Muppets Now Season 1 finale recap: Socialized

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 21: Fozzie Bear speaks at 'Morning with the Muppets' panel discussion at the Vulture Festival at Milk Studios on May 21, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for Vulture Festival)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 21: Fozzie Bear speaks at 'Morning with the Muppets' panel discussion at the Vulture Festival at Milk Studios on May 21, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for Vulture Festival) /

The season 1 finale of the Disney+ series Muppets Now has a rather memorable segment where Fozzie Bear (Eric Jacobson) interviews Seth Rogen, and we see a bit more of Robin (Peter Linz), nephew of Kermit the Frog (Matt Vogel). The episode really kicks off after Kermit warns us not to try what they see at home. What aren’t we supposed to try? The madcap experiments from “Muppet Labs Field Test,” of course!

In a way, this edition gets into some basics with chemistry. However, being fully aware of the explosive possibilities, Joe the Legal Weasel (Linz) shows up to monitor the situation.

Before any crisis can start, Muppets Now name drops French chemist Antoine Lavoisier, who played an important role in forming our understanding of combustion and apparently created the words “oxygen” and “hydrogen.” Muppets Now do not mention that Lavoisier was beheaded for being a tax collector, perhaps assuming it would distract too much from the segment.

Muppets Now explore chemistry and cooking.

Anyway, the chemistry tests are conducted in the usual way by Dr. Bunsen Honeydew (Dave Goelz) and his trusty assistant, Beaker (David Rudman). They experiment with baking soda vs. vinegar, salt vs. ice, then salt and popcorn. Joe from legal inspires them to try dish soap, hydrogen peroxide, potassium iodide, with mildly explosive results. It’s not quite as wild as some of their other experiments, and it might be Joe’s presence that tempers Bunsen’s latent scientific sadism against Beaker.

Økėÿ Døkęÿ Køøkïñ

From that segment, Scooter (Rudman) moves right along to “Økėÿ Døkęÿ Køøkïñ,” hosted by Beverly Plume (Julianne Buescher) and featuring the notoriously incomprehensible Swedish Chef (Bill Barretta). This time the Chef is competing against actress Marina Michelson in a meatball competition. Marina’s recipe promises Mediterranean flair, including a tablespoon of cumin, cayenne, olive oil, salt, and egg.

As often happens on Muppets Now,” the Swedish Chef operates in relative secrecy as if suggesting a genius who cannot be disturbed. However, Marina’s meatballs call for ground lamb, an oven heated to 450 degrees, some creamy yogurt sauce, and lemon and garlic. While one can’t taste the food through the screen, it sounds like a very flavorful meatball style. As for the Swedish Chef, he ends up with a rather impressive giant meatball stuck on his head.

Muppets Now and Seth Rogen

As stated earlier, the “Mup Close and Personal” segment between Fozzie Bear and Seth Rogen is solid and probably the best moment of Muppets Now so far. In fact, even if you’re not a Seth Rogen fan, there’s a solid chance you might like this segment anyway, as it is classic Muppet humor. The basic premise is that, while interviewing Rogan, Fozzie is babysitting, and the babies are not very well-behaved. They’re a possible threat to others and even to themselves.

One baby really wants to drink poison, and another is eager to run with scissors. As their misbehavior continues, Rogen intermittently answers Fozzie’s questions. Rogen’s able to make a few simple observations about comedy, such as how it’s important to be funny, but he gets interrupted by the babies brandishing swords and knives. There is, however, a bit of an endearing moment when one of the babies only knows one word: “Rogen.”

Seth Rogen reveals he is a fan of Bill Murray and Fozzie himself. He finds it important to pursue different interests, such as writing, producing, directing, and making pottery. Fozzie ultimately leaves the babies with Rogen, and one wants milk. In the next segment, Miss Piggy (Jacobson) returns. So does series regular Taye Diggs.

Miss Piggy’s “Tips from the Top”

Miss Piggy promotes things like getting a pedicure, spas, and other standard aspects of a healthy + beauty regimen. She advises treating yourself, relaxing, and all that. However, Muppets Now and Taye Diggs start grossing Miss Piggy again with suggestions like a fish foot spa, snail facials, bird-dropping skin cream, and a snake massage.

By the episode’s end, she’s not the only one to get confused: Scooter has to deal with “live cat mode” instead of a “live chat mode.” This episode, and overall series, has plenty of decent stuff, but one wishes Kermit would show up a little more often.

What are your thoughts on Muppets Now? Let us know in the comments!

Next. 5 binge-worthy series on Amazon Prime Video. dark