Rocko’s Modern Life Creator Joe Murray Talks Themes in New Netflix Special

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People who grew up in the 90s are celebrating the release of the Netflix special Rocko’s Modern Life: Static Cling. The one-hour special picks up right where “Future Schlock,” the show’s series finale, ended in 1996, with Rocko and his friends in outer space. Returning to Earth and their home of O-Town, Rocko is overwhelmed with change as the newest smart phones, energy drinks, and gritty superhero movies enter his life. The theme of change is very important to Rocko creator Joe Murray. Speaking with reporters from Comic Book Resources, Murray says that he wanted Static Cling to explore change, particularly how people deal with it and how it can affect our lives.

By far one of the biggest changes in the special is the revelation that Rocko’s neighbor and creator of his favorite television show Ralph Bighead has come out as a transgender woman and now calls herself Rachel. Murray, who voices Rachel in the special, says that he believes the most positive change anyone can make in their lives is accepting who they are. Continuing, Murray says that Rachel’s transgender storyline was the natural progression for the character. In the show’s original run, the then-Ralph Bighead frequently clashed with his father, Ed, who disagreed with Ralph’s choice to pursue a career as an animator. As an artist, Murray says that Rachel has always had a deep side, making it in-character for her to want to truly find herself. Murray further expressed appreciation for Nickelodeon’s embrace of the transgender storyline.

In other interviews, Murray hinted at the possibility of more Rocko specials in the future. Speaking with Collider, Murray says that he feels that there are numerous things that Nickelodeon can do with the franchise. In coming back to the series after nearly 25 years, Murray told of how easy it was to reintegrate the show’s characters into today’s world. Murray also spoke of several storylines that were cut from Static Cling, saying that the scenes cut from the special would have been enough for another episode. While Murray is hopeful to return to Rocko in the future, he says that the deciding factor will be how well Static Cling is received by fans.

Rocko’s Modern Life: Static Cling is currently available for streaming on Netflix.

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