Today, the Mindset proudly welcomes Muppet Central Forum's RedPiggy. RedPiggy is here with her first article discussing the fan-fiction of the Muppet Central Forums. She started a fan-fiction survey on the forums that led her to her article topics. This is a great way for more readers to visit the great fan-fictions of the site, and also a great way for writers' names to get out there. So, without further ado, here's the first article:
The Principle Players
By Kelly Masters (RedPiggy from Muppet Central Forums) - Fan-created fiction, or fan-fiction/fan-fic for short, is a staple of fandom. Especially the fandom of Muppet Central Forum. They can be just derivative, poorly written scripts with minor tweaks to existing shows or movies – or they can be lovingly crafted works of literary art that deepen the characters in ways never really addressed in official media. This is the first of my reviews of some of those fanfics that manage to lean towards the latter.
To avoid looking vain by plugging my own (painful as it is for me to do so), I posted a survey where other Muppet Central Forum members could offer suggestions on which fan-fics to review. The first question read as follows: "Which fic or fics in your opinion best reflect the characterizations of the major Muppet characters (please list the characters, such as Kermit, Piggy, Fozzie, Gonzo, Scooter, Rowlf, the Electric Mayhem)? Let's keep it to these characters for this question, shall we?"
Based on the responses, I have decided to review three stories authored by Muppet Central members: TogetherAgain’s Half of the Stairs Are Missing, TogetherAgain’s Summer in the Theater, and WhiteRabbit’s Coming of the Roads.
Half of the Stairs Are Missing
Amusingly, we begin with a fourth-wall-breaking prologue, as the author thinks of things to write about and faces elements of her other stories. It is like reading a story of a dying person visiting long-gone relatives on a trip through the afterlife. We begin with a bunch of dialogue, only some of which is attributed. I suppose it doesn’t really matter, but it’s just a small pet peeve of mine when I don’t know who is talking, even though the dramatically important conversations are attributed. However, such a beginning does contribute to a sense of chaos, which fits right in with Muppety goodness.
Right away, what is obvious is that no one acts out of character. Even if nothing like this ever happened (the closest being Kermit’s disappearance in The Muppets Take Manhattan and even the memorial special after the death of Jim Henson), everyone reacts to a stark event perfectly. Actually, I wouldn’t be surprised if that memorial special was part of the inspiration for this particular story.
While this story is, as of this writing, unfinished, it’s still a very good read, though some may want to bring along some extra tissues and security blankets.
Summer in the Theater
This story by TogetherAgain is also quite dramatic. However, this time around, the mood is a bit lighter, with more jokes and puns than in the previously reviewed piece. A dark figure has a mission to rip off the financially struggling Muppet Theater.
I think I’ll take this time to mention Fozzie as well. He’s not nearly as shaken as he was in the previously reviewed story, but then again there’s no real reason for him to be. Fozzie is presented again as less the failed comic and more the insecure ever-giving best friend of Kermit the Frog. I suppose it’s just as well: I would guess it takes a great comic to write a bad one.
Another high point is the Electric Mayhem band. When it comes time to wash cars to raise money, their “solution” is spot on.
Also brightening the mood in spots are some very clever cameos, human and Muppet alike. Cameos are always part and parcel of the entire Muppet experience, and they are very well done, even if they do start to become a running gag.
Now, personally, a letter that Kermit gets feels as though it was written by yours truly. I have to wonder just how many fans of the Muppets actually feel that way, that the Muppets were the gold under the rainbow, the diamond in the rough, the cream in our coffee, the icing on our cake – the one lonely light in a massive sea of darkness. The Muppets are all that and more. Fan-fiction helps some of us try to give back, albeit unofficially, some of that love we felt we got from them.
The true identity of the thief wasn’t at all who I expected, but the rationale for the crimes was pure genius. This particular story is finished, and I definitely recommend it.
Coming of the Roads
Dr. Teeth is a flashy urban keyboardist. He himself had to scrape up the financial ladder, starting from a troubled urban childhood.
Janice isn’t just some airhead blonde. She is thoughtful and compassionate. Her motherly instincts pop up fairly easily.
Floyd is easily the Kermit of the group, the mostly laid-back guy who just sort of goes with the flow. The only difference is that Floyd doesn’t let things weigh him down like Kermit does.