Strangely, I don’t remember Jim Hensen’s Fraggle Rock as being heavy with its varied messages about saving the environment when compared to Back to the Rock. It’s a joy to come return to this world as there’s a lot of updates to make it reverent to today’s generation of children growing up with streaming services instead of television.
I absolutely loved the reintroduction with Rock On. These short form pieces focused on the tunes and the updates with talents like Jason Mraz (who appeared on Sesame Street), Neil Patrick Harris and Alanis Morissette, the remixes are excellent, and truly nostalgic. The music from the rebooted series is noticeably different; they’re more modern pop than the bubblegum of the past.
Besides following the crazy misadventures of the Fraggles, this latest features humans, Gorgs and Doozers interacting even more with one another. I’ve often wondered what if muppets were in the world amongst real people, and they’re not all that surprised at this fairy tale style intrusion.
In some ways, this new series is continues in the tradition as those 90s Disney Afternoon programs. There’s adventure with Uncle Travelling Matt (now often interacting in the human world and no one seems to think this pint-sized puppet is strange) and hijinks with Gobo, Boober, Mokey, Red, and Wemble as they navigate through life.
The Doozers, construction guys, get a beautiful updated look (I want stuffies of them!), and the Gorgs are as furry as I remember. I’m still not sure if they rule in a parallel dimension; Ma and Pa Gorg often give Junior grief over something, and they are the only suppliers of water for this kingdom. They also have links to the land of the Fraggles, and as for what else will come, I’m curious.
And we mustn’t forget Sprocket and Doc. I’ve always had a love for the bedraggled canine, and am glad he’ll always be around. In the original opening title sequence, viewers would see them first before the camera zooms to another realm behind a hole in the inventor’s home. Although the old man, an inventor, would never know of this fairy tale world that’s lurking underneath, the eventual discovery is one only the faithful viewer would fondly remember. Instead of Gerry Perkes, we have Lilli Cooper in a slightly different role. She’s out to make the world a better place and it makes sense to update her role in this series.
I’m still hooked on wanting to dance all my cares away. This series is escapist entertainment, and although much of the 80s style is gone, this modern continuation is still a joy to tune into. I can’t wait to see more.