I don’t normally review movies freshly out or at least try to review them…. But I grew up in the early 90s, I was there when Power Rangers started, got to enjoy repeats of G1 Transformers and lived through the Disney renaissance.
But one of the other things I was there for was the start of Nickelodeon and its early cartoons. You may remember Rugrats and Ren and Stimpy. With them was this bizarre series, not as adult as Ren and Stimpy could be but it was bizarre and I loved it – Rocko’s Modern Life. The show lasted 52 episodes from 1993 to 1996. The final episode featured a discussion on the founding of O town the place they lived in… BUT the episode before that ended with Rocko, Heffer and Filbert being blasted off into space in their house, and this is where we begin.
Static Cling is a 45 minute special on Netflix set 20 years after the end of the series and Rocko and his friend finally return to Earth to find themselves in OUR modern time… well our for Rocko’s Modern Life they don’t suddenly find themselves on our Earth. So yeah 20 years has passed and in a quick montage the show makes fun of modern stuff, like rapidly upgrading phones, just how many coffee shops there are, stupid dark remakes of DC films (production started when Batman v Superman was out remember) and so on, AND that’s the first few minutes.
The main theme of the special is Change. How is this brought about? Well Rocko had a favourite show, called The Fat Heads and upon arriving back and being traumatized by the modern age Rocko gets a shock from his neighbor Mrs. Bighead (whose son Ralph made The Fatheads somewhat inspired by his parents) that the show has been off the air for some time. Rocko tries to bring back the one thing he feels would be the same in a world he barely recognizes.
The show is rather meta, it’s not really that subtle that the way they talk about The Fat Heads. It’s really talking about Rocko’s Modern Life and bringing it back for a one off special.
The show is full of nods to the classic show that fans of it will recognize but they aren’t too intrusive, there are no “HEY LOOK REMEMBER THIS” moments. While those who didn’t watch the original show might wonder why there is a talking foot in one scene. It isn’t a major thing as much as a nod so instead of feeling out of it, new viewers should come out of this wanting to hunt down the original show (a friend who watched this with me said he’s going to get me those for birthdays and Christmas).
So yes Static Cling is a great return of an excellent show that it itself addresses is probably all we are getting and we should embrace what is to come rather than resist the future and cling to the past (there is a character literally called The Winds of Change), but ironically it also asserts that we not forget what we enjoyed about the past as we can use that to forge something in the future.
Speaking of the future, reviewing something modern reminded me of what happened last time, I think it’s time for some REVENGE!