Sunday, September 15, 2019
Entertainment

Netflix’s ‘Rocko’s Modern Life’ special features transgender storyline

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When Nickelodeon debuted “Rocko’s Modern Life” in 1993, the world met an immigrant Australian wallaby who found life in O-Town, a modern American city, overwhelming and confusing. In O-Town, everything is owned by the corporation Conglom-O, whose motto is “We Own You.”

Like some other early 1990s Nickelodeon cartoons like “The Ren & Stimpy Show,” “Rocko’s Modern Life” was noted for its veiled social commentary, anti-corporate themes, and adult-oriented jokes that sometimes veered into the indecent.

When the 45-minute special “Rocko’s Modern Life: Static Cling” drops on Netflix on August 9, the show will feature an even more modern storyline — a coming out tale of a transgender character.

The character who in the ’90s show was called Ralph Bighead — child of Rocko’s toad neighbors, Bev and Ed Bighead — is now named Rachel.

Nick Adams, Director of Transgender Media & Representation at the LGBTQ media advocacy group GLAAD, consulted on the show and spoke to NBC news about the process. Adams said he first began to work on the show in 2016 when producers reached out about a plan to include a transgender character.



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