SEVERE WX : Flash Flood Watch View Alerts
STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

'Muppets Now' brings the old gang to a new setting on Disney+

Every few years the Muppets seem to get a reboot whether needed or not, including a short-lived ABC revival in 2015 and "Muppet Babies" for Disney Jr. There...

Posted: Aug 1, 2020 10:31 AM

Every few years the Muppets seem to get a reboot whether needed or not, including a short-lived ABC revival in 2015 and "Muppet Babies" for Disney Jr. There are notable similarities between the former show and "Muppets Now," which tries to light the lights (again) on Disney+, a venue where Kermit and company needn't worry about low ratings tangling their strings.

After movies in 2011 and 2014, the Muppets hit primetime with what was presented as a backstage version of the gang, using a faux documentary approach a la "The Office." "Muppets Now" plays off that idea, billing its six-episode run as "unscripted," depicting the characters assembling videos for a new streaming series.

Get past that 21st-century conceit, however, and there's not much difference between the new Muppets and the vintage 1970s ones, other than the identifiably new voices -- with Matt Vogel replacing Steve Whitmire, who was fired, as Kermit the Frog -- and the flesh-and-blood talent (Taye Diggs, Linda Cardellini and Danny Trejo among them) enlisted to join in the nonsense.

One advantage the Muppets have is that they're such an institution, people seem to welcome the opportunity to drop by, as evidenced by the aforementioned celebrities, or Kermit's frequently interrupted interview with RuPaul.

The episodes previewed feature several recurring bits, some stronger than others. There's a cooking competition involving the Swedish Chef against actual chefs, ridiculous experiments with Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and Beaker (accompanied by warnings from legal), and Miss Piggy's regular "Lifestyle" segments. Of course, she's constantly irritated that the graphics people keep leaving the "le" off the title, adding an appropriately porcine twist.

The broad physical gags cater to a family audience, with perhaps the weakest, drawn-out segment being a sort-of game show hosted by Pepe the King Prawn. (The closing credits including thank-yous to those who stayed quiet at home while the project was being made, a nod to production in the Covid-19 age.)

Basically, "Muppets Now" fits nicely in the filler bin of the streaming business model -- the kind of show that would motivate relatively few people to subscribe, but given that it's a recognizable commodity, you might watch if you're getting Disney+ already.

Granted, that's hardly a ringing endorsement, but on the bright side, it's more enthusiastic than any review the gang would receive from Statler and Waldorf.

"Muppets Now" premieres July 31 on Disney+.

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 415767

Reported Deaths: 32694
CountyConfirmedDeaths
New York City22546023536
Suffolk433001996
Nassau432712194
Westchester359741445
Rockland13880674
Orange11088489
Erie8548669
Monroe4742277
Dutchess4504153
Onondaga3477194
Albany2515126
Oneida2081112
Ulster202691
Sullivan148348
Niagara144496
Putnam142563
Broome104864
Schenectady103237
Rensselaer73430
Saratoga72617
Columbia51937
Madison39917
Ontario34934
Warren30033
Orleans29554
Steuben29042
Greene28918
Fulton28224
Genesee2725
St. Lawrence2614
Washington25514
Wayne2453
Oswego2443
Herkimer2404
Chautauqua2319
Tompkins2300
Chenango2096
Tioga18824
Livingston1668
Chemung1633
Cattaraugus1586
Montgomery1554
Cayuga1442
Jefferson1300
Clinton1274
Otsego1125
Wyoming1125
Delaware1034
Cortland910
Seneca853
Allegany741
Schoharie680
Essex550
Yates557
Franklin500
Lewis340
Schuyler220
Hamilton70
Unassigned00
Utica
Overcast
73° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 73°
Oneonta
Overcast
70° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 70°
Herkimer
Overcast
73° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 73°
Thendara
Overcast
73° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 73°
WKTV Radar
WKTV Temperatures
WKTV Severe Weather
Click here to learn more about A Healthier Mohawk Valley
Ask EPLC Sweepstakes
Saluting Those Who Are Proud 2 Serve
Senior Send-Off brought to you by Herkimer College
WKTV Golf Card - Under 150 left