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When I was a child, there were two main educational programs shown to
children. Play School, being the other one, basically got me shouting
at the television that I was not retarded, not stupid, and not a
diminished human being, just a child. From what I've seen from
observing some of my cousins' children, it hasn't changed a lot except
parents have revised their opinion of its suitability for five year
olds. Unfortunately, Sesame Street is going much in the same direction.
In the 1990s, Sesame Street had a rather nasty competitor in the shape of Barney, a purple dinosaur with a support cast that showed no difference in emotional response. Even when that support cast consisted of four year olds and fourteen year olds. As if that wasn't harmful enough, Barney would openly tell children they weren't good if they didn't have good feelings, or alter the rules of a game to make someone else the winner. That such "lessons" were allowed to be broadcast shows how useful the regulators of television really are. By contrast, the Sesame Street I remember even dealt with such issues as the death of a loved one. Goodbye, Mr. Hooper was one of the most amazing episodes of children's television ever broadcast because it made an effort to try and teach children about something so difficult that even live adults are often no help with it.
Other brilliant aspects of the show included using monsters to portray certain feelings or behaviours that the audience might be conflicted about. They had a cookie monster to show what a negative (but highly funny, the way they presented it) appearance gluttony can bring. They had a grouchy monster to show the effects of an anti-social mentality. More "cute" monsters such as Grover were used to show things like fear or sadness. There was a good reason for all of this. Negative feelings are difficult enough for a child to understand, so having puppets to thoroughly explain them was very educational.
Kudos are also due the adult cast of the show. During every episode I saw, even Goodbye, Mr. Hooper, the adults were never condescending or smug. They never acted as if they had every answer. Instead, they told the monster, other puppet, or child characters a few useful tidbits and let these characters work things out for themselves. Even today, if you see the sequences with such annoying characters as Elmo, it is the children or the child-like characters who deliver all the answer lines. Those consultations with child psychologists done by the Children's Television Workshop really paid off.
Unfortunately, and there always seems to be an unfortunately these days when it comes to children's television, a certain adherence to marketing over education crept in over recent years. The greatness of such characters as Oscar or Grover was that they could appeal to children without needing to be cutesy. Oscar was a grump who appeared to have worked too many night shifts, while Grover seemed to be just a fearful but friendly guy trying to make his way in the world. Perfectly normal, ordinary people wrapped up in some very bizarre-looking trimmings, in other words. Nowadays, characters like Elmo seem so awfully sugarcoated that it makes me wonder if his audience is going to encounter problems in later life when they learn they cannot get by simply on acting cute.
I don't know who pulls the strings on this show these days, but I would like to implore them for the sake of future generations. The old way of educating the children about the fundamentals of life, and letting the cute factor take care of itself, was a much better one. Please go back to it. I might not be part of the audience anymore, but I do have second cousins, and maybe one day a niece or nephew, who are.
Sesame Street was my favorite show when I was a kid. I remember a scene
from the episode where Mr. Hooper died. Gordon told Big Bird that he
Big Bird thought he would come back, but Gordon told Big Bird that he
wouldn't. This episode dealt with death in a way young children would
understand, which makes it a classic.
I'll admit it. Sometimes when I'm flipping through the channels, I'll stop and watch SS for awhile. It brings back so many childhood memories.
This is a children's television classic. It's educational and entertaining,
and not painful for parents to watch with their kids. At least it never
used to be. It used to be quite edgy, high-brow, very adult-accessible.
It's been dumbed down considerably over the years. This is a result of
playing to lower age-groups, shorter attention spans, and competing with the
run-of-the-mill trash in the kid's TV arena.
The adults have virtually vanished, the muppets have gotten annoying (I'm sure we're all familiar with Elmo by now), the show has shrunk to 40 minutes, the last 20 being a new show-within-a-show known as "Elmo's World". As if the 20 minutes of Elmo aren't enough, even more grating is that there are only about 10-20 episodes of Elmo's World, yet it runs every day! And rather than dealing with reading, writing, counting, nature, social skills, Elmo's World revolves around things like balls, puppies, hair, etc. Yes, this is not your parent's Sesame Street, or probably even the Sesame Street you grew up with. It's a more modern, simple, conformist Street that has considerably less charm but at least more educational value than the other, more commercial stuff out there.
The only reason to turn your kids on to television is rapidly shrinking into another Barney.
Can this really be the same show that dealt with the death of Mr. Hooper?
can't see them doing anything like that now. They used to count up to
twenty. Now they sometimes go past ten. I even remember one cartoon
where they went up to 40! I miss Mumford the Magician(ala peanut butter
sandwiches!) and the honkers. I had a honker doll when I was little. Drove
my folks nuts.
Please get rid of Elmo World! He doesn't even TEACH anything.('cept for that one PC Holiday Speacial) and as many others pointed out he's annoying and talks down to kids.
For people who tell me not to get upset over a kids show, I remind them that Sesame Street was a show parents could watch with their kids without being bored silly. The show had jokes that parents could get. and some awesome guest stars.
I have a feeling this show may be coming to an end. It will be replaced by Elmo's World in hour long form.
Farwell Sesmae we had great times together.
Though I am 33 years old, I have still found myself drawn to watch a minute or two of Sesame Street now and then. My daughter is 10 years old so her days of Elmo are long over but I find it a little sad that they have changed so much on the show. I remember watching the show every time it came on. My daughter loved it too. It seems too commercialized now and the characters have changed so much that you don't feel a connection to them the way that I did as a child. There was a feeling of being a part of "the family" even if you weren't actually there with them. I don't think that kids have changed so much that they wouldn't like it just the way that it use to be. I think what has changed is the junk that is on T.V. now days. Unfortunately, I suppose, poor old Sesame Street just couldn't compete with all that, and ended up having to make a few minor sacrifices here and there to draw the attention of the kids. I wish that for my Grand children's sake, though, they could find a way to go back to the Sesame Street that I remember and also be able to incorporate some of the new things.
I think that Sesame Street, although it is a really good children's show, isn't really the same as it used to be. It hasn't been the same since Jim Henson died and it hasn't been the same since a lot of the characters have died or moved on. The people that have come and gone from this show are the ones that have been the best I've seen in a very long time. Now instead of recording new shows and going on without some of the major players in the show they just pasted together clips from old shows. I remember the days before Jim Henson died when Sesame Street was more than just a clip show. It meant a lot to the kids of my generation.
I cannot understand in my wildest dreams why anyone in their right mind would have an incredibly annoying character like Elmo and that other one who is a bear with the speech impediment who always says, "Baby Beaw, Baby Beaw". Elmo has kids trying to teach a fish how to ride a bicycle???!!! It makes me so sad for the day of Big Bird and Bert and Ernie and Kermit. They talked up to kids and really educated them and spoke perfectly. They actually TAUGHT kids how to act! The show is horribly taken over by Elmo and that Bear and it is just sad to see. Jim Henson would be horrified with what this show has become. There was not any need to make drastic changes. It WAS PERFECT! Plus, the viewers who were 2-5 years, would outgrow them and there would always be a new audience. Back in the day, the parents would be entertained by this once great show. Not anymore. Elmo is horrendous. That whiney lisp has got to go. IT's as if the producers of Sesame Street don't want to parents to watch with their children. The above poster is so right when he said that Sesame Street has become nothing but an infomercial for Elmo dolls. He hit the nail right on the head.
I always caught this show on television every now and then. The show was put together and written well and the people that was on show was good. I am surprised that this show has aired in TV for such and great length of time. Sesame Street was/is one of the most watched by the youngsters. The show would have like little teachings for them in various formats for them such as animated and such. There is some funny stuff on this show with Oscar, The Cookie Monster, Bert and Ernie. I would only recommend this television show to young kids unless the adults are interested in seeing the actors and the hilarious characters or if you want watch something you haven't seen as young boy or girl then this can bring memories back from the past make you feel like your a kid again. If that is the case then I recommend you watch this show!
This was once one of the best shows for children to learn things from
at an early age but now it's taken the turn of a ridiculous show to
keep kids quiet while their parents don't pay attention. Then they
complain about one of the characters and the show gets worse. Things
that need to be changed:
1. Elmo- Get rid of Elmo, he teaches nothing and is very annoying. The only reason they added him was so they could make a doll that makes an irritating noise when you squeeze it then vibrates across the carpet.
2. Cookie Monster- Veggie Monster! what is that! Why can't Cookie Monster eat cookies anymore? Cookie Monster did not make kids fat, stupid video games made kids fat. Now stand back, ignore Sesame Street and look at the problem. Kids are not fat because they idolize a puppet, kids are fat because they don't have the common sense to put down the I-Pod and the Gameboy and go play outside. After all they don't need to go outside to play baseball anymore, not when they can sit on their duffs and do it on a Playstation.
3. Oscar the Grouch- I was really, really mad when I saw what they did to my favorite Sesame Street character. I need to keep this one short, for everyone's sake, make the Grouch, grouchy again, please he didn't do anything to us, he just didn't like to be around people and singing, what's so wrong with that?
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
[MAY BE SPOILERS]
In 1969, good old' Jimmy Henson (not Jimi Hendrix) came up with the idea for this show. He and some friends put it all together and Sesame Street was born.
THE GOOD YEARS:
From 1969 to 2002, Sesame Street ran like this: it first introduced a situation story that would take the whole hour time slot to solve, and every now and then the story would cut to an animated alphabet or counting lesson, a humerous skit from Grover, Bert and Ernie, Cookie Monster, what-have-you. Then in 1998, that was all cut to half an hour to make room for Elmo's World. The skits where Grover is the waiter to the bald blue guy were funny! Even when Grover ran a gym, car rental, taxi cab. I can't even begin to name all my favorites. There are too many. And in 1982, poor Mr. Harry Hooper died. In real life too. That's before I was even born so I never got to know him. I wonder what he was like. In 1990, Jim Henson died. His successor would go on to ruin this show. We miss you so much, Jim!
THE BAD YEARS:
In 2002 they had to go and do a stupid thing like completely change around the format of the show. Now it's 1. Musical session, 2. Monster Time, 3. Short skit, 4. Situation story that's solved in fifteen minutes rather than an hour. 5. Journey to Ernie. 6. Letter of the day. 7. Spanish word of the day. 8. Elmo's World. WHY???!!!!! Why did they ruin a classic like this?! That's inexcusable! They just did it so they'd be given immortality because SS was beginning to show it's age and whenever that happens, they ether change the opening or give the show a facelift. Sesame Street has been given so many facelifts that now the face is beginning to droop the other direction! I hope the end is near.
In conclusion, parents, don't let your kids watch this show! The only shows your children should be watching are: Mister Rogers Neighborhood, Caillou, Arthur, maybe Between the Lions, Reading Rainbow. But please don't tune in to Sesame Street. By the way, this December, Carroll Spinney who plays Big Bird will be 70 years old! How about that. Happy birthday, Carroll and for the rest of you, I don't recommend Sesame Street!
In loving memory of Fred Rogers. "You Are Special".
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