IR TV Review: MUPPETS NOW – EPISODE 1 (“Due Date”) [Disney+]

Trying to find a new structure inside the idea of The Muppets in an interesting quandary. These are old school puppets who find themselves in a new world and yet they need to be a product of it without seeming antiquated or behind the times. “Muppets Now” is a direct reference to that. It takes into account that some of the most successful elements of The Muppets recently have been their You Tube shorts playing to music video covers and such which plays into vignettes. It is a different beast from the original “Muppet Show” nearly 40 years ago where it was more about what was going off stage as it was on stage. This is inter-played here to be sure but it is not really the same thing. However, it does approach it in a parallel way. Scooter is still doing the tech elements but now with a computer instead of a stage. It incorporates the internet/social media angle and it has the guest stars in many ways in a similar way While it does incorporate some of their personality, pop culture is different now. It would be neat to see how music and comedy plays in but it is not quite there. There is no “Pigs In Space” moment. No Steve Martin plays the banjo. Kermit does on-on-ones that go awry. Miss Piggy has a fashion segment. The Swedish Chef has a cooking show that goes wrong. The show seems to have its ducks in a row but it is not overtly thinking outside the box but it is a tricky line. A lot of the stuff that could be done in the late 70s on a UK produced show perhaps can’t quite be done in close to a similar way on Disney+ in 2020. It will be interesting to see how “Muppets Now” evolves.


By Tim Wassberg

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