Review – Muppets Mayhem

If you’re looking for a comedy that will make the whole family laugh out loud, The Muppets Mayhem is the perfect choice. This time, it’s all about ‘The Electric Mayhem’ – the famed Muppet band consisting of Dr Teeth, Janice, Floyd Pepper, Lips, Zoot and Animal. The main human character is an aspiring music executive named Nora (Lilly Singh) who hopes to get the band to record their first album after they have been too busy touring to complete it. This is spearheaded by the owner of small record label Penny Waxman (Leslie Carrara-Rudolph)

But there’s a catch: ‘The Electric Mayhem’ is a group of wildly eccentric characters that cannot and will not be contained by traditional means. If Nora is going to succeed, she’ll need to meet the band where they are and learn to adapt to how they do business. With the help of the band’s roadie Moog (Tahj Mowry) and her sister Hannah (Saara Chaudry), Nora embarks on a journey that requires a lot of finesse that includes helping the musicians move past grievances and rediscover their roots.

The show breaks the idea of what we usually expect from a new Muppet show. Instead of an origin story, we’re placed in the current day and caught up with the exploits of ‘The Electric Mayhem’ through a series of past clips. By bringing the band to the forefront and making them the stars of the show, it forges a way forward for Jim Henson’s Muppets who have been somewhat stagnant after a few unsuccessful attempts to make them relevant and popular again. Fortunately, the setup of this show and the overload of cameos from musical and film stars connect the past with the present and forge a way forward for the Muppets to become a solid part of Disney + and popular culture again.

Singh is a comedic joy, blending just the right amount of naivete and ambition into her character. Mowry makes Moog a delightfully human character, while Chaudry and Anders Holm (as Nora’s former love interest JJ) round out the human cast. But it’s the Muppet performers who really steal the show, layering their performances in humour that makes their characters sparkle.

Dave Goelz’s Zoot can’t remember anything, Peter Linz’s Lips mumbles his way into our hearts, David Rudman’s Janice is a unique standout, Matt Vogel’s Floyd Pepper is a character we’d all want to be friends with, and Eric Jacobson’s Animal is a sweet and kind soul that does what his character does best. Bill Barretta’s Dr. Teeth is the noblest of lead characters, never outshining the rest of the band. There was so much time across the 10 episodes spent with each member of the band, we learn their backstory and motivation and why they gel so much as a band. Before this show, I honestly couldn’t name the band outside of Animal and Janice, and fortunately, now I have a strong affection for each band member and hope to see them in future projects.

The show deals with bringing the band into the current age by giving them phones, social media and encouraging them to pursue their own individual interests which results in some great side stories like Janice starting a cult with the change ‘For Sure’ and Animal making Tik Tok videos, resulting in a hilarious reflection of influencer culture and the need to constantly be posting content to stay relevant. It is all done carefully and told with humour and heart with a hint of concern. Kids will find it incredibly hilarious, while adults can see through the message from writers Adam F Goldberg, Bill Barretta and Jeff Yorkes. While 10 episodes does feel long, it does a great job of establishing each character and showcasing how they fit into the band dynamic.

The Muppets Mayhem knows where it came from and respects the past, it boldly charts a new course forward for the Muppets by not focusing on Kermit and Miss Piggy, we finally get to see the Electric Mayhem and spend time with each band member who by the end of the series you will love each of them on their own and as a band. So whether you’re a long-time Muppet fan or a newcomer, this show successfully brings the Muppets into 2023 and allows them to do what they do best.

The Muppets Mayhem is streaming on Disney + from May 10.

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If you're looking for a comedy that will make the whole family laugh out loud, The Muppets Mayhem is the perfect choice. This time, it's all about 'The Electric Mayhem' - the famed Muppet band consisting of Dr Teeth, Janice, Floyd Pepper, Lips, Zoot...Review - Muppets Mayhem