Review | ‘Muppets Now’ is a Breath of Fresh Air

Let’s be honest, there really isn’t much to look forward to any more in 2020.

That’s why the triumphant return of the beloved Muppets gang on Muppets Now, exclusively on Disney+ is so welcoming. Muppets Now is a fresh take on a classic variety show that caters to the 2020 audience in all of the best ways. With a short, easy-to-digest runtime, as well as their usual celebrity cameos, this new rendition of Jim Henson‘s imagination has a lot to offer.

Muppets Now: As Charming as Ever Before

Whether you grew up with The Muppets or have never watched them at all, the general appeal hasn’t changed one bit. The sharp-tongued gang, armed with quick-witted gags and their satirical view of society, have evolved perfectly with every new incarnation. Naturally, Muppets Now is no different.

Although their 2015 short-lived ABC sitcom reminiscent of The Office was cancelled, The Muppets proved their brand of family-friendly entertainment can live on. In the premiere episode of Muppets Now, they reaffirmed that fact with an excellent bundle of short sketches.

Source: The Walt Disney Co./The Muppets Studio/Soapbox Films

The Muppets have been routinely meta and self-aware since their inception in 1976. Everything you loved then is on full display for Muppets Now. From the second the show starts, we see the Muppets have missed their deadline to post the new show and hilarity ensues thereafter.

Curated and hosted by their usual tech geek Scooter, we see the various segments as they’re being uploaded onto his computer. Reflecting our current state of affairs, we see Miss Piggy host a video chat with her celebrity guest, Linda Cardellini (Scooby Doo, Freaks & Geeks).

Kermit the Frog teaches the art of the “photo-bomb”. Miss Piggy posts her selfies full of trendy hashtags. And The Swedish Chef receives mobile food delivery. Muppets Now is so 2020 and it’s actually quite wonderful.

the heartfelt Muppets legacy Continues

The mastermind visionary behind The Muppets: Jim Henson
Source: The Muppets Studio

Life’s like a movie, write your own ending. Keep believing, keep pretending. The most sophisticated people I know – inside they are all children. My hope still is to leave the world a bit better than when I got here

– Jim Henson

The late great Jim Henson passed away nearly 20 years ago, but with Muppets Now streaming to audiences all over the world, I believe he’d be proud his Muppet magic is still thriving.

Although not necessarily autobiographical, Kermit’s dream of going to Hollywood in the original 1979 film, The Muppet Movie, seemed representative of Henson and his crew of “muppeteers.” Henson captured lightning in a bottle the second he graced his local TV stations with the original show, Sam and Friends, in 1955. A handful of late night talk show appearances later, the world was blessed with The Muppet Show in 1976. Their manic energy and self -referential humor took the world by storm. They constantly broke the invisible fourth wall, had hilarious cameos by comedic legends like Steve Martin, and had inventive skits that poked fun at the “human” lifestyle.

Muppets Now lovingly carries on the tradition and brings the entire epic gang back for a whole new generation to laugh at. Miss Piggy is still full of herself, Kermit is still a lovable goofball, Gonzo is still whatever he is and the rest of the gang are still as wacky as ever.

Kermit the Frog said it best in the original 1979 Muppets film. All he wanted was to “bring joy and happiness to millions of people.” Eight theatrical feature films and four television shows later, Kermit has definitely delivered on that dream.

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