The Best of The Muppet Show DVD Review


Here's my review of the out-of-print Time-Life DVDs.

The Muppet Show is a zany variety show with many skits featuring Jim Henson's muppets, and a look backstage where the frantic muppets try to keep things going despite everything that goes wrong.  Each show presents a real-live special guest star.  These shows are fun for the whole family because children are entertained by the familiar muppet characters, and adults are entertained by the familar stars, with scripts that are understood by both.

I remember this show when I was a kid.  I was very excited at the time because I loved the muppets on Sesame Street, and this show bustled with energy with things going on everywhere.  This show was fun at the time, and still is fun, because it doesn't take itself seriously, because of the memorable songs, and because you get to see all the distinct and familiar muppet characters and famous stars.

Time Life Video's DVD contains the show's original NTSC 4:3 aspect ratio on one side of the disc. There is a collection of fifteen discs, each with three episodes and extras.  The show is slightly fuzzy in the sense that it looks like a TV show rather than a film.  Color reproduction is somewhat muted--not as vibrant as "Muppets in Space." These flaws don't take away from the show if you're a fan of the program, but this disc wouldn't make a good demo disc to show off a high-end system.

The disc begins with the FBI warning and the Time Life logo.  The curtain rises as Kermit the Frog announces "It's The Muppet Show," then goes directly into the menus.  All the menus are elegant still images which makes traversing menus quick and easy.

"The Muppet Show" contains only a mono soundtrack.  There are no subtitles. There are six chapter stops for each episode.



For extras, you can highlight Animal on each disc and get some trivia about one of the shows on the disc.  The main menu contains an option to play all shows, which plays all three shows on the disc without pause.  Each show contains an introduction by Jim Henson's son, Brian Henson.  If you select a show, the sub-menu presents the chapter stops for each show.  One chapter for each show is highlighted "Bonus" which indicates it was originally cut from the American broadcast of the show to leave time for commercials, but retained for the British broadcast.  In addition, there is a menu item for Muppetisms, Movie Mania, and From the Archives.  Muppetisms are short TV spots featuring a funny monologue by a muppet.  Movie Mania is a TV spot featuring various muppets trying out as actors for well-known movies, failing because their personalities get in the way.  From the Archives features a design for a muppet concept.  Though each disc has a different clip for each of these menu items, they are illogically placed on the menu for each episode as though each episode has its own extras.

"The Muppet Show" is a funny TV show that will appeal to families and the young-at-heart.  The show contains many skits with muppets and famous stars.  While each DVD doesn't stress a high-end system, is a good quality for enjoying the show and has entertaining supplements.

Click here to read The Muppet Movie DVD review

Time Life will no longer sells Muppet DVD/s.

As an alternative:
Click here for the newer season 1 DVD set.
Click here for the newer season 2 DVD set.
Click here for the newer season 3 DVD set.

Contents by Vitas Povilaitis
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