S01xE05: The Thirty-Minute Work Week

Hey that’s like me, spending thirty minutes a week watching an episode of Fraggle Rock and writing about it! If only someone would pay me a living wage for it so I didn’t have to do any other work.

Wembley and the Trash Heap, crying together

Gobo is such a jerk he makes the Trash Heap cry! He is a megajerk!

Wembley learns the importance of having a job and making up his mind. So, Fraggles do have jobs after all. Thirty minutes a week! And of course we see that the Fraggles enforce their work requirement through peer pressure and catchy songs, rather than hierarchical authority. Anyway, Wembley is old enough to have a job but he hasn’t picked one yet, and his friends are getting impatient with his indecision. I relate, y’all! Life choices are hard.

Mokey tries to help by bringing him along to her job, but Gobo decides the thing to do is be a jerk in order to force Wembley to decide. Well don’t you just know what’s best for everybody and also have a plan to push them into doing it, Gobo? Again. I’m not sure I would like being Gobo’s friend! I have this thing where being deceived and manipulated really pisses me off.

Wembley is so crushed at the idea of losing his best friend he goes to the Trash Heap alone, where he realizes that he loves firemen because of their hats and sirens and all that kind of fun stuff. So of course he’s going to be a fireman! And all it takes to be a fireman in Fraggle Rock is to like hats and climbing ladders!

Do can do whatever you love, children! And by “love” we mean enjoy the illusion of being, in the most superficial way! Do Fraggle firefighters ever even have fires to put out? They live in a cave where the weather is the same all the time, and they eat radishes (picked, so far as we can tell, only by Mokey).

Maybe the point is to show kids that being a productive member of society is good, and also personally fulfilling, and maybe that will help them be more willing to do their chores? But only if the chores consist of a half-hour a week of dancing around in a silly hat.

Wembley singing with the Firefraggles

Fighting fires: mainly involves singing and silly hats

PS: fire*men*, Fraggle Rock? Remember our discussion about gender roles? Fraggles aren’t even men, they’re Fraggles! There did seem to be one ladyFraggle in the crowd of firefraggles (totally what I’m going to call them ok), so I guess ladies can be firemen. One can, anyway. But the president of the volunteer firefraggles is another old dude Fraggle, who only seem to show up when they need to bang things and be leaders. Cool.


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