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Alyssa had never seen The Muppets Take Manhattan. Having rectified that error, here she offers a 21st century reassessment:


The blitheness of the Muppets' conviction that they'll make it without much effort on Broadway is proof that post-graduate entitlement isn't just a Millenial phenomenon. Setting them up in a bunch of bus terminal lockers is a wonderfully clever little riff on the terrible first New York apartment. After Manhattan Melodies, their show, fails to find a producer, there's something wistful and realistic about the letters the Muppets write each other about their first jobs. 

It's true that New York has always been the place dreamers come to dash themselves on the rocks (Todd VanDerWerff's summing up of Glee makes this point nicely), but the fact that all the characters end up struggling feels particularly relevant to this moment, one where 85 percent of college grads may move back home--it's not like one character is an investment banker, and one's a publishing assistant, and there's just one person in a group of friends who hasn't quite found what they want to do.
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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

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