The first full Fraggle Rock series in decades, developed by Alex Cuthbertson and Matt Fusfeld, "has been made with a believer’s fealty to the original, in terms of character, humor — it’s very funny — and its main message: We are all connected and must learn to listen," says Robert Lloyd. He adds: "Everything works. But what makes the series so exciting is that, digital compositing and cleanup aside, we are seeing, nearly all the time, real figures on real sets, whether controlled by humans standing beneath them or by radio control or inside suits or some combination thereof, and there is a kind of magic in knowing this. The textures are palpable. The Fraggles and Fraggle Rock are evidently handmade and at the same time actual and alive — something you could become part of, could make yourself, potentially. It prickles the mind."
Fraggle Rock: Back to the Rock is the Muppets series Disney+ wish it had: "The video-streaming world has long suffered from content fragmentation, and modern-day Muppet access is no exception," says Sam Machkovech. "If you want to revel in all things Jim Henson, you'll need subscriptions to no less than three streamers: Disney+ (which has the most Henson films and series), HBO Max (which has a lock on Sesame Street), and Apple TV+. In a fairer cosmos, a unified Henson+ service would let fans feast upon the entire Muppet-verse like giddy Cookie Monsters. Alas. Those streaming services don't just divvy up classic Muppet content, either. They each feature brand-new series from the Jim Henson Company, either with newly invented characters or old favorites reliving their glory days. Keeping up with all that content has been tricky, but we at Ars have done our best, always with the hope that one of the new properties will deliver a good-enough mix of nostalgia, production values, and freshness. This week, Fraggle Rock: Back to the Rock nails that exact combination and breathes new life into the formerly HBO-exclusive universe."
Fraggle Rock: Back to the Rock's muppets are delightfully low-tech and pleasingly tactile: "The felt-and-plaster approach deployed by the show’s creators not only pays due homage to what the late Henson and his team achieved, it also feels like the production is picking up where the old show left off after a brief coffee break," says Zaki Hasan, adding: "But while the old-fashioned production style harks back to its predecessor (thanks to modern HD cameras, you can practically feel the fabric on these old-school puppets), this is very much a reboot. The first episode restarts the story, in essence ignoring the previous show, but it feels weird to even point that out, given how so much of what matters is exactly the same."