The new Fraggle Rock reboot/revival premiered on Apple’s streaming service on April 21st, and you can watch it for free on Apple+.
First I’m going to tell you, I’m a huge Fraggle Rock fan. I love them. I bought the entire series on DVD and watched all 96 episodes multiple times and the cartoon. I’m a Jim Henson fan and Fraggles are my thing. Before every test from my nursing school pre-requisite classes to my boards, I would write “Rock Harder than the Fraggles” on my left hand (and every professor and proctor would examine my hand) to give me the confidence to rock.
The episode is five minutes long. The plot of the episode is the Fraggles can’t be together, so Gobo (the protagonist) gets the Doozers to put Doozertubes in all of his friend’s caves so they can chat together. Basically Gobo is setting up a Zoom chat.
Mokey (the lavender Fraggle) is doing some yoga-stretching things when Gobo catches her. Red (the red Fraggle with the pigtails) can’t seem to not shout into the Doozertube and finally gets it together. Wembley (the yellow Fraggle) has two Doozertubes and his back is turned to the tubes, and he doesn’t know which one to use (one smells extra radishy, and the other one is shiny). And Boober (the small sage green Fraggle with the tuff of red hair) is predictably paranoid about the Doozertube.
After they all get the technology figured out, Gobo wants them to sing a song together over the Doozertube so they can be alone together. They sing Shine On (which sounded like a song they have sung on the original show).
After the song, they decide they need to do this again and then argue when, and Red wants to do it right now but Boober has laundry to do. That’s how the episode ends. It was timely. It took longer to explain the plot of the episode than the actual episode.
It was a good reintroduction to the Fraggles for old and new viewers. It introduced the key characters, the geography (underground caves), and the Doozers. We didn’t get to see the Gorgs, Marjorie the talking trash heap, Traveling Uncle Matt, or Sprocket.
The caves and production design were done with a green screen which wouldn’t be a problem except for Red and Wembley’s hair which is in constant motion (Red has ADHD and is constantly taking over her screen space, and Wembley is nervous and wembles.) and the green screen backgrounds have a hard time with it.
The biggest problem I had with it was Gobo’s voice, that changed. It caught me off guard it was so different. Before, Gobo sounded like a normal American accent; and the way he phrased things were very simple and American. The Gobo presented in this format speaks with a strange Pacific Islander mixed with a Canadian accent with odd pauses between words. He sounds like a PAC-Islander lived in Fargo, North Dakota for a spell.
If you like Fraggles, watch the free episode. It’s not bad. It’s just five minutes. Would I get another streaming service for this? Based on this tasting? No. I have the whole series and cartoons. But if I already had this streaming service I would have it on in the background while I babysat.
Oh! The theme song isn’t the same either! That was strange. It was 10 seconds of Gobo hanging from rocks.
My rating on a scale of zero to five radishes (because radishes are the stars in Fraggle Rock) is 3.5 radishes.