Hedonistic Muppets dance and play
The Story So Far...
Though there were hundreds of Fraggles living on the Rock, the show focused on a core group of five, featuring Gobo, the leader; Wembley, the goofball; Red, the excitable one; Mokey, the hippie and Boober, the downer. They took part in various adventures and stories in and around the Rock, but Gobo was the star of the show, as he was the adventurer, tasked by his Uncle Traveling Matt, to be his connection with the Fraggles, collecting his postcards from "outer space" (our world), to tell his tale. The postcards are delivered to a workshop above the Rock, owned by an older man named Doc, and guarded by a puppet dog named Sprocket (who, with his great expressions and movements, is one of the best constructions in the entire series.) Gobo has to get by them to get the postcards, which are then interpreted by live-action scenes with Traveling Matt. Tying everything together, Doc and Sprocket's wrap-around story mirrors the Fraggles' plot, keep them well-connected to the show.
The Fraggles (and Sprocket) aren't the only puppet creatures on the show, as the tiny Doozers (adorable little round-headed construction workers), the giant Gorgs (massive bullies who hunt Fraggles and are portrayed as either developmentally delayed or Southern) and the bizarre Marjory, a talking trash heap who dispenses wisdom, round out their world. The Doozers' construction projects are eaten by the Fraggles in a strange symbiotic relationship, which would not be shocking if it was some sort of statement on the working class and the rich, and their reliance on each other. Though the show was made for kids, it was surprisingly deep at times, perhaps no more so than when Gobo sings a song about finding his meaning in life as he decides his role as an adventurer was not chosen but foisted upon him. It goes well with an episode where Mokey joins what is essentially a wandering cult, thinking she's found her calling in life, following a leader who speaks in twisted platitudes.
This set features six episodes from the series' first two seasons, including the first-ever episode. What's nice as far the selection goes, is each of the core Fraggles gets their own spotlight episode, be it a look at Boober's fun-loving alter-ego or Wembley learning to say "No" when people take advantage of his helpful nature. (Wembley may be the most enjoyable of the Fraggles, as his self-deprecating sense of humor can be quite funny.) Each episode features plenty of musical moments, and the songs are very entertaining, rising above the traditional simple kids songs. Gobo's "The Me I want to Be" in "Gobo's Discovery" could easily be a blues/rock number by the Rolling Stones or The Who.
The Dolby Digital 2.0 tracks are straightforward, with no obvious mixing or channel separation, but they are also free of any distortion. Voices and music sound solid and strong.
The Bottom Line