Disney Finally Figured Out What To Do With the Muppets
The fact that there hasn’t been a big Muppets project since 2014’s Muppet’s Most Wanted just feels wrong. Ever since the launch of Disney+, we’ve seen short-form shows and specials like Muppets Now and Muppets Haunted Mansion. Despite these offerings, it felt like Disney was squandering the massively popular and universally beloved franchise. But the streamer finally makes good on the promise of Jim Henson’s creations with their new series, The Muppets Mayhem, which centers on Muppet band Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem.
Many have flocked to the Electric Mayhem throughout the years, and the band has always provided plenty of laughs. The series finds the band still causing all kinds of musical chaos when they’re approached by Nora (Lilly Singh), an assistant at a record label who helps the band record and release their long-awaited debut album. Hijinks and celebrity cameos (Tommy Lee, Lil Nas X, “Weird Al” Yankovic and more!) inevitably ensue.
With The Muppets Mayhem, Disney has finally found a way to breathe new life into the Muppets. Disney purchased the Muppets from the Jim Henson Company back in 2004, and made a splashy reboot with the Jason Segel and Amy Adams-led The Muppets (2011). But that strong start quickly petered out in subsequent projects.
And while there’s plenty to like about the new series, I’m still missing the kind of classic Muppet content we’ve enjoyed since 1976. As a ’90s kid, I loved watching films like The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984) and The Great Muppet Caper (1981). But what works about The Muppets Mayhem is that the series recognizes the humor of the Electric Mayhem while still pulling at the heart strings of fans. Truly and honestly, I’ve cried during every single episode. The Muppets Mayhem finally feels like a show that understands why we love the Muppets, and has mastered the art of bringing them to a new audience while still making diehard fans happy.
Give it up for Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem
Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem are a successful rock group from the ’70s, who have been friends with rock stars we all know and love. Much of the inspiration behind the band comes from popular acts at the time, like Led Zeppelin, Fleetwood Mac, and Pink Floyd. Dr. Teeth himself is inspired by New Orleans legend Dr. John. My dad taught me all about these bands, and much of my emotional connection to the show (and the band) comes from how much my dad loved the Electric Mayhem.
What’s so exciting about the series is that it doesn’t shy away from the fact that fans really do love the Electric Mayhem. It plays on our nostalgia, while giving us backstory for these iconic characters. And along the band, the series is helped by amazing performances from the human cast, which includes Singh (A Little Late With Lilly Singh), Anders Holm (Workaholics), Saara Chaudry (The Breadwinner), and Tahj Mowry (Baby Daddy). The show as a whole just feels like the missing piece to my Muppets-loving heart.
I hope this show continues past this first season and launches the Muppet renaissance that so many fans have been waiting for. Because if we can get more series like The Muppets Mayhem in our lives, I think we’ll all be better for it.
(featured image: Walt Disney Studios Company)
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