This post contains spoilers for Episodes 5 and 6 of Muppets Now.
Jarrod Fairclough – First thing’s first; no, you aren’t crazy. We didn’t review Episode 5 of Muppets Now last week. This was due to the episode not loading properly on our system until it was too late, which is ironic considering the episode was about a computer error. I’ll give it a quick review now:
Uncle Deadly’s segment was hilarious, Lifestyle actually made me laugh at least once, there was no Okey Dokey which is Okey Dokey with me, and Bunsen and Beaker’s segment was very stale. I think that’s due to the improv nature of the show. There are a bunch of Beaker puppets – some with light up eyes, some that stretch, etc. But to have Beaker’s hand just caught in a hydraulic press and him kinda just shrug it off? Boring! And that’s because they obviously didn’t have on hand the puppet with the flat hands, or the capability of making that a thing. Now, on to episode 6, shall we?
Muppet Labs Field Test
Hilariously, Muppet Labs is the first segment of this episode, something I genuinely did not know when I wrote that last paragraph. This time they’ve added a little extra, as Joe the Legal Weasel joins the team. This is the most we’ve really seen of Joe, a character that was teased and seemed to be a much bigger part of the show according to the trailers. He’s fun! He’s a buzzkill, but still kind of in on the joke, which differentiates him from someone like Sam the Eagle, who can literally just be a buzzkill and that’s it. Joe makes jokes, Joe gets mad, and I’m interested to see where else they can take his character. He’s never going to be the star of the show, but Joe has the possibility to bring a lot of interesting dynamics to the show as he tries to reign them in. Hopefully with Joe taking the responsible role, it might allow Kermit to be a little silly again moving forward.
This was what Muppet Labs Field Test needed to be the whole time! It’s quick, it’s punchy, it’s silly, and Beaker actually gets injured (well, radiated) and not due to Bunsen being kind of a dick to him. It’s a shame it took them until the last episode. But it’s nice to see.
Okey Dokey Kookin
Oh. It’s back. Remember last week when Chef got to come in for 5 seconds and be funny? And Beverly Plume couldn’t work out her wifi? Good times.
…So, Beverly’s inner monologue is her getting annoyed at Chef? Fine, but, like, we KNOW she’s annoyed by Chef, because in every segment she hasn’t hidden it. This isn’t news. This is just a new way for Beverly Plume to have no character building. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – Julianne Beuscher deserves better than that.
Seriously, when the best part of your sketch is Kermit accidentally walking through it to get his lunch, there’s a problem with your sketch.
Mup Close & Personal
Alright, I was hoping for a palette cleanser after Okey Dokey, and dammit if Mup Close & Personal didn’t deliver. Here Fozzie interviews Seth Rogen, while they both attempt to take care of some babies who are mainly an excuse for the puppeteers to go CRAZY. I’m assuming it’s Bill Barretta who plays the gruff sounding baby, and his loud wailing sound when Rogen takes the bottle of poison off him might be the best part of this series. Even Eric Jacobson seems to break a little when a clearly delighted and torn Rogen exclaims ‘I’m not a father! I’m not good with kids’.
Seth Rogen has done a couple of small things with The Muppets, but this segment proves he needs to do more. His amazement that the only word the baby knows is ‘Rogen’ and ‘that’s super weird!’ truly makes this one of the best segments of the whole show. Fozzie is able to keep up with the chaos, which is great, because it’d be easy to have him fall apart at the slightest sign of an issue.
Honestly, I cannot tell you how much I needed this segment, because THIS proves that The Muppets can still be hysterical, and it bothers me that Disney waited until the last episode to pull this out. Put this, last week’s Deadly segment, the first Pepe’s Game Show and heck, maybe even last week’s Lifestyle in one episode and I’d be giving that an A+. There are gems in Muppets Now, it’s just a case of sorting through them.
Lifestyle with Miss Piggy
This segment has grown on me a little, and it might be after last week’s better incarnation. It’s been middling, although one thing has remained constantly great and that’s been Uncle Deadly. While interviewing Kermit the other day, I had a chance to chat with Matt Vogel who also happened to be around. I mentioned how much I loved Deadly in this show, and he gave the most sincere smile and said ‘I love that weirdo so much’. And it shows – Matt really cares about Deadly and making him as funny and odd as possible. His little ‘boop’ to an exhausted Walter is a fun bit of character.
The Leaky Bucket runner is a weird one, but it made me laugh, and Piggy’s wonderment at its indestructibility at the end was pretty funny. Linda Cardellini didn’t have much to do, but she’s carried that Chat Room segment for 5 episodes now so it’s time for her to relax.
And that’s it! That’s Muppets Now done and dusted. It’s been a myriad of great fun, boring, strange and hysterical, and if there’s any type of season 2 I’m hoping the people in charge take a look at what didn’t work. More variety, different characters, remembering what has worked in the past – that’s what The Muppets need! That said, it’s really nice to end on a high, and that baby section is by far my favorite thing they’ve done all series, so kudos.