The Muppets are everything and anything, an improvisational group of music and humor that could outshine Quentin Tarantino's work any day. From an iconic series to multiple significant films in the lives of multiple generations, they rise above the work of an ego-maniacal creep. I'll give credit to Inglorious Bastards as being a film that's well done, in my opinion, but that work wasn't Tarantino alone; it was the work of hundreds and more hard-working creatives and visionaries.
Tarantino is often highly regarded, placed on a large pile of bull sh*t we somehow decided to call good work, but in reality, it's not his alone. Did he put together the costumes or navigate the difficult camera work after hours of work? Placing such an intense title on his head does a disservice to the industry, women in film, or anyone who isn't a straight white man. The Muppets include actors, comedians, and many people in developing a community in their projects. Women aren't used as props like they often can be in Tarantino films. Tarantino will often have a theme of underage girls in relationships with older men, where aging means something evil for anyone feminine but means no consequences for the men. When looking to write about women, Tarantino should have looked deeper and even possibly towards examples like the Studio Ghibli films. Kill Bill is only a piece of what could be great of about Tarantino's work, the depth of the main character's grief being significant, but for films that center not around a woman, they remain in the background almost like a forethought.
I love horror films, dark humor, and all of the things in-between, but there's always been something off to me about Tarantino's work. I can like a film of his, but when it comes down to it, there's more than enough reason to critique it, like most projects or art done by problematic people. You can admit the fantastic music that has come from the mind of individuals like David Bowie (or almost any band that toured in Warp Tour), but you can't deny the gross manipulation and/or grooming of underage girls that has happened. What solidifies this more for me is that with The Muppets, there isn't a director or creative force behind the camera…insisting they choke the actor themselves because they only know how it should be done. Choking, killing, and everything around that is valid in many films and scenes, but it goes to another level for Tarantino.
The roles of talented people are intertwined with The Muppets in their films and shows, no matter who it is. Still, with Tarantino, many who are talented (and often feminine) are limited to how far they have reach in stories alongside men. And when they have stories on their own, they become violated, brutalized, or simply sexualized in brutal ways. Women exist in violence almost exclusively; after so many films, there has to come a point where they extend beyond those constraints because that's simply a limitation that at least The Muppets don't see.
Tarantino's work has those good moments, you know some that might be your favorite, but they don't exist or are a product of his work alone (like he didn't shoot, edit, fix costumes, find production money, bring together each piece of music, control the lighting, and much more), but he still holds a lot of decisive power in the end. So when I look at a woman being choked in a Tarantino film or spit on, I don't see art; I see an excuse. With content like The Muppets, I see freedom in the music, comedy, and more that allows us a reason to return to childlike wonder and peace. We value some artistic influence over others, often deem anything not filled with dramatic moments or depth as less than. In the end, we need to require more of ourselves when watching intense or dramatic films. Enjoy them, but don't allow yourself to dismiss what might be beneath the surface of the art you enjoy, look at the creator or the source. But, I will take a ridiculous Muppets song, celebrity cameo that makes no sense, or Kermit being Kermit any day over the toll taken when watching a Tarantino film.