One of my favorite cartoons as a child was Rocko’s Modern Life on Nickelodeon. But it only ran for four short seasons. Nobody is quite sure why exactly Nickelodeon cancelled the whole thing, some cite the innuendos that were hidden in every episode, but I do remember the aired re-runs for years and years afterward. I was a bit surprised to see this land on Netflix, but it was originally intended to land last year on Nickelodeon. Which is good for me since I don’t have cable, and honestly I don’t think many kids today even know what Rocko’s Modern Life was. The TV film special was obviously crafted for my generation, not Generation Z and Generation Alpha.
The film is set twenty years after the events of the beloved cartoon series. Rocko, Heffer, and Filburt have been stuck in outer space for many years. Somebody attached a space rocket to Rocko’s house, and ever since then they’ve never been able to get back home. By a chance of luck, they manage to find a lost control to send them back to Earth, which happened to be close by in their orbit around the solar system.
They arrive in a future they aren’t quite ready for. Rocko and his friends realize that things have changed big time since the 1990’s. There’s phones without buttons, digital comic books, and technology beyond your wildest dreams. Rocko is okay with the change after some time, but he does miss that the Fatheads (created by Ralph Bighead) are no longer on the air. Mrs. Bighead tells Rocko that Ralph and the show haven’t been around for years.
Rocko and Mr. Bighead soon will share a common goal. Mr. Bighead’s company is on the verge of collapse, meaning he’ll lose his house (and the town’s economy will go dry) if that happens. Rocko brings up the idea of reviving the TV show the Bigheads. But that means finding Ralph Bighead, but Rocko will surely not realize how big of a challenge that’s going to be. It’s one thing to find a person, but what if they’re not happy to do it?
Overall Static Cling was good but not great. I suspect the reason Nickelodeon tossed this one to Netflix was because there is a LGBT character in this one, and I supposed they lacked a backbone to air it on their station. Somebody spoiled that part for me, but I think they handled it well, which proves that shows can have LGBT characters and it’s not a “big deal” and works with the plot, even cartoons. I did wish that the movie was a little longer, and had more of its oddball humor that the show was famous for.