Fraggle Rock: 40 Years Later – “New Trash Heap in Town”

Published: June 23, 2023
Categories: Feature, Reviews

Original air date: July 4, 1983

If aliens came down to Earth tomorrow and demanded that we show them the best television series mankind ever made, there’s no doubt The Simpsons would be a contender on that list. While quality has waivered over the 34 years it’s been on the air, it’s still a rock solid show filled with hundreds of lovable characters and a family which we’ve all fallen in love with.

‘Now, Jarrod, what does that have to do with a 40 year old episode of Fraggle Rock?’, I hear you ask. It’s a good question. And the answer is simple.

Mokey Fraggle is Lisa Simpson.

Lisa Simpson is a great character, and there are a couple of classic episodes of The Simpsons that focus on her that are all time greats (‘Summer of 4ft 2’ is a particular favorite). And yet she is by far the weakest character of the lot when it comes to holding a main plotline on her shoulders, which is how I felt about Mokey watching this episode. I love Mokey, sure, but she doesn’t always shine when she’s the main character, this episode being a particular lowlight.

To recap: Gobo’s leg is broken because Junior Gorg thumped him, which has scared the Fraggles from entering the Gorg’s garden. A byproduct is that none of them can ask The Trash Heap for advice, causing them collective anxiety. Thankfully they’re all sharing dreams, so Marjory enters them (which is a thing she can apparently do?) and tells them to look for wisdom within themselves. The Fraggles take that to mean that they should look at one another to find a wise teacher, and choose Mokey because she painted a Flying Batworm. Which, frankly, is how all elections should be held.

Mokey lets the role go to her head, and when she finally tells Boober to give up on laundry, an annoyed Gobo tells her to knock it off. Which she does, pretty much straight away. They didn’t even argue. Mokey basically just went ‘..yeah, fair point’ and roll credits (save for a prank where they convince everyone that Gobo’s going to duel Junior).

That’s it. Mokey spends a day as the Trash Heap and gives some crappy advice, and this is the Season One finale. There are a couple of pretty forgettable music numbers, and an Uncle Travelling Matt segment they shoe-horned in (but was absolutely filmed in Australia, so that’s fun!) Doc and Sprocket are doing a thing about weight loss scams, but it posed more questions than it answered, like how did Sprocket ask Ned Shimmelfinney for a cup of maple syrup?

If any other Fraggle had been chosen to be the Trash Heap, chaos and fun would ensue. Wembley wouldn’t have been able to make any suggestions for anyone. Red’s ideas would have all been terrible. Boober’s anxieties would have made him worried about what to say next and he’d have hated the attention. But instead they chose Mokey, the weakest of the Fraggle Five, for this episode. I bet they didn’t expect some guy to review it 40 years later. Joke’s on them!

Strongest Moment – Wembley takes on the roles of Philo and Gunge, and spends most of the episode just going ‘Nyaaaah’.

Weakest Moment – Mokey and Gobo’s song towards the end. There are no attempts to harmonize, so they both sound off.

MVF (Most Valuable Fraggle) – Big props to Gobo Fraggle here for leading the charge against Mokey and telling her off.

First Appearance Of… – The Flying Batworm, possibly the most Muppety looking character that ever came out of Fraggle Rock.

Musical Highlight – I know it doesn’t count, but the Fraggle Rock theme song still slaps.

Fraggle Lore – Is this the first time we learn Fraggles can share dreams? It comes in to play a lot more in Season 2’s ‘Boober’s Dream’ which introduces Sidebottom.

One More Thing… – I don’t want anyone saying I hate Mokey or Lisa Simpson. I don’t. They’re just no Boober or Bart.

Okay, One More Thing… – Does anyone know how to get grass stains out of a shirt?

Click here to get your Mokey buttons on the ToughPigs forum!

By Jarrod Fairclough –

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