"Do you remember that terrible ABC series The Muppets? The one where they put our favorite characters in real-life situations? Kermit and Miss Piggy were separated, Gonzo and Camilla split up, the Muppets were worried about bills and hemorrhoids," says James Field. "It forgot everything that made Jim Henson’s creations so treasured. Given that, one is forgiven for worrying AppleTV+ would similarly miss the mark with its reinvention of Fraggle Rock. But worry not! Back to the Rock not only remembers its roots, but it also uses them as the foundation for a much-deserved update." Fields adds: "Every facet of the show is polished until it gleams. The puppets are beautifully made and lifelike. It’s always a pleasure watching professionals practice their craft, and the puppeteers here are at the top of their game. The camera work is far more dynamic than the original, shot in such a way that everything from the Fraggles to the Gorgs to the landscape feels real in a way CGI animation never can. Each episode is an individual story, but they’re all loosely connected and show the unintended consequences that sometimes arise from both accidental and deliberate action. The lessons contained are both topical and critical, appropriate not only for children but young adults and our parents as well...Back to the Rock covers many of the issues facing us today and does so with humor and empathy. There’s even a cameo from the Foo Fighters!"
Fraggle Rock: Back to the Rock is one of the best examples that this is a show bursting with life, always on the verge of a celebration: "As far as shows about an underground species of benevolent creatures trying to better understand the outside world go, Fraggle Rock doesn’t toy too much with the template set out in the ‘80s series. It keeps the same core cast of characters largely unchanged," says Steve Greene. "A community of Fraggles live in a cavern underneath a beach house, going about their daily business and dispensing valuable lessons amongst each other. Occasionally, Gobo (voiced by John Tartaglia) reaches the outskirts of the cave, which also happens to be a crack in the wall of the house where grad student Doc (Lilli Cooper) and her dog Sprocket are learning some life lessons of their own topside. Each half-hour episode is a new parade of creatures also making their way through the Fraggles’ world. Tiny green workers called Doozers delight in building and maintaining the various hydroelectric systems in and around the caves. Up through the skylight in the Fraggles’ cave lies the home of the Gorgs, large cuddly and furry monsters whose well and garden also help sustain the Fraggles in turn. Naturally, near the Gorgs’ domain is Marjory the Trash Heap, a kindly and sentient pile of garbage."
In praise of Trash Heap from Fraggle Rock: Back To The Rock: "As an adult, I've turned into a connoisseur of bubble baths," says Alison Stine. "Clowns are okay. But the Trash Heap has become simply excellent. Not only that, but Marjory can speak to us, pandemic-weary and burnout, now more than ever more. In 2022, we are the Trash Heap."