It’s time to play the music! Well, maybe not that music. But it is time to play music as The Electric Mayhem come together with an aspiring record producer to make their first album in The Muppets Mayhem. As should be no surprise, things aren’t just as simple as going into the studio, recording an album, and releasing it. Instead, things get more complicated as the personalities of this old-school rock band come up against the challenges of the modern music industry. Here is a spoiler-free review of this new series from The Muppet Studio.
In The Muppets Mayhem, the main plotline is The Electric Mayhem trying to navigate the modern music industry and create their first album. Along the way, there are some challenges, music, comedic moments, and plenty of cameos. Through the course of the ten episodes, The Muppets Mayhem starts with the collision of two worlds, the on-the-road touring lives of The Electric Mayhem and that of the modern music industry that is continuing its transformation to streaming. These two worlds, as seen in this series, really are oil meeting water and it is hilarious. The start of the series also begins with quite a bit of setup that felt a tad slow at first. However, soon the series begins to shift out of first gear and hit the road. As it does, each episode picks up and accelerates. I really attributed this to the human characters getting into the grove and catching up with The Electric Mayhem who started out with things already turned to 11.
Reviewing The Muppets Mayhem, I initially sat down to watch one episode at a time. What really happened, however, was I binge-watched the entire series in one day. With each consecutive episode, I found myself being pulled in more to what was happening to both the Muppet characters and also their human companions. Already a fan of The Electric Mayhem, I found myself really digging the story that was being told and craving more. Once I finished, I was ready to rewatch it again. There are plenty of nods to the past that eagle-eyed Muppets fans will be enjoying, and also plenty of cameos that actually make sense and help move the story forward.
In The Muppets Mayhem, the focus isn’t on Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, or Fozzie Bear. Instead, the focus is on Dr. Teeth, Janice, Lips, Zoot, Floyd Pepper, and Animal (Bill Barretta, David Rudman, Peter Linz, Dave Goelz, Matt Vogel, and Eric Jacobson) along with their album’s music executive Nora (Lilly Singh) and superfan-turned-music producer Moog (Tahj Mowry). The change of focus gives the series the chance to tell new stories and explore characters that really haven’t had a lot of their backstory told in previous Muppet movies and series. Throughout the course of the ten-episode series, viewers learn about the origins of the band and the backstories of its members. This is done in a way that makes sense and also continues to move the story forward in an enjoyable way. It also adds to the relationships between the band members as their motivations do make more sense. Yes, they are motivated by more than just simply rocking out.
Throughout the course of the series, there are also some new characters that are introduced. This includes one new Muppet named Penny Waxman (Leslie Carrrara-Rudolph), the owner of the record label that is making The Electric Mayhem album. As with all the characters in this series, she grew on me as I got to know her better throughout the series. This was also true for Nora, Moog, Nora’s sister Hannah (Saara Chaudry), and others. However, as the series moved on I found myself liking them all more and more as the cast became more and more cohesive.
Throughout the series, it is no surprise that there is quite a bit of music coming from The Electric Mayhem. Each episode starts with the theme song, played by the band. There are also plenty of other songs heard throughout the series that will be also appearing on its album. Most of the songs are quite recognizable. The band sounds awesome for all of them. Listening to the different songs throughout the series I found myself thinking back to getting to see the band perform Can You Picture That? at the D23 Expo last year. The staging for the performances also worked out really well and by the end of the last episode, I was wishing I could see them live once again!
The Muppets Mayhem is a solid next chapter for The Muppets. I think the greatest compliment I can give this series is that it felt right. The band was clearly having fun throughout the series. As they went on their wacky adventures in music-making, I found myself loving the band even more and feeling that magic that made me fall in love with The Muppets in the first place. This is a series that is a worthy successor to Muppets Haunted Mansion and shows that the trajectory of The Muppets is heading in the right direction. It has a very enjoyable story, stellar cameos, comedic moments, rockin’ music, and a great re-watch ability factor! Hats off to The Muppets Mayhem. I can’t wait to see what comes next from The Muppet Studios!
Mr. DAPs Hat Rating Scale
- No Hat – Didn’t meet expectations
- Hat Nod – It was ok
- Hat Tip – It was good
- Hat’s Off – Loved it!