Tuesday, 6 September 2016
Fraggle Rock, Season 2 (1984)
When I reviewed the first season of this Jim Henson production, I described it as less madcap and incisive than The Muppets, which I now kind of regret saying. Not because it's not true, but because ... well, very few shows are as madcap and incisive as The Muppets was. There was a reason it was Emmy-nominated for its writing in every year it aired.
There's also the fact that Fraggle Rock was then a show in its first year and to some extent the cast and writers were still finding their feet and establishing the show's voice. There were bound to be aspects of the show that were still a bit rough. Those aspects have clearly been refined in this second season. Characters who were pretty much defined by a single characteristic get extra layers, or at least have stories based around their efforts to overcome the foibles associated with that characteristic.
There's also more time and attention paid to fleshing out the Fraggles' world. In particular we get a few episodes centred around the Doozers - a race of tiny little green people who endlessly build crystalline structures in the Fraggles' caves. The scripts revolving around these industrious little beings have a different tone and tempo to those that are based around the core Fraggles. They therefore make a nice change of pace.
I thoroughly enjoyed the sophomore season of Fraggle Rock. There's definitely a formula at work but it's a well-executed one. There are plenty of amusingly oddball concepts at play in the various scripts. It also doesn't hurt that I think the songs in this season - and every episode has at least a couple - are stronger than in the first.