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Muppets Now 1.03 Review – ‘Getting Testy’

August 14, 2020 | Posted by Jeffrey Harris
Muppets Now Episode 104
7.5
The 411 Rating
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Muppets Now 1.03 Review – ‘Getting Testy’  

Author’s Note: This review for Muppets Now is based on a screener provided by Disney+.

Episode 103 – “Getting Testy”

Since I didn’t mention him last week, one of the newly introduced Muppet characters for this Disney+ series is Joe the Legal Weasel. He’s the new legal counsel for the crew and thinks very highly of his bad legal pun jokes. I actually quite enjoy the character and think he’s a great addition to the team. And since each episode has a minor framing narrative device, Joe interrupts poor Scooter from sending out this week’s uploads for Muppets Now without any audience testing. Unfortunately for Scooter, his focus group is the Muppets’ longtime duo of hecklers, Statler and Waldorf. It’s always good to see Statler and Waldorf, who have been a part of The Muppets family for decades.

This week’s episode starts things off strong with another “Okey Dokey Kookin” segment. This week’s celebrity guest challenging Swedish Chef is Chef Roy Choi, who picks a kalbi bowl this week. Of course, host Beverly Plume is quite smitten with Chef Choi, and Swedish Chef is jealous of all the attention. This one wasn’t quite as good as the epic Danny Trejo segment, but Chef just slamming raw rice into a bowl and then hauling out a bull was amusing.

Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and Beaker were back for another “Muppets Lab Field Test” to test velocity using some pizza. Comedian Al Madrigal makes an appearance in this segment as the pizza delivery guy, aptly named Al, who eagerly volunteers to help out with the velocity experiment. I really liked this segment because it’s actually informative and educational for kids while also adding that unique brand of Muppet entertainment at the same time, complete with poor Beaker getting rag-dolled. So, this is another Muppets gem for this series.

“Lifesty(le) With Miss Piggy” is back this week as Miss Piggy dives into relationship issues, and of course, it dives into her longtime relationship issues with Kermit. Taye Diggs and Linda Cardellini, who very much appear to be recurring guests in the first four episodes, make appearances again. Now, credit where credit is due. I was rather put off by Matt Vogel’s voice for Kermit in the first episode. His performance this week did appear to be a little bit better, and he showed marked improvement with the voice. In the first episode, his voice just sounded very off. Here, he appeared to have a more natural, traditional voice for Kermit that sounded a lot better, and he appears to still be finding his groove as Kermit’s Muppeteer.

Another edition of “Pepe’s Unbelievable Gameshow” finishes the show off this week. I think Pepe had a better showing with his humor in last week’s episode, as he was just improvising the whole game as it went along.

I enjoyed a nice emphasis on physical humor and sight gags this week, between the “Field Test,” poor Beaker getting physically tortured and Kermit trying to escape Miss Piggy’s video on relationship advice. Linda Cardellini also has a new Muppet friend named “Brie,” who is actually just a block of cheese and sounds like a trendy valley girl. Plus, we got some more amusing relationship tension between Piggy and Kermit this week, which always a good device to fall back on. The multi-person video chat in Miss Piggy’s segment nicely displayed how multi-person video chats can quickly become very chaotic.

The show provides a sense of The Muppets struggling and doing their best to stay afloat with this new show. So, I hope to some degree their efforts are rewarded by the end of the season. But that scrappy underdog factor adds to these characters’ charm.

7.5
The final score: review Good
The 411
Overall, a solid episode this week. I would say not quite as good as last week's episode, which was really my personal favorite so far. It appears every week will have a segment with Swedish Chef and Beverly Plume and another one with Miss Piggy and Uncle Deadly. Those are easily the best two recurring segments on the show, so I can see why they are making regular appearances. Besides Statler and Waldorf appearing as the audience focus testers, I wouldn't have minded the introduction of a new sketch or using some different Muppet characters in a new segment this week.
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