Review: Back to the Rock S2 – Episode 1 ‘The Great Wind’

Published: April 3, 2024
Categories: Feature, Reviews

We’re back, baby! That’s right, we’ve crammed ourselves inside a Fraggle hole in the wall and shimmied on down to Fraggle Rock for a second season of Back To The Rock. It was tight, I’ve gained a couple of pounds since Season One debuted over two years ago. So, where do we find our Fraggley friends now?

In perfect harmony! After last season, the Fraggles, Doozers and Gorgs are all super best friends and sing songs together like super best friends do. Uncle Matt has strawberries he’s handing out left right and center. The only ones they aren’t all chummy with are Doc and Sprocket, who have discovered a fan inside the Fraggle Hole, which will introduce one of the key season long arcs – wind! Yes, wind, ladies and gentlemen, which means I can only assume Fraggle Rock is intent on collecting the elements like Infinity Stones seeing as they did water last time. Or they’re trying really hard to summon Captain Planet.

Doc creates a system of wind machines in order to make a sustainable energy source, only that wind enters Fraggle Rock and creates a tornado every time her fans are switched on. Doc, of course, has no idea The Fraggles exist, so she’s totally unaware of the chaos she is causing. Wembley is genuinely terrified of the unpredictable weather patterns, wheras Mokey seems to be having a ball. Which is why Mokey is quickly becoming my favorite Fraggle.

Wembley’s tornado experience leads him to the Gorg’s garden where he inadvertently tells Pa Gorg that he shouldn’t be friends with Fraggles after all, which Pa pretty much just accepts in one the laziest decisions in Season Two. I loved Season One a lot, but there were things throughout Season Two that I just couldn’t connect with, and this was the first. We’ve not spent much time at all with a Pa Gorg who likes the Fraggles, so rather than play with that dynamic a little, we’ve got an automatic reset to the old status quo. It’s disappointing, but I haven’t watched the full season yet so I’m unsure if that pays off at all. For now though it just fell flat.

Like Wembley fell flat on his friend Gobo when the wind finally died down. Wembley is shaken, but comforted by his buddy. Uncle Matt notices Gobo’s bravery and wants Gobo to travel with him, which is the… let me count… four hundredth time we’ve seen this plotline. Gobo wants to make sure Wembley is okay before he heads off, which means heading to Whistling Hollow to show that wind is no big deal. The wind IS a big deal though, so Gobo decides he needs to stay in the Rock for the… let me count… four hundredth time. So Uncle Matt decides to take somebody else. Pogey, for instance. It doesn’t last long.

So that’s Episode One, and we’re back in to the swing of things. Without spoiling too much, I’ve seen the first six episodes of the season and I’ve enjoyed certain parts, even if some of the lessons have been delivered with the subtlety of an elephant. Season One was a success because of nostalgia, and now they need to show what they can do with a second run. This episode has a lot to do – it reminds you of the characters while setting up the overarching themes of the season. It just felt like it lost a little heart because of that. Like, it was fine, but it was either resolved super quick, or wasn’t resolved at all. That’s the issue serializing something like Fraggle Rock, a show which in its original form was a weekly episodic jaunt. But hey, it’s still sweet, and the performers are still having the time of their lives.

Strongest Moment: Anything Mokey does. Seriously, Donna Kimball is the MVP of this series and she’s turned one of the original version’s weakest characters into one of the strongest of the new version.

Weakest Moment: Pa Gorg deciding he hates Fraggles again out of nowhere. Lazy, predictable and boring.

MVF (Most Valuable Fraggle): I can’t say Mokey again, so I’ll give it to Uncle Matt. Was he always this much of a himbo? Dave Goelz is relishing playing him this dimwitted, you can tell.

The Grand Return Of…: Mudwell the Mudbunny is back, though it’s probably not supposed to be him, it’s just a fun puppet. I remember him more though as the pirate lamenting Dead Tom’s death in Muppet Treasure Island.

Classic Musical Moment: ‘The Rock Goes On’ is a certified BANGER.

New Musical Moment: ‘A-Okay’ lives up to its name.

Coolest Puppetry Effect: The green screen of this series is far beyond the original, so it always amazes me seeing full body Fraggles that aren’t horribly matted in.

Darkest Moment: Boober tries to remind an already terrified Wembley that ‘disaster is inevitable’. Thanks, bro. Now back away.

One More Thing…: The ‘Auntie Em’ Doozer flying around in the windstorm, ala Wizard of Oz, made me cackle like the Wicked Witch.

Okay, One More Thing…: Lisa Henson has a cameo appearance as Doc’s dean, in a truly hilarious photo.

by Jarrod Fairclough –

Click here to harmonize with Mokey on the ToughPigs Discord server!

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