“Earth To Ned” is the newest Disney+ Original series and is a late-night talk show that is hosted by Ned, who is the commander of a spacecraft that has been sent to Earth to blow it up, but has fallen in love with celebrities.
The show is created by the Jim Henson Company and features lots of all new puppets, which look fantastic, especially Ned, which looks like some big money has been spent on it. The facial expressions and how Ned’s eyes look, really does look excellent. The set is also very impressive and helps set the tone of the show, looking like a spaceship but also like a talk show.
It kicks off with Andy Richter as the first guest, which I’m not going to lie, seemed like a really odd choice, since he’s hardly a well-known celebrity, bar his appearance in the Christmas classic, “Elf”. While the second guest is Gillian Jacobs, who recently starred in the Disney+ Original movie, Magic Camp. Both guests happily played along with the storyline, but as expected, we don’t learn anything new about them, since it’s more of a goofy appearance than a real talk show, as Gillian just plays a few whacky games with Ned.
I’ll be honest, the guest selection seemed an odd choice, midseason, this might have worked, but with some other more prominent names involved in the series, the first episode needed some more significant star power to kick the show off. Constantly mentioning the Kardashian’s and having a teleporter to kidnap any celebrity they wanted, then bringing in Andy Richter, just felt like they set the show up to fail.
I also watched some other episodes from the series, which featured many guest celebrities including Kristen Schaal, Paul Schee, Reggie Watts and Billy Dee Williams. These guests move from being surprised to be meeting aliens, since they’ve now “seen” the show and are fans of “Ned”. The lineup of celebrities having talk show sidekicks or comedians, seem to be at odds with the target audience, as I doubt most kids will have any clue who they are. I think BB-8’s cameo was one of the best skits from the episodes I’ve seen, but most of the skits just didn’t seem to hit the market for me.
Each episode runs around 22 minutes long, which seems to be the right length for this show, since the show has a couple of guests and some skits to help introduce who the characters are, why they are on Earth and learning aspects of human live. Each episode has a general theme, such as horror, comedy, Star Wars, musicals and more.
This show is going to be good for younger audiences and families could easily sit together to enjoy the show. However, personally, something just didn’t click with me, hopefully, with watching some more episodes, this will improve. There are some nice improv moments between the celebrities and the puppets, which are some of the more funny moments.
Disney is dropping all ten episodes at once, which I don’t think is a good thing for this series. While some might jump into the next episode straight away, I’m not sure most people will and just abandon the show altogether. However if you kind of liked this show, maybe skip to episodes with celebrities you know. Especially international viewers, because the guest lineup for the whole season is very focused on US shows. I had only heard of half of the people on the list.
On paper, this sounds like an exciting show. But it feels like something we would have seen on TV in the ’80s and ’90s, so I’m not sure how kids would react to it. If this were the Muppets doing a chat show, it would have some nostalgia to bring in an audience, and the celebrities would be having fun interacting with characters they grew up with. Which you can see in the “Muppets Now” series, which is also on Disney+.
“Earth To Ned” is a fun, entertaining talk show inspired show, it’s something old yet something different and new, but the guest lineup just didn’t work for me, however, I’m more than happy to watch some more episodes to see how the show progresses. So it’s an easy recommendation for any Disney+ subscriber to check out the first episode to see if you like it, but maybe don’t go in expecting “The Muppets”.
Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom.