.


Still kiddi- actually, I’d watch the hell out of that.

Olivia Munn


This is the most out-of-left-field suggestion. I get that a lot of people won’t agree with it, but I think she’s most capable of finding new humor by transitioning The Daily Show into something even more serious. Why take a comedy show and make it more serious? That’s what a lot of people asked about Jon Stewart way back when.

I know the tendency is to dismiss her and guess that she only ever got a Daily Show gig in the first place because of her looks, but this argument tends to ignore much of her resume.

Irin Carmon’s famous Jezebel takedown – that questioned Munn’s credentials and insisted she was a sex symbol and not a comedian, as if the two are mutually exclusive – ignored an obsessive work ethic that saw Munn essentially carry the G4 network on her back for years and years.

Come to think of it, Munn’s the only one on this list with a degree in journalism and she’s actually got more experience hosting a show than everyone else but Craig Ferguson.

Tina Fey 2


I can’t imagine this is the direction Fey wants to take her career. Hosting The Daily Show would take her away from her full-time role as a producer and writer while closing opportunities out to her as an actress.

So don’t bring her in as a host.

There are more roles that Jon Stewart plays on The Daily Show than hosting. Bring Fey in as a new producer. To create something bold and fresh, there’s no better behind-the-scenes voice to draft at this point than Fey.

Jeff Goldblum 3


Because: Jeff Goldblum. This would take the show in a more celebrity angle than political one, but it would be appointment viewing. He obviously loves working with Stewart’s operation, given that he’s appeared on Daily Show and Colbert Report bits countless times.

There are a host of other options – most notably Tig Notaro, but also Wyatt Cenac, Alec Baldwin (no), Chris Rock, Aisha Tyler, Norm Macdonald (he already bombed trying to riff it), Cameron Esposito, and so many others.

The gig is certainly going to be in high demand, and Comedy Central shouldn’t act out of desperation when choosing Jon Stewart’s replacement. They should go with someone challenging, someone they want, and not someone they feel they need.

“Ghostbusters” and Protecting Women From Critics


by Gabriel Valdez

Ghostbusters led by an all-female cast. That’s the news. I’ve heard the notion in a few circles that, if the film’s a failure, it’s going to be used as an argument against casting all-women ensembles in the future…so it shouldn’t be made.

Clearly, we’ve got to protect women from bad reviews, everyone. They can’t handle it. Let’s not take that step forward – there’s a danger in misogynists being vocal. Because they were so quiet before.

Look, if us guys get to make Marvel Movie Starring a White Guy Named Chris 12 and conclude Expendables 3 with a fistfight between two guys who beat their wives and not worry about the reviews, I think women can hack Ghostbusters: Subtitle Here.

I love the original, but we act as if the franchise is untouchable, as if it was delivered to the brain of Dan Ackroyd fully fledged by God on stone tablets. The 1984 film certainly wasn’t influenced by the 1946 film Spook Busters or the 1975 TV show The Ghost Busters.

It certainly hasn’t been adapted into an underwhelming sequel before, like Ghostbusters 2, or into countless video games and TV shows of mixed quality. No, it is a pristine property and, like the driver’s seat of a car in Saudi Arabia, it is something that powers beyond us have dictated a woman’s hand shall never touch. I mean, to even think of challenging such supernatural forces, we’d need, like, some sort of Ghostbuster.

No film is pristine. Hidden Fortress became Star Wars, royalty-free. Yojimbo became A Fistfull of Dollars. The Wizard of Oz, John Carpenter’s The Thing, 90% of Star Trek, True Grit, The Fly, Sorceror, The Birdcage, John Carpenter’s The Thing, 22 James Bonds, every comic book adaptation with a number or subtitle, Seven Samurai, Aliens, Lord of the Rings, Terminator 2, Back to the Future, and John Carpenter’s The Thing are all sequels or remakes. Did I mention John Carpenter’s The Thing?

We don’t have many rules for this site. We have the Sharni Vinson Rule and the Joseph Gordon-Levitt Bylaw, which basically state we bring them up as often as possible. We typically have a one cuss word-per-article maximum – you try editing Vanessa Tottle’s stuff that way. Here’s the third: any argument that means John Carpenter’s The Thing wouldn’t exist is unacceptable. And you know what they did? They made a prequel to JC’s The Thing, the most bearded up Kurt Russell movie ever made, it starred Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and it was pretty fucking good.

Turns out when you’re frying aliens with a flamethrower, it doesn’t matter what gender you are. I don’t think ghosts care either.

Regardless of who’s cast, I’m pretty sure Sandra “who else could have pulled off Gravity that well” Bullock or Tina “I carried Saturday Night Live on my back for years” Fey can equal the magic of Dan “don’t look at my IMDB page and realize how many terrible movies I made” Ackroyd and Harold “how do you want me to act? Just like I have in everything else?” Ramis. And if Ghostbusters director Paul Feig even thinks of hiring Riki Lindhome and Kate Micucci (Garfunkel and Oates), I’m calling it right here – there’s a real chance it’s better than the original.

So can we please drop the “Oh, what if Ghostbusters flops, women will be set back a thousand years” argument? Because that argument is a catch-all that works against against increased roles for women, minorities, or any group cast in a film you don’t want to see them in. And even if it does flop, the only critics using that logic will be the ones who will never stop doing so.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go start the Jessica Walter for Ghostbusters campaign.

“Muppets Most Wanted” — Comedic Success and Missed Opportunity

Muppets 2

Muppets Most Wanted is a comedy in which the main characters are three-foot puppets, a la Sesame Street. The most famous is Kermit the Frog, who leads his eclectic band of performers to put on shows that are part variety act, part rock concert, and part circus. Most of the humor isn’t designed to make you laugh uncontrollably as much as to make you smile broadly. It’s written for adults as much as it is for children, but because its biggest charm is its good intent, it needs to be funny to adults without falling back on suggestive jokes.

This is a tall order for a movie. It was pulled off in 2011 when the dormant franchise got rebooted in The Muppets, but that film rested its narrative on the journey and love story of two non-muppet humans played by Jason Segel and Amy Adams. The muppets themselves were only half the story.

In Muppets Most Wanted, the muppets are now on their own. There are supporting human players – British comedian Ricky Gervais returns, now playing Muppets manager Dominic Badguy. He replaces Kermit with lookalike frog Constantine (“the most dangerous frog in the world”) in order to use the Muppets’ world tour as a front for robbing museums and banks across Europe. Kermit himself is snatched by police after a case of mistaken identity, and sent to complete Constantine’s prison sentence in a Siberian Gulag.

Muppets Gulag

Ty Burrell (Modern Family) plays French investigator Jean Pierre, who is more often on-break than he is on-the-case. Tina Fey (30 Rock) is Nadya, the strict officer in charge of the Gulag. She steals the show pretty regularly. The whole concoction makes for a great family movie. There’s slapstick humor for the kids, the musical numbers are clever and varied, and the film is rife with sight gags and celebrity cameos for the adults. You haven’t lived until you’ve seen Ray Liotta (GoodFellas) and Danny Trejo (Machete) auditioning their song-and-dance routine for the Gulag’s all-prisoner variety show. The film fires gags so fast that if one misses the mark, you don’t have time to think about it before the next one hits.

I can’t help but feel that Muppets Most Wanted misses an opportunity, however. Writer-director James Bobin is so intent on communicating the many needless details of what’s really a very simple plot that he forgets to create many sketches – nearly all of the jokes are one-offs.

This is a genre of comedy that’s strongest when it blends together the entire history of cinema. There are clever visual gags that reference everything from M to Lawrence of Arabia to Silence of the Lambs, but they’re gone as quickly as they’re delivered. The only time Muppets Most Wanted even hints at a full sketch is in its songs, particularly when Jean Pierre and his muppet CIA partner, Sam Eagle, question various muppets about the international heists. These situational sketches are potential goldmines for comedy, but they’re constantly passed over. It makes you feel like the best bits might be happening in between the scenes you get to see.

Muppets 6

Muppets Most Wanted is pleasing. You’ll want to see what visual gag or surprise cameo is around the corner. There just isn’t as much to invest in this time around. The Muppets had some surprisingly moving moments, such as the song “Man or Muppet,” in which two brothers – one man, one muppet – both faced taking a step into the unknown and away from each other. It hearkened back to the moment Kermit sat on a rock with his banjo and lamented “It’s not easy bein’ green,” a song that in 1970 sparked families to discuss diversity and intolerance with their children, topics that were being asked about by youth, but that were being shied away from in popular culture.

“Man or Muppet” is a song that made my niece – five at the time – ask me about taking chances in life, about the hopes and fears you can have even in an average schoolday. Muppets Most Wanted doesn’t have any such moments. It’s cute and funny. It will definitely make you smile. It just lacks that little bit of emotional resonance that earned its predecessor a spot in so many hearts. Muppets Most Wanted is rated PG for action.

Muppets 4