Fraggle Rock: 40 Years Later – ‘The Backyard Plot’

Unique air date: Might 23, 1983

Rising up within the 90s, I do know I wasn’t the one one to hang around with teams of people that had been crucial, even insulting in direction of one another and have that be the accepted norm amongst pals. Not simply the norm, however these insults had been thought of phrases of endearment and acceptance. I keep in mind PSAs and motivational audio system round this time speaking about vanity and optimistic physique picture making an attempt to fight the impact of those practices in addition to the need to emulate what was prevalent in numerous media at the moment. Placing the onus on the person to deal with “how the world is.”

On this episode of Fraggle Rock, by which the house of the Fraggles is threatened from each Outer Area and the Gorgs, I see the varieties of informal insults and physique shaming that was pervasive for many years in a present produced for kids. And the lesson to be realized on this episode as soon as once more places the give attention to how characters reply to the criticism and insults as a way to turn into higher, not that informal bullying is flawed or tips on how to confront the habits and put an finish to it.

We begin with Pink criticizing Gobo’s method in how he retrieves Uncle Matt’s postcards. She tells him that he’s dropping his edge, rising fats and will go on a weight-reduction plan. Gobo replies in sort, mentioning Pink’s worry of doing something outdoors of her consolation zone. As an alternative of dealing with the accusation with grace, like Gobo, Pink turns into the main target of the episode as a result of she wants to enhance herself based mostly on this criticism. She affords to show Gobo flawed by dashing to the Gorg’s backyard.

In the meantime, Junior has disenchanted Pa once more and Pa feels the necessity to sing a complete music about how silly and blundering Junior is. Junior additionally desires to show himself to be helpful and so decides to knock down Fraggle Rock and rid their backyard of the invasive Fraggles eternally.

In an try and show to Doc that there are creatures dwelling within the wall, Sprocket begins to hammer on the gap via which Gobo comes as a way to widen it and match via.

Attacked from either side, the Fraggle 5 should act. Why they don’t really feel that threats from two instructions is of concern to the remainder of Fraggledom, I don’t know, however they break up up between the 2 holes after which do nothing. Sprocket passes out after knocking a field onto his head and Pink sings a music. Whereas the sentiment of self-acceptance within the music is laudable and permits Pink to beat the failing recognized earlier, she isn’t given the identical time and reflection wanted to come back to a larger understanding of her worry like Gobo in Catch the Tail by the Tiger or her life like she did in Marooned.

Gobo arrives simply as Pink has run out to maneuver the stick of dynamite from Fraggle Rock into the Gorg citadel. He runs out into the backyard to attempt to discover Pink and as an alternative is trapped beneath a chunk of wooden which Boober and Pink should free him from. In Gobo’s daze, he asks for them to sing Muck and Goo throughout which we get an cute flashback to younger Gobo and Uncle Matt in addition to younger Junior and Pa Gorg each receiving unconditional love with none expectations from their parental figures.

However as an alternative of utilizing the remainder of the episode to discover how they will return to some of these interpersonal connections, we’re given one other play at laughs by having Ma and Pa solely give Junior affection once they misunderstand the scenario. Pink and Gobo share a fast hug to confess that they had been every scared however there’s no indication that something has modified between them.

Fortunately, issues have modified for the Fraggles. Fraggle Rock: Again to the Rock didn’t proceed the usage of demeaning language for the sake of “humor” and even when it wants to indicate that sure characters are appearing in unfavourable methods, it could accomplish that with nuance, giving the episode time to discover the motivations behind the actions. Equally, I hope that the folks round all of you readers on the market are kinder too and that you simply give your self the time it’s essential face the tough conditions in your lives.

Strongest Second –  When all 5 of the Fraggles are in Gobo and Wembley’s room deciding what to do in regards to the assaults, they’re all supporting Pink and giving her optimistic affirmations. These are the Fraggle pals we’d like.

Weakest Second ­–  When Wembley and Mokey uncover that Sprocket is hammering the opening they’re solely there as a result of they occur to be wandering up that strategy to search for a steamlily. Although, with out this scene, there actually wouldn’t be any Mokey or Wembley within the episode.

MVF (Most Beneficial Fraggle) –  Boober, for recognizing precisely who he’s, accepting immediately his worry, anxiousness, terror, paranoia, indigestion and dish-pan fingers.

Most Traditional Second –  Possibly it’s not traditional to anybody else, however I’ve robust recollections of this outfit of Touring Matt’s. It’s a really “vacationing in Bermuda” kind of look and is extra amusing whenever you keep in mind he’s in Canada and surrounded by essentially the most 80s of rollerskating vogue.

Musical Spotlight – Muck and Goo is catchy and overflowing with enjoyable vocabulary to go along with the counting. It’s acquired a One, two buckle my shoe vibe whereas doing a lot extra. It’s an ideal childhood music to go along with the second.

Coolest Puppetry Impact –  The complete-body puppetry on show right here with Junior and Pa throughout their music (as cringe because the lyrics are) is spectacular. They’re dancing round one another, linking arms, executing gags and singing seamlessly contained in the citadel, then outdoors once they can’t actually see all that effectively. Kudos to the performers within the fits.

Fraggle Lore – Extra Gorg lore on this episode with Fraggle Rock being revealed to be sacred to the Gorgs, named “Kissing Rock” and due to this fact to not be tampered with.

One Extra Factor…  – Junior appeals to the Nice Gorg which is an fascinating little bit of religiosity not usually seen in Muppet works. And opens up a number of questions by no means answered in regards to the Gorg perception system. Let the wild hypothesis start.

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by Katilyn Miller