The Muppets Mayhem begins with a rather brilliant idea: the focus of a comedy series about the chaotic but charismatic band Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem.
Since debuting on the pilot of The Muppet Show In 1975, this zany musical act delivered madness and bliss while performing alongside a dazzling cast of stars. Her new Disney+ show is at its best when she’s leaning into those sweet spots, playing toe-tapping songs and stringing together cameos that range from the surprising to the insane. However where The Muppets Mayhem fumbles is in his abiding interest in the human followers of this epic band.
When the limelight shifts from chaos to people, things essentially get lousy.
what is The Muppets Mayhem around?
Credit: Disney/Mitch Haaseth
For decades, The Electric Mayhem has toured the United States non-stop, finding famous friends and many fans along the way. However, they have not yet recorded an album.
Leave it to an ambitious record executive (Lilly Singh) to change that. To save a company from its last legs, Nora must get the band to ship the album she got a head start on ages ago. However, problems crop up around every corner (well, every episode), and she’s always ill-prepared. Though the record industry is her calling, Nora knows next to nothing about this band so groundbreaking they’ve been loved by music legends like Tommy Lee, Lil Nas X, “Weird Al” Yankovic and Paula Abdul.
As the band battles demons, unveils touching origin stories, and grapples with their creative insecurities, The Muppets Mayhem ties its A-plot to a boring businesswoman who exists primarily to nag and manipulate to get her way. Yes, yes, Nora will learn life lessons along the way, just as you would expect at a Disney property. But why did the writers choose the “selfish suit” as the archetype around which the show revolves? It is as inexplicable as when The Smurfs Movie(opens in a new tab) was tied to a makeup manager.
Adult audiences won’t tune in to the human actors coupled with the nostalgic creatures they love, and kids won’t care for the stakes of a record company going down the drain or the boring Nora, Mayhem-fanboy love triangle Moog (Tahj Mowry) and boring business brother JJ (Anders Holm). The Muppets Mayhem also works in themes about sisterhood, involving Nora’s TikTok-obsessed influencer sister Hannah (Saara Chaudry). How else would they work in Animal and do TikTok dances? (Yes, the slur on the band being hard on social media is forced and awful!)
The Muppets Mayhem is bliss when it dares to be stupid.
Credit: Disney/Mitch Haaseth
Creators Adam F. Goldberg, Bill Barretta, and Jeff Yorkes punish Muppets fans by making us put up with Nora’s bland stories, but their writers room did a remarkable job of recapturing the magic of puppet theatre banter and the happy moodiness of the band. Cold openings feature fast and goofy setups and punch lines that elicit laughs that ring out over the rockin’ title track. This crew’s comedy is hilariously silly. For example, when the band is asked to write a new song, they get stuck and write a series of beginnings, middles and endings, and the rule of three means each of them gets progressively goofy and pokes fun at the music industry with a gentle foam finger. (Still, you might sing to yourself their clumsy choruses because they Are catchy.)
Over 10 episodes, The Muppets Mayhem has room to enjoy in each of the bandmates. Mumbling Lips (Peter Linz) has two running gags: indecipherable in his language And the most connected Muppet in Hollywood. He often enters a scene with a big celebrity in his arms, and there’s an infectious joy watching these stars get really giddy working with Muppets. (Who could blame them?)
Out of the way Zoot (Dave Goelz) has a horrifying memory of too many years of — er — stumbling on the road. His confusion over the concept of a documentary about the band (a groaning advertisement for Disney+’s Beatles documentary) leads to actors stopping by to audition in costumes that are a mixture of fun and scary. Elsewhere, Animal hops around with bunnies and drums, playing the band’s eternal little brother. Meanwhile, Janice’s hippie-dippy philosophies lead to a gentle mockery of the self-help industry and the blurred lines between spas and cults.
Floyd and Dr. Teeth turn out to be the fuzzy heart that takes center stage Muppet’s Chaos.
Credit: Disney/Mitch Haaseth
Without question, bassist Floyd Pepper (Matt Vogel) has always been the hottest member of Electric Mayhem. I will not respond to questions. That’s fact. Here the minds behind the Muppets cleverly use the Pedro Pascal effect, though unfortunately not by casting the actor in a cameo (imagine that!). Instead, they harness the power of Pedro’s Protective Daddy The Mandalorian And The last of us from Creating an origin story for Animal that makes Floyd a fragile father figure. But that’s not all.
An episode that explores the origins of the group’s iconic van, Dr. Teeth’s name unfolding, and how he and Floyd formed the band, proves to be an emotional pivot in the series. Flashbacks bring an irresistible complexity to these longtime silly musicians. Playing on themes of parents at war with their art-loving kids, the episode brings the Muppet bounce to a serious topic. the results are familiar but comforting and fun. dr Teeth also gets a fiery old flame, a psychological analysis, and a chance to explain why he’s not Really the frontman, despite the band’s original name. And here it is The Muppets Mayhem is at its best.
While these characters may have been created for musical detail and succinct punch lines, this series shows that there’s more to them. And it’s a thrill to see them play together, even if they play hard. There’s always happy chatter, silly jokes and good humor in her van. It’s just a pleasure to hang out with the chaos. This show could have simply leaned into the chaos of this motley crew as a series of surreal and cute sketches. It is such a crap as the show leaves them to return to Nora’s tiring Sad Girl Tour.
Muppet productions can work when they focus on one human, such as The Muppet Christmas Carol proven with a deeply engaged Scrooge in Michael Caine. However, this only works when the human meets the energy level or intensity of the colorful weirdos around them. (See also Tim Curry as Long John Silver in Muppet’s Treasure Island or Charles Grodin as a lustful cat burglar The Great Muppet Caper). Here, people aren’t legendary villains; They’re just confused millennials. What’s more, Singh and co. don’t give theatrical, weird Muppet movie performances, instead offering woefully sanitized, broad, and lively Disney Channel acts. (Please remember that Grodin went so far as to insist that he and Miss Piggy were having a torrid affair.(opens in a new tab))
Even with the boring human followers The Muppets Mayhem is an exuberant pleasure. I bit a few episodes in one sitting and kept pausing because I was cackling too loud to hear what the band had to say next. So I wholeheartedly recommend Muppets fans, young and old, to hop aboard this bombastic bus and rock out with Electric Mayhem… Just have the remote at hand to scroll through the human drudgery.
And when the show gets a second season, we hope it embraces the chaos and kicks its too-human entourage to the curb.
The Muppets Mayhem Streams exclusively on Disney+(opens in a new tab) 10th of May.