Probably the most cynical learn of “The Not Too Late Present With Elmo,” one of many few authentic sequence launching HBO Max, is that it’s a canny solution to capitalize on new streaming service’s deep IP pockets for one in all their greatest goal demos whereas roping buzzy stars into the form of silliness that they could in any other case do on, say, “The Tonight Present Starring Jimmy Fallon.” And all of that’s true! However the brand new sequence can also be, because it seems within the first three episodes, an especially pleasant solution to thread that needle. Plus, with quarantine remaining a nationwide concern, “The Not Too Late Present’s” try and fill the early night hole for youths leisure by emphasizing the significance of nighttime routines for youngsters (plus their exhausted mother and father) ought to make it much more related than it might need been in any other case.
“The Not Too Late Present” opens each episode with Elmo asking his mother and father if he could “be excused to go do Elmo’s discuss present.” This, as with nearly all the things Elmo’s finished since his debut, is fully too cute, however by some means nonetheless lands due to Elmo’s guileless have an effect on of innocence personified. He then welcomes visitors — together with, as was inevitable, a grinning Fallon himself — who assist Elmo host and play video games. Elmo, sidekick Cookie Monster, and varied Sesame Street mates do their finest to jazz up each interview, however as is the case for each discuss present, there’s solely a lot you are able to do if the visitor doesn’t click on into the present’s specific rhythms. (Unsurprisingly, an instance of a visitor who instantly will get it’s John Mulaney, contemporary off “The Sack Lunch Bunch,” his personal deeply earnest and eccentric kids’s particular for Netflix.)
Rounding out the 15 minute episode (an accurate and blessedly temporary runtime) is a musical efficiency of an current Sesame Avenue track, however by musicians who give it their very own taste. Some are, after all, extra profitable than others. Kacey Musgraves and Lil Nas X’s spins on “Rubber Ducky” and “Elmo’s Tune,” respectively, are completely enjoyable and lovable; the Jonas Brothers’ half-sexy jam about brushing your tooth, much less so.
If Elmo and his benevolently gormless model isn’t your factor, his “not too late present” won’t be, both. However in case you’re in want of a fast distraction whereas wrestling your child out and in of the tub, you might do rather a lot worse than letting Elmo take the reins for a minute.
“The Not Too Late Present with Elmo” premieres Might 27 on HBO Max.