Review: Rocko's Modern Life, Nostalgia Porn (Spoilers)



A few weeks ago I wrote an article about the return of Rocko's Modern Life to Netflix. The trailer showed the boys returning to Earth twenty years after they inexplicably left it. As a fan in my youth I had concerns that they would go all Futurama reboot and jam too many pop culture references into 45 minutes. Well, they certainly had references, but I wasn't disappointed.


You get a taste of Really Really Big Man's Nipples within moments of the movie beginning.

When you watch the movie just know that his nipples look WAY too real for a cartoon

The reboot starts with them about to watch an episode from the Fatheads which I must admit I always felt was my least favorite part of the original. The tape gets jacked up and Rocko, Filbert and Heffer are left to float in space.


That is until a spat between Filbert and Heffer reveals the return remote is lodged between Heffer's butt cheeks apparently having been stuck there for twenty years. The remote has a return home button once they are back in orbit. There is a frantic fight between Filbert and Heffer that leads to Rocko screaming to push the button.


Classic Rocko.


Upon returning to O-Town the viewer gets a montage of the boys getting new products. The O-Phone (obviously an IPhone reference), Buzzbucks and drones. All of this is expected, but that doesn't make it all that funny. I think the creators just new this would be a necessary story piece then move on with because that is exactly what they did. They made their jokes and moved on.

The expected reboot jokes are there, but are thankfully brief.

The viewer gets an update on Mr. and Mrs. Bighead which end up playing a major role in the rest of Static Cling. Ed is a big shot and enjoys the life of a corporate executive at Conglomo. As in the original series, Rocko unknowingly fucks up Ed's life through a series of hilarious circumstances. This time he manages to get Ed fired and ruin Conglomo setting up the rest of the movie.


Ed still hasn't upgraded his wardrobe but somehow that makes sense in the corporate world.

While this is happening Rocko learns that the Fatheads no longer exists in any medium which is difficult to believe consider how easy it is to find just about anything with the Internet, but that's the path they took in the reboot. Rocko seems to be the only one concerned as both Heffer and Filbert are enthralled in their own taste of the future (well their future). Rocko's mission to find Ralph Bighead (creator of the Fatheads) leads him to join forces with Ed since bringing back the Fatheads is the only thing that can save Conglomo and Ed's job.


The problem is no one knows where Ralph went when he left to find himself back when the series was still on the air. If you can remember he left because he was sick of doing a cartoon show and wanted to find the true meaning of his existence. Replace cartoon show with whatever you are doing for a living and most of us can relate to that sentiment.


It's no Wacky Deli that's for sure

Heffer, Filbert and Rocko go on an around the world journey that culminates in the trio crash landing in a desert somewhere. The usual mirage gags are broken up when they see an ice cream truck with a familiar face except for one significant change.


It is 2019 after all. What reboot wouldn't be complete without a transgender reference

Ralph is now Rachael and much to my surprise they did a pretty good job tying the whole "I need to find myself" thing into the reboot by taking this route. To no one's surprise Ed doesn't take this well and we get a redux of his famous line of "I have no son!" It's a commentary on transgender rights etc.., but ultimately Ed realizes that it is still his son/daughter and is fine with it as we should all be.

Rachael recreates the Fatheads and saves Conglomo. But there is a more important lesson here and that is that despite the changes and despite all of the weirdness, Rocko's Modern Life continues to subtly focus on relationship.


And low brow humor.



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