Julie Rich has been a Muppet fan since birth, becoming quickly addicted to Fraggle Rock and Sesame Street at a very young age. These days, she and her twin sister are having fun annoying their friends with random Muppet trivia and playing “name that Muppeteer.” If that wasn’t enough for their (overly patient) family and friends, they dress up as Muppeteers for conventions with their Muppet Whatnots, Oingo and Boingo. Her world is a little more magical thanks to Fraggle Rock, so she wanted to show that 30 years later, the world still cannot leave the magic.
Julie Rich –
As Jim Henson was wrapping on The Muppet Show, he was brainstorming his next project. A series for children and families alike that will be shown worldwide in a method never used before in order to teach about life lessons rarely touched in family programing. A series that would teach about peace, working together, conflict, identity, prejudice and other issues generally too “taboo” for family television.
My twin sister and I were born in the spring of 1985, in the midst of the series’ four-year run. We were also two of the lucky young ones that had a family with access to HBO, a VCR, and a few blank tapes. My parents recorded a few episodes knowing that it was always our favorite. We would dance our cares away for hours watching it over and over, well past the end of the series due to those blank tapes (two of our favorite episodes was “Gone, but Not Forgotten,” “Wembley’s Egg,” and “I Want to Be You,” all conveniently on videotape). It taught us so many great things, and the family loved it. You can’t go wrong with a “kids’” show that the parents could enjoy!
This morning, I was thinking about Fraggles when I realized something. Jim went out to make a series for all ages and cultures to learn amazing lessons everyone else was scared to teach (what family show that also appeals to pre-k and earlier teaches about death?!). Did he realize what this series would do?
This series still brings people together, 28 years since the show stopped production.
I wore my Red Fraggle shirt to work one day. Suddenly everyone was smiling, laughing, and reminiscing as soon as they saw me and after I left the room. Note: I work in an office of 30-somethings and older.
My phone rings while I’m in line for an overpriced chai tea latte (that I gladly pay and enjoy). The sounds of Wembley singing “Pukka Pukka!” makes perfect strangers smile and tell me how they grew up and how Wembley was their favorite (I’m a Boober fan, but I don’t judge).
My friends come over to my house for the first time and see my (rather extensive) DVD collection. The first thing they see? All four seasons on a low shelf. Give them five more minutes or a need of a glass of water and they’ll find the Fraggle Rock postcard on my fridge.
I am not ashamed to admit that I marathon the entire series now and then. I dream of the perfect man that will sit and marathon it with me (for now, I’ll watch with my cats). (Note from Jarrod – Call me)
I am not ashamed to hum Fraggle tunes when I’m out and about.
If Jim was here today, he would really see what magic he cast. He gave us something to connect on. Something to see eye-to-eye on. He gave us a togetherness, more than any other person in the entertainment business.
He’d also remind us of one thing.
You cannot leave the magic.