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03 Aug 2020

Home Video Review: Disney+'s 'Muppets Now' Features a Fun Energy That Will Appeal to Muppets Fans Both Old and New

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A scene from Muppets Now. A scene from Muppets Now.

The new Disney+ series Muppets Now—the umpteenth incarnation of the Muppets on TV—proves to be a good one, with Kermit and pals assimilating into the world of Zoom and cooking-competition shows.

The premise is simple: Kermit presides over a different kind of show, one in which he remains the emcee, and Scooter continues as a stage manager, of sorts. But this time, Kermit is hosting things on a Zoom-like platform, while Scooter labors away trying to upload show elements on time to the satisfaction of Miss Piggy, Gonzo, etc.

It may sound trite and unoriginal, but the writing and flow turn out to be perfect fits for Muppet sensibilities. I’m four episodes in—the show is being released to the public in weekly installments, and the first of six first-season episodes was released July 31—and they get progressively funnier. Human guests such as Linda Cardellini and Taye Diggs are fun, but they never overshadow the puppet horseplay.

Miss Piggy gets a fashion show called Lifesty, the name of which makes her very angry for obvious reasons. The best segments involve the Swedish Chef in a cooking competition during which he cheats and refuses to tip delivery drivers. (The Swedish Chef is pure insanity in this new show.) Scientist Bunsen Honeydew now has a sadistic edge in his wont for destroying things, while assistant Beaker remains petrified.

The show pops with energy. Muppets Now could have felt like producers were trying to shoehorn the classic characters into a new, modern format—but instead, the show feels natural. This will appeal to younger fans and heritage fans alike.

Muppets Now is now streaming on Disney+, with new episodes released on Fridays.

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