It’s easy to see that the show will only focus on a small group of a large cast of characters, but that group can be bigger than three or four, and Fozzie’s already wacka-wacka’d his way into grating territory by the end of episode two. But you may not even notice that because of one, simple, delightful reason: The Muppets is just pure fun. The characters--both felt and human--are endearing, the jokes are fast, and the workplace set-up is near-bursting with expansion possibilities for the future.
It might take some time to adapt to what the gang is trying to do here, but it’s definitely in sync with the Muppet mission of entertaining everyone at their own level, and for every misjudged moment there are several more that are sublime.
If people who grew up with the Muppets and consider them virtually sacred reject this new incarnation, that leaves casual fans--and kids. Is this a show for kids? Not really, but despite some mild talk about Muppet sex lives, there doesn't seem to be a real reason that children can't watch. Whether that audience can keep a much-ballyhooed but far from perfect new show afloat is unclear.
The truth is, bold as this creative decision was--and executed quite successfully, too--it’s jarring, at best. At worst, it’s a bastardization.... All of that said, in a perverse way, this maturation of the franchise may be exactly what was needed if The Muppets has any hope of being the same lightning rod or have the same longevity as the original Muppet Show, which ran from 1976 to 1981.
The tone never feels right, as if we're watching a dark parody of the Muppets--say, "Greg the Bunny"--that for some reason is starring the genuine article.... There are a few funny moments here, and Prady's both a smart writer and a flexible one.