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Tag: Puppets! (1-3 of 3)

Remembrance of felt past: Ranking the puppet episodes that paved the way for 'Glee'

On Thanksgiving Day, Glee will join an elite squad of network  TV series: the few, the proud, the ones with puppet episodes. Not episodes that revolve around inevitably creepy marionettes — like Buffy‘s “The Puppet Show” or Criminal Minds“The Lesson” — but ones that instead feature cute, colorful felt facsimiles of one or more main characters. (It’s important to note that these facsimiles are generally not Muppets. To quote an earlier episode of one Puppet Brotherhood member: “Shh! You wanna get sued?”)

Though puppet episodes are a nascent genre, they still generally conform to a certain set of rules. They’ve got the feel of children’s television as made for a decidedly older audience. They include plenty of meta jokes about the characters’ sudden felt status. At some point, someone’s going to act like Kermit when he gets excited. And finally, there’s got to be at least one song — preferably an original, designed to sound like a grown-up Sesame Street outtake.

Glee, most likely, will hit these same notes in “Puppet Master,” its own imaginatively named puppet episode. But how will the show compare to the faux-Muppet stories that have come before? Let’s speculate — after first remembering the four most notable puppet episodes of seasons past.
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Neil Patrick Harris on getting probed by alien puppets...for his webseries: 'You don't know what you're missing'

If you’ve been watching Neil Patrick Harris’ YouTube series Neil’s Puppet Dreams — made in partnership with Nerdist and Henson Alternative — it’s already abundantly clear that this is not exactly a show for kids. Harris has already had his (puppet) trouser weasel examined, been interrogated for being a (puppet) predator, and fended off a (puppet) beaver hungry to eat his (non-puppet) wood.

And then there’s this week’s episode (embedded below), in which NPH finds himself abducted by (puppet) aliens and begs them to give him a good probing. He-yo!

As Harris makes clear in our Q&A with him below, it’s all in the spirit of good, kinda dirty fun.  READ FULL STORY

Neil Patrick Harris on his YouTube show 'Neil's Puppet Dreams': 'I have a puppet workshop in my garage' -- VIDEO

The idea of a web series featuring Neil Patrick Harris and puppets seems like such an obvious thing the world needs, it’s a little shocking no one’s come up with it until now. Produced with the Jim Henson Company’s “Henson Alternative” division, Neil’s Puppet Dreams premieres today on the Nerdist’s YouTube channel. While upcoming episodes promise drag queens, puppet sex, and a surprising amount of nudity — this ain’t a family webseries — the first episode features a simple fear of falling and a vividly illustrative song penned by co-creator and producer Janet Varney. You can watch the first episode below, and then check out my interview with Harris about how this all came about, the powerful pull puppets have on his life, and, yes, whether How I Met Your Mother is returning for a ninth season.  READ FULL STORY

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