Mar 31 2010

What is up with Sesame Street these days?

Lately, I’ve let Johnny watch Sesame Street. I figured it was a fun, educational show — just like I remembered when I was a kid.

Except, now it’s not.

Sure, it might be a little educational and maybe a little fun, but it’s definitely not the same show I remember.

There are lots of old favorites missing! I don’t know what has happened to Cookie Monster, Big Bird (he’s on sometimes…not often enough), Oscar the Grouch, Grover, the Two-Headed Monster, Mr. Snuffleupagus, the Count, and lots more. They might be on sometimes, I just haven’t seen ’em.

I did see Telly today. And Elmo. WAY too much Elmo. He has a segment at the end of every show called “Elmo’s World.” He is not my favorite.

There’s some orange monster named Murry, and he’s sort of the show’s emcee now — popping in and out between segments.

There’s an incredibly annoying segment called Abby’s Flying Fairy School. Abby Kadabee is a newish character and apparently she’s a fairy. I’m not so big on the fairies and magic and all that. Not a fan of the segment.

And our friends Bert and Ernie? They’re now making appearances in a claymation segment. Ugh.

What happened to all our old, loveable pals? And what happened to all those random segments where you learned about the letters and numbers of the day? Those are still there sorta, but not nearly as many as there used to be. Those three new segments take up a lot of time.

And what happened to the field trip-type segments where children learned about how things like crayons were made? (Or was that from Reading Rainbow or Mr Rogers?).

It’s really a shame. The old shows were so much fun — AND educational!

Right now, PBS has a bunch of lousy (in my opinion) kids’ shows.

Maybe I’m just an old fart who thinks my generation had it great, in terms of TV? And let’s not even talk about what Nickelodeon has become (though we don’t have that channel right now).

Since PBS is publicly funded, I do plan on telling them my views. Maybe if enough of us do, they will make some changes.

In the meantime, I’m going to scope out some videos. Sesame Street has some “old school” compilations that aired well before I was born. Reading Rainbow, Mr Rogers and others have DVDs, too.

I know that Johnny is technically too young to be watching TV. I guess the suggested age is over 2. The kiddo doesn’t watch that much, I promise.

7 Responses to “What is up with Sesame Street these days?”

  1. Interesting! We haven’t started any tv yet but I’ll keep that in mind. I LOVE Mr. Rogers and I think I’ll just try to stick with that. Lib isn’t too interested in tv although she gets really excited about Wheel of Fortune, I think she likes the clapping. :)
    Tim has fond memories of the Wind in the Willows and he’s shown that to her online a few times. Quite cute. I agree, kids shows today are nothing like the ones we watched. Hurray for DVD’s and the i-net! :)

  2. I wish Mr Rogers still aired here! And he’s FROM Pittsburgh! But no Mr Rogers, no Reading Rainbow, no Shining Time Station or Wishbone or any of that.

    There’s Arthur (that show has been around awhile), Clifford (I think it’s annoying though — one of the dogs is always causing trouble), Dinosaur Train (?), Word World (maybe that one is kinda ok?). But ugh!!

  3. i agree about seseme street, bring back the old ways!! however I love word world and i was a little skeptical of super why, but both of those shows have taught my daughter so much. I’ve seen Mr Rogers on the weekends, but i never really liked that show. Oh and Reading rainbow is on every now and then. but yah, the rest of the kids shows on now are a little strange.

  4. I’m not due until July with my first, but I’ve watched my friends kids frequently and the shows they watch, WOW! I have a whole list of shows that will be banned from our household.

    I was sooo disappointed in the newer Sesame Street. I also remember it from my childhood. It’s crap now. I’ll happily buy the DVDs of the older episodes though.

    It’s a shame. I remember awesome TV shows as a kid and now all you find on TV is inappropriate junk, in my opinion. And I’m pretty open minded!

  5. My daughter is almost 3 and we love the PBS shows. It might be because she is a little older. She is a big fan of Sid The Science Kid, Dinosaur Train and Word World. The science kid and dinosaur train are pretty educational and word world is too. Your son might like those when he gets older.

  6. I work in NYC in children’s television, only freelanced some for Sesame and spent two years at Nick Jr. I’m a researcher. The folks at Sesame Workshop hear that a lot, that the show has changed and the parents who grew up on the show miss the old ways. But Sesame street is one of the most researched shows on tv. And the changes were not made lightly, the biggest thing is that younger kids are watching (2-4) rather than the (3-5) it was originally aired for. That’s a big difference in comprehension from 2 -3, so the show was broken into three 20 minute segments. Abby was created to give a female muppet to the mostly male cast. The great thing about Sesame is that they are constantly innovating, so if something isn’t working it will change. Peep and the Big Wide World and Curious George are two shows on PBS that are science based and you might like. Word World is geared toward older kids, but I think it’s very well done. If you ever do get cable Nick Jr. has some good stuff geared for the under 5 set.

  7. I like Elmo – I was surprised to, as all the toys and shorts I had previously been exposed to seemed annoying. But he’s quiet, imaginative, loves his parents, is polite and generally sweet. Also, he does lots of music, which is the only thing L pays any attention to. I see why he was added – I think he’s one of the few muppets other than Abby who is actually a kid, too.

    I really like both Dinosaur Train and Super Why, what little I’ve seen of them. Mostly, though, I agree with you. I loved Reading Rainbow when I was little, and am sad that it’s gone (though I hear it may be coming back) and miss all the counting and letter segments there used to be in the Sesame Street I remember. Every once in a while I break out one or two of the old songs from YouTube and play them for her.

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