Review: The Muppets Mayhem, Episode 10 – “We Will Rock You”

Published: July 12, 2023
Categories: Feature, Reviews

Okay, so, that was The Muppets Mayhem. What did we all think? I’ll start with you in the back.

You want my opinion? On the show or this episode? Ah, right, okay, I guess I’ll start and then maybe we’ll go around the room.

It’s always a risky moment when we hear about any new Muppet thing. There is always a risk it’s going to be either good, fine, or downright awful. I had some faith going in to this show, because they had a performer at the helm, and I have full faith in Leigh Slaughter at The Muppets Studio. Thankfully that faith was justified, because I really loved this show, even if I didn’t love this episode.

Let’s recap, shall we? When we last saw The Electric Mayhem, they’d all gone their own way. Nora has the unenviable task of rounding them all up to play at the Hollywood Bowl, but none of them are keen.

Floyd’s jingles are a hit, so he has no interest in coming back. He’s making money hand over fist doing songs for IKEA and Bennigan’s, and he has a personal assistant (played by an always welcome Kristin Schaal). Teeth and Penny are getting on a cruise ship, the Jalepeno Princess. Janice has her cult, the Fersherleans, which terrifies me to the very core. Zoot has an art show displaying his terrible photos. Lips is doing TED talks and saving the world. The only one left is Animal, and that’s because last episode Hannah had turned him into a social media megastar.

When Nora is unsuccessful she bails, which inspires Animal to try round up the team himself. Which, turns out was actually super easy, barely an inconvenience (Oh, really!). Yeah, all Animal has to do is say the name Nora to the band members and they all abandon their new lives and come straight back. Apparently seeing Nora in person made it easy to deny her begging, but the concept of her makes it easy for them to come back? Honestly, this entire bit felt super forced and rushed, and it left me a little unsatisfied.

But hey, now they’re back, to play the Hollywood Bowl, which Nora more than once calls a ‘once in a lifetime oppurtunity’, so apparently she had no idea that they’ve done it three times already in 2017. Unfortunately now they have to find Nora, which they do through the power of music (thankfully Hannah references the fact that it makes no sense, because it makes NO sense, but referencing it feels Muppety enough that I’ll let it slide). Nora realises she can understand Lips because she’s part of the family now, so off they drive to the show.

JJ turns up and he and Nora split up, which leaves me just as confused as I’ve been for 9 episodes and offers no insight into how I’m supposed to feel about him at all. Is he a villian? Is he a bad guy with good intentions? Is he a nice guy with good intentions but just doesn’t know how to show it? I don’t know. Anders Holm does a good job with him, but I can’t imagine we’ll have any need for him if the show gets a Season 2.

Awww, Dr Teeth dedicates a song to Nora, ‘Believe In Us’, because she always believed in them! I always believed in them too, but they aren’t dedicating ‘Cheesecake’ to me, go figure. The record is a big ol’ success, and the Mayhem (along with Nora and Moog) decide to head out on tour, which I can only assume would be what Season 2 will focus on if/when it ever comes about (I imagine the current Writer’s Strike is what has stopped any news about that, so it may still happen). And Hannah stays home, which is a shame, because Hannah is one of the highlights of this entire show.

It’s been interesting listening to Lilly Singh, Taj Mowry and Saara Chaudry in promotions for this show (even on our own Backstage Pass podcast) that they’re aware they’re the humans in a Muppet show, and most people aren’t there for them. And I could have absolutely done without any of the love triangle stuff. But all three have been a welcome addition to the weird Muppet canon, and they did a great job. I need more Saara Chaudry and Animal hijinks though, because the comedic chemistry between those two was entertaining as heck. Road trip docuseries with those two, anyone? Disney Plus is gonna love this.

Most Valuable Muppet: This goes to Animal, who shouts Nora at everyone until they come back, and looks cute as heck doing it.

Most Valuable Human: Again, Saara Chaudry is a comedy assassin. Some of her lines may not be inherently funny, but her way of delivering them are killer.

Musical Highlight: As Animal gets the band back together they play ‘The Sound of Us’ under the montage. It deserved a bigger spot in the series, because it’s a great song. Also you can sing ‘Happiness Hotel’ to it perfectly. Try it.

Best Joke: Penny to Nora when she gives her Waxtown Records; ‘There’s Tic Tacs in the top drawer. DO NOT TOUCH THEM’. Oh Leslie Carrara-Rudolph, you always slay me. This is closely followed by Lips’ assumption that Nora has died, one of my favorite running gags.

Weakest Joke: We didn’t need the ‘Part of every day’ gag from the first episode brought back, but at least it gave us the Mayhem sitting in awkward silence and Janice saying passive aggressively ‘I feel bad for you’.

Coolest Puppet Trick: Eric Jacobson is really standing in that bus performing Animal as it runs down the road. Wear a seatbelt, Eric!

First Appearance of…: Holy cow, it’s Statler and Waldorf! I’d heard rumblings we MAY get a cameo by some established characters at some point, and I had been expecting perhaps Kermit and Piggy to be in the crowd during the Hollywood Bowl show. So imagine my surprise when our favorite two guys from the balcony rocked up!

Notable Muppet Fan Easter Egg: The Electric Mayhem bus! That’s from the first movie! The Mallory Gallery! That’s from the second movie! Zoot references when they took Manhattan! THAT’S FROM THE THIRD MOVIE!

Notable Cameo: Statler and Waldorf, of course-dorf.

Adultiest Content: The Fersherleans are a genuine cult who looked like they’d gladly sacrifice anyone to make their overlord Janice happy. Creeeeeeepy.

One More Thing: I love Jimmy the shoe, and I love the backstory. If you don’t know it, you should know it.

Okay, One More Thing: When the band opens the garage and Floyd lifts his arms, they didn’t remove the arm rods. You can see it in the picture at the top of this article.

By Jarrod Fairclough –

Click here to Bon many Voyages on the ToughPigs forum!

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