REVIEWED: SEASON 1 (EPISODES 1-2) | PLATFORM: DISNEY+ | RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
It’s long been a point of frustration for the Kermit crowd that Disney hasn’t known what to do with the Muppets these past few years, but at last now the gang is back on our (small) screens with Disney +’s Muppets Now. The last time Fozzie and friends had their own show was 2015’s misjudged mockumentary sitcom. Perhaps in an attempt to prevent a similar flop, Now takes the property back to basics, which produces mixed results.
Muppets Now is a half-hour show made up of semi-unscripted skits, including Miss Piggy’s beauty vlog series Lifesty(le), the Swedish Chef’s cook-off, and Dr Bunsen and Beaker’s science lessons. As always, the puppet performers are joined by a host of celebrity guests - RuPaul, Linda Cardellini, and Danny Trejo feature in the first two episodes - and there’s a wraparound narrative each week as Scooter attempts to edit and upload the show from home.
As the title suggests, Muppets Now is very keen - maybe even overzealous - to make sure Jim Henson’s timeless creations are relevant to today’s audiences. The unscripted nature of the show does make for a lot of fun moments, particularly when the celebs get involved, but it also means it can be hit and miss. All in all, it’s a diverting way to spend 25 minutes, like the YouTube-style content it evokes, but it’s maybe not the grand return to form that Muppet diehards will be hoping for.