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First Look at ‘Rocko’s Modern Life: Static Cling’ Reboot

Nickelodeon gave us a peek at their upcoming Rocko’s Modern Life special at Comic-Con this week. The two minute trailer gives us a feel for what O-Town is like 20 years later and features Carlos Alazraqui as Rocko with Tom Kenny and Mr. Lawrence as his friends Heffer Wolfe and Filburt. Entitled Rocko’s Modern Life: Static Cling, the one hour special will feature Rocko returning to O-Town after 20 years and having to adjust to how much technology has changed in his absence.

Why do we, adult humans, care about a new episode of a children’s show from the 1990’s? Good question, hypothetical reader. Like Rocko in the new special, we desire to be wrapped in a cocoon of nostalgia, and the original Nicktoons aired when we were children. Also, while all of the first Nicktoons had some slightly cheeky humor, Rocko had so mastered the double entendre that the hosts of The Great British Bake-Off would blush. About 1/5 of the audience during the show’s original run were adults who tuned in to see Rocko and his friends grab a bite to eat at Chokey Chicken or Felch Donuts or to watch Rocko temp at a phone sex line.

Interestingly, it appears that the special will feature Rocko clinging to the past as everyone around him embraces the modern world. It’s an interesting take for a revival of a show that ended 20 years ago. I don’t know of any other creators bold enough to mock the audience for watching it. Well, aside from the final episode of Two and a Half Men.

Nick is also rebooting Hey Arnold and Legends of the Hidden Temple as TV movies, because brand recognition will always trump innovation in today’s Hollywood. Sure, Legends of the Hidden Temple was a game show, but why not make a movie about some kind of Temple and slap a recognizable name on it? They made a Battleship movie where aliens dropped giant pegs from the sky at boats, after all. Meanwhile, my screenplays go unread, mainly because I get halfway through them and throw them away and call myself a hack. Of course, they’re all better than Battleship, so I’m just leaving money on the table at this point.

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