Fraggle Rock at 40: ‘A Cave Of One’s Own’

Published: May 17, 2024
Categories: Feature, Reviews

Synopsis: Red and Mokey move into their own cave, causing a lot of arguments and general plotline stuff.

Original air date: May 14, 1984

I think I might be a bad housemate.

Let me explain – earlier this year I moved back in with my mother, putting the house I own up for rent for 12 months because we’re in a cost of living crisis and I didn’t fancy paying 80% of my salary to my mortgage. With my father’s unexpected passing last year, my Mum (yes, MUM, I’m Australian and that’s how you spell it, none of this O business) was more than happy to have someone in the house again, and so I’m back in the home I grew up in, back in the same bedroom, only this time I have a cat and a whole heap of furniture.

Now, allow me to divert a little and explain what’s happening in this episode of Fraggle Rock. Mokey and Red have decided it’s time to move out of the cave they share with Wembley and Gobo, which has become way too cramped and busy. Gobo doesn’t think it’ll work because they’re so different, but they’re determined to prove him wrong. Only – it doesn’t work, because they’re so different. They try to agree on things and share everything together, but it just doesn’t work. Red is messy, with clutter everywhere. Mokey has her own issues, namely a devilish plant named Lanford who keeps on attacking Red.

I moved in here and put mess and clutter everywhere, the upstairs loungeroom currently resembling a storage shed with my all my worldy possesions stacked up high. I also brought with me a devilish cat who keeps on attacking Mum. (I named him Little Murray Sparkles and he is the sunshine of my life even if he hates everyone who isn’t me)

Red and Mokey’s friendship is tested, rage is expressed, and Mokey straight up almost murders Red by slingshotting her out of a window. Granted, while Mum and I have had our dynamic tested, she hasn’t yet tried to kill me, but I suspect that’s mainly because she just had a knee operation and can’t yet walk on it well.

Ultimately, Red and Mokey realise they’d rather be together than apart, and that they don’t need to agree on everything if they’re going to live together. They can enjoy seperate activities, just like Mum and I. I can enjoy playing video games and singing loud songs to my cat about how much I love his stupid face. She can enjoy watching trashy reality shows and telling me to be quiet when I sing songs to my cat about how much I love his stupid face.

Thanks for the lesson, Fraggle Rock! I appreciate the subtlety of it. Ahem.

Strongest Moment – Gobo, Wembley and Boober turn up for the cave warming party and do some genuinely hilarious (and I assume improvised) comedy while Mokey and Red sing.

Weakest Moment ­–  I’ve never loved a slow Fraggle Rock song, so ‘Somewhere There’s a Special Place’ was a particular lowlight. Kathy Mullen, while an amazing performer, never really made an effort to harmonize in these songs, so it’s all over the place tonally.

MVF (Most Valuable Fraggle) – Red is a firecracker and I wish we were best friends.

Musical Highlight – ‘Share and You’re Not Alone’ is much more upbeat and that lack of harmonization I mentioned before is nowhere near as noticeable.

Coolest Puppetry Effect –  There’s something so quaint about the little Fraggle puppets they use to make them look small, and they’re used multiple times in this episode. Always a delight to see.

Darkest Moment – Mokey almost murders Red by firing her out of the window into the abyss below. Red returns the favor after faking an apology. We almost had splatted Fraggles!

One More Thing…  – Doc is adamantly against a new Bed and Breakfast being built until he finds out the owner is a pretty lady, then he’s well on board. Oh boy, I feels ya, Doc, I feels ya.

By Jarrod Fairclough –

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