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‘Rocko’s Modern Life’ Revival Special at Netflix Adds Transgender Character

Ralph Bighead is now Rachel in the upcoming 45-minute continuation of the ’90s Nickelodeon cartoon

Netflix’s upcoming revival of Nickelodeon’s “Rocko’s Modern Life” will feature a transgender character.

Entertainment Weekly reported on Wednesday that the 45-minute revival, which will stream on Friday, will see original character Ralph Bighead having transitioned into Rachel. “Rocko’s Modern Life: Static Cling,” will see Rocko, Heffer and Filburt return from space, where they have been since the series’ original finale in 1996. When they land on Earth, they have to confront a changed world.

“When I started writing [‘Static Cling’], I really started latching onto the idea of change and how society has changed and what’s gone on in the last 20 years and the development of our characters and how they would react to change,” series creator Joe Murray told EW. Murray, who voiced Ralph on the original series, will provide the voice for Rachel. “It felt natural, because it was not only about change, about somebody finding who they are and making that courageous choice to go through that change.”

The special sees Rocko and his friends on a mission to save Rocko’s favorite show, “The Fatheads,” which Rachel created. The story will see them run into Rachel, now working out of a “Fatheads”-themed ice cream truck, who has lost touch with her parents after going on a mission of self-discovery.

Murray has been working with GLAAD on the storyline since 2016.

“The younger characters accept Rachel immediately; recognizing she’s still their friend,” Nick Adams, GLAAD’s director transgender representation, told EW. “And while Rachel’s father is slow to accept change within his own family, even he realizes that loving your child should be unconditional. This story of inclusion and acceptance is so needed in our current climate.”

The special, initially developed for Nickelodeon, will bring back all the show’s classic characters and offer some new takes on life in O-Town. The cartoon aired on Nickelodeon from 1993-1996.

Read the full story in EW here.