FULL REVIEW: Muppets Now
When last I left you with the Muppets, I offered a first impression after seeing the first episode of Muppets Now on Disney+. As promised, I am now offering my full review which concluded its six episode season on Friday.
Unfortunately, my first impression of the series was slightly more rosy than the way I feel about it now. I said that the characters are back true to form, but, after watching the whole season, I don't know how I feel. Yes, they have the same family friendly energy that the original Muppet Show did, but there just seems to be something missing - it's edge. While the Muppets were meant to be enjoyed by the whole family and always had this subversive nature. This was something they tried to pick up on in 2015's The Muppets on ABC. However, they went too far in the other direction with questionable jokes for a family friendly audience.
Muppets Now ended up being more drab trying to be too family friendly. It lost its edge. I'll give you a prime example. One of the segments is "Muppet Labs Field Test" which features Doctor Bunsen Honeydew and his assistant Beaker. Usually, Honeydew would be performing an experiment where Beaker inevitably finds himself accidentally hurt by it. Not that I want Beaker to be hurt, but that was part of the humor of their bit. Honeydew blindly hurts Beaker during experiments. And, it's okay because they are Muppets and not actual humans. In "Muppet Labs Field Test," Beaker performs the experiment with the good doctor. He meeps away, but never in any danger. It's just not as funny. Sorry, Beaker.
The same can be said about "Økėÿ Døkęÿ Køøkïñ" with the Swedish Chef. By introducing Beverly Plume, who I found extremely irritating, as the host and a celebrity chef, the segments we love with the Swedish Chef just become lackluster because it isn't about him anymore leaving him to do very little.
The two segments that I did find funny are "Lifesty(le) with Miss Piggy" and "Pepe's Unbelievable Game Show." Honestly, it's hard to go wrong for me with Miss Piggy. But, aside from my love for the swine goddess, they got it with the segment. The joke is on her. She thinks it's all about her, but it's not. And, the addition of Uncle Deadly as a partner for Miss Piggy was genius.
I was surprised by my love of "Pepe's Unbelievable Game Show" because I'm generally not a fan of Pepe. But, I found him to be the perfect host of the show and was consistently funny throughout. I couldn't stop laughing when he kept calling a guest named Artum as "cartoon." Also, every week, the games for the show would be different and more insane.
I'm not sure why they decided to do six static segments every week rather than bringing us different segments. While I liked some of the segments, the repetition made it a little boring because I knew what was going to happen. Also, the way they had it didn't give many of the other Muppets to shine, particularly Fozzie who was barely in the show. And, the lack of musical element made Doctor Teeth and the Electric Mayhem non existent.
Speaking of musical elements, it would have been wonderful if some of the guests did musical numbers like they did in The Muppet Show. It's not like YouTube is devoid of musical numbers. In fact, it is born in it. I hope they will consider doing this for future seasons.
I honestly hope that the Muppets will add more variety in their online variety show next season. And try to remember what made the Muppets funny. It wasn't safe humor, but subversive. We love you, Muppets. We just want you to get it perfect.