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Muppets Now 1.04 Review – ‘Sleep Mode’

August 21, 2020 | Posted by Jeffrey Harris
Muppets Now - 104
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Muppets Now 1.04 Review – ‘Sleep Mode’  

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

Episode 104 – “Sleep Mode”

This week’s episode of Muppets Now on Disney+ starts off with a bang as the amazing diva that is Miss Piggy has a one-on-one interview with actress Aubrey Plaza for “Mup Close & Personal.” Of course, since Miss Piggy is not one to let someone other than “moi” be the center of attention, so every question is very catty and adversarial.

I really enjoyed this segment. Plaza is a seasoned comedic talent, so she handled the humor and style of this interview very well as Miss Piggy attempts to belittle and provoke Aubrey Plaza. Meanwhile, Plaza attempts to play it cool by being nice and honest to Piggy’s rather pigheaded and belligerent approach. This skit was great. Uncle Deadly has an interlude at one point dressed in drag to direct some reaction shots from Aubrey Plaza. Plaza was a total natural here and looked like she had a lot of fun doing this segment. This is the type of humor when Muppets Now really shines. Plus, there’s Uncle Deadly dressing in drag and being fabulous in general.

Joe the Legal Weasel and Kermit the Frog introduce the latest Muppets Lab “Field Test” this week. There was a nice little bit with Kermit anticipating Joe’s latest attempt at a pithy bon mot when he responds to Kermit saying, “Don’t try this at home” with “Or anybody else’s home. That’s not a joke.” Joe finds it hilarious anyway. I do like Joe the Legal Weasel, even though he’s mainly being used in small doses for the show so far. I’d like to see what would happen if he got a more extended segment.

On this week’s “Field Test,” Dr. Bunson Honeydew and Baker try some vibrational experiments with sound using a lonely, outdated computer. The computer is an old, giant computer that has been locked up in a storage room for 20 years. The computer room is like a moody, depressed Muppet on his own and is desperate not to be locked in storage again, so he keeps stalling and trying to extend the experiment. We get some good physical humor with Beaker, some actual legitimate information regarding sound and vibrations, and a fun new character with the old computer. Overall, no complaints here.

Of course, my favorite recurring segment on the show, “Okey Dokey Kookin,’ is back again for another helping this week. For this week’s cooking battle, Swedish Chef faces off against celebrity guest Guiseppe Losavio, who are making some Spaghetti Carbonara. Unfortunately, since Swedish Chef doesn’t have any fresh eggs on hand, he gets them straight from the source using possibly Camilla, or another Muppet chicken, to lay some eggs. It’s not quite as good as the last three weeks of Okey Dokey Kookin, but it’s still solid.

This week’s “Lifesty(le) with Miss Piggy” explores self care. Taye Diggs and Miss Piggy sharing some self affirmations, with some humorously placed, witty interruptions by Uncle Deadly end quite predictably, but still good. I do like that Diggs and Linda Cardellini have made appearances in every episode so far as recurring celebrity guests. For Linda Cardellini’s cameo, I especially like that Pepe is there at her home “reading her palm.” I doubt that’s all Pepe had on his mind. Case in point, after Miss Piggy basically self-invites herself over to Linda’s home, Pepe is ready to head out.

The framing device this week is Scooter getting sleepy from performing a lot of all-nighters, so he gets Animal’s help to make noise and help him stay awake. There hasn’t been a whole lot of Animal for the run of the show so far, so this was nice. The framing devices are a nice little punctuation to the show to give a bit of a slight narrative.

Now, all that aside, one aspect I think that’s been missing from the show so far is music. There hasn’t been much in the way of music or musical performances yet for the series. I realize that isn’t the focus, but I’ve always found musical skits or sketches to be a big part of Muppet shows, so I hope that’s something that can get showcased later on this season.

Thus far, it appears that the cooking segments and Lifesty are favorites among the crew, as they’ve appeared in every episode so far. Miss Piggy’s interview with Aubrey Plaza was easily the standout segment this week.

The final score: review Very Good
The 411
One thing Muppets Now really has down is pacing. These are 23 to 24-minute episodes, but they really just fly by very quickly with some nice, bite-sized Muppet bits. It's not the best Muppets material ever, but it's light, charming and wholesome entertainment. We got a double-dose of Miss Piggy this week with her Aubrey Plaza interview and another Lifesty segment, but both were very good, especially the Plaza interview.