Review: Muppets NOW brings Kermit & Co back up to date

Muppets NOW is the brand new Disney+ original series starring The Muppets. It’s the first show since ABC’s ill-fated sitcom, which tried and failed to reboot our favourite furry friends as proper ‘grown up’ characters.

So here we are with Muppets NOW and the title nicely captures the fact that this does feel like a very contemporary show. Cleverly, this time around the creators haven’t tried too hard. In fact, the premise is nicely simple. This is an unscripted sketch show, and they’ve limited it to just four sketches per episode and as with all the best sketch shows, each scenario returns in every episode.

So, we get a nice science lab set-up, where The Muppets actually try out some experiments for real and younger viewers will learn something. Swedish Chef has his own cookery show, in which he cooks alongside a guest star each episode and Miss Peggy has her ‘Life Sty’ show in which she interviews celebrities including Ru Paul.

Muppets Now ep103_Ppes Game Show_Shot 04_ALT_3200x1800 Credit: Disney+

There are lots of laughs, brilliant puppetry, some sharp gags and the whole thing looks gloriously colourful and contemporary. Making an improvised show was a stroke of genius, it allows the cast members to thrive as their characters without limitations from the writing room.

Muppets NOW is a show that families can watch together. Your children will love it and as an adult, it feels nicely nostalgic but also fun – and funny to watch. Our only criticism would be that they’ve only made six episodes and these largely feature the same few Muppets – but you can’t blame them for playing it fairly safe in that sense, and we hope that next time around there’s a bumper order and more characters get a chance to shine.

Hey, perhaps we’ll even get a new Muppets movie?

Check out Muppets NOW on demand from Disney+ from Friday 31 July 2020.