“Fraggle Rock” is one of those shows everyone remembers fondly. True, the television tastes of 9-year-olds are less than discriminating – Jamie-Lynn Spears still has her own show, for example. But a critical reevaluation of this old favorite doesn’t expose as many flaws as you might think.
The show follows Red Fraggle, her Fraggle friends, the diminutive Doozers and Fraggle-eating Gorgs as they do nothing really but plan events and hang out. It’s great to be a Fraggle, especially since you get to sing. The songs are without a doubt the best part of “Fraggle Rock” – a lot of the tunes have melodic sensibilities reminiscent of Beach Boys songs and, unlike the bizarre musical sequences of such shows as “Flight of the Conchords,” they fit seamlessly into the show’s landscape.
As cute as all the songs are, after watching “Fraggle Rock,” it becomes evident why the Fraggles never gained the same level of fame as the Muppets. All the Fraggles look alike, and they are, for the most part, whiny, child-like characters whose innocence becomes tiresome. The show is too wholesome and lacks the character variety of bona fide classics like “Muppets Tonight.”
Besides the 22 episodes, this third season offers a bonus disc with far more behind-the-scenes and making-of specials than necessary. If you’re a huge fan of the show, the slow-paced audio commentaries and episode breakdowns featuring producer and director commentary on this disc might give you your fix. For the rest of us, though, viewing a few episodes will be sweet enough. “Fraggle Rock” may not be the pure joy it was as a Squeez-It-drinking pre-pubescent, but like an old yearbook, its charms are fun on second look.
3 out of 5 stars