Rocko's Modern Life: Static Cling review/rant.

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Rocko's Modern Life: Static Cling review/rant.

Postby Robotrek » August 15th, 2019, 6:52 pm

I was very pumped for this when I first saw the trailer a few years back. It looked fantastic. A commentary on the modern day with Rocko? This is awesome! Or so I thought.

It begins innocently enough, right where the final episode left off. When Rocko, Heffer, and Philbert return, the world is far advanced. I did like the nod at the orange Nick VHS tapes in the beginning, even though I only owned one (I didn't care for most of the shows on Nick in the 90's).

After the trailer plays in front of our eyes (with no differences, mind you) Rocko wants to watch the fatheads. Sadly, it isn't on anymore. It also turns out that during their re-entry to Earth, the trio made Ed Bighead screw up his calculations, therefore bankrupting his company by mistake. Rocko suggests bringing back the fatheads, which the owner of conglom-o thinks is a great idea. Unfortunately, they can't find Ralph bighead, so they search for him.

What ensues is a nice little montage of them flying around the world on some sort of couch-drone. And after this, things go way downhill.

For some reason, they find Ralph right in the middle of a desert selling popsicles. This is idiotic and has no creativity whatsoever. Ralph clearly has no interest in making the show until he hears it affects his parents. And then, the reveal.

Now, I don't have this character change for Ralph for the reason many people do, but I find it to be the wrong place. First, it took way too long to reveal. If Ralph just so happened to be Rachel when they found him, that's one thing, but dragging it out is idiotic. Second, this changes the rest of the special into a PSA.

I hated the last half of it. It was nothing but Ed not accepting his child and Ralph being very upset by it. None of the antics the show was known for appear. It's just a slice-of-life family commentary. What the heck was this about? Nobody asked for this. And at the end, when Ralph DOES remake the fatheads, the special ads a defense mechanism. It shows Rocko getting upset that a baby was added to the fatheads, obviously a jab at those that would be upset at the inclusion of Ralph's transition.

This comparison doesn't work. If it were a new character that were trans, I wouldn't mind in the SLIGHTEST. Hell, if it was just a mundane detail that didn't get addressed a second time, I wouldn't care. But the fact they use it as a plot point is soooo idiotic.

In a Hey Arnold reboot, this could have worked. That show was more down to Earth and was far better at giving life lessons and such. But this is Rocko's modern life. There's literally an episode where a demon uses a GAME SHOW to get heffers soul. This is a show where a wallaby hosts a sex hotline in a comic store. This is a show where a superhero's NIPPLES go crazy. This is NOT the kind of show you add your personal feelings into!

Aside from that, the pacing is way too fast. It's over before you know it and you're wondering what the hell happened. Focusing on a reboot in your reboot is silly. Having a wild goose chase only to find out the character they were looking for would be in some random location with no bearing to the plot is silly. Having the entire plot focus around pressing the wrong button on a freaking CALCULATOR is silly.

In general, this was a lazy family counseling special. The best parts were in the trailer, and I didn't laugh at a single joke.

I rate it at a 3 out of 10.

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Re: Rocko's Modern Life: Static Cling review/rant.

Postby Voor » August 16th, 2019, 9:36 pm

It was tough for me to enjoy as well, but honestly, I’m twenty years older, so I can’t be shocked that the jokes, gags, etc don’t work for me anymore. I’m old. Lol

I kind of wish they had brought it back as a series. I feel that longer specials tend to try to hard to have a “message”, which is not what people want in an animated comedy.

The gender change thing didn’t bother me much, but I think it would have worked better as just a minor detail, not as a major plot point. That felt forced.

I think the whole “bring the Fatheads back” plot was meant to mirror the actual Rocko series (fans have been clamoring to bring it back, but times have changed), and when they brought Fatheads back, Rocko didn’t love like he thought he would—similarly to the OP’s reaction. And mine. Because times have changed.

So in a sense, it may have been self-aware at a genius level. I’ll go 6/10.

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Re: Rocko's Modern Life: Static Cling review/rant.

Postby DotNetWolf » September 4th, 2019, 2:32 pm

I'll admit the special did feel more like it wanted to explore a specific issue than be a comedy, but I thought that's how the show always was even back then? Even if what was addressed in their storytelling was a bit more subtle, they were just addressing a modern day issue. It is called Rocko's MODERN Life for a reason. I do feel pacing could have been better and possibly kept a stronger focus on the story and not a specific issue, but for what it is worth, I did get a decent amount of humor out of this special regardless.

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