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Sesame Street


John Drew
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For me, this amusing article by Joel Stein hits almost all the right targets as to why I, and many others, feel that Sesame Street is missing the mark with kids today.

"Sesame Street" — which still has sharp, funny writing — is being destroyed by idiot cuteness.... In the '70s, the human cast and the Muppets were quirky adults who didn't talk down to me with baby voices. Now the human cast gets almost no airtime, and the show is dominated by Elmo, Baby Bear and, now, Abby Cadabby — preschoolers enamored by their own adorable stupidity. The lesson they teach — in opposition to Oscar, Big Bird, Grover or Bert — is that bland neediness gets you stuff much more easily than character. We are breeding a nation of Anna Nicole Smiths.

Edited by Baal_T'shuvah

Formerly Baal_T'shuvah

"Everyone has the right to make an ass out of themselves. You just can't let the world judge you too much." - Maude 
Harold and Maude
 

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The main difference between Sesame Street now vs. then (1970's) is that i believe the average viewer age is much lower now. It was not uncommon back in 70's for kids 5 or 6 years old to still be watching Sesame Street. ( yeah, read this as a confession if you want) I think this occured in part because of the dearth of weekday children's programming back then. Having watched the show recently with my younger kids, everything seems to be geared towards 2-3 year olds. The lessons, character interactions, colors and humor are more along the lines of Teletubbies than the old school Mr. Hooper-era sesame street. But i dont see this as any kind of troubling declension in the show or the writing, just a shift. The truth is, Sesame Street has kinda sucked for years. It has been eclipsed by some wonderful shows on Noggin and Nick Jr. IMO.

"The things we enjoy are channels through which the divine glory strikes us, and those who love and delight in any good thing may yet learn to love God." --Gilbert Meilaender

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  • 2 weeks later...

I was talking to my Mom awhile back about the difference between Blue's Clues and Sesame Street. My Mom does reading consulting for a living, so she has an acute interest in effective learning mechanisms. Her understanding was that Sesame Street was more enjoyable for adults, but Blues Clues was actually better for fostering learning amongst children. The shorter duration and greater repetition was better for children. Does anybody else have any experience with this? I've never seen Blues Clues but I have seen plenty of Sesame Street. Since this is going to be a huge part of my world sooner than I realize I may as well start getting input now.

"It is scandalous for Christians to have an imagination starved for God." - Mark Filiatreau

I write occasionally at Unfamiliar Stars.

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  • 4 years later...

Huh, and here I thought this thread had been resurrected because of that recent petition for Bert and Ernie married to get married (which led the producers to release this statement yesterday).

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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As the parent of a toddler, I can second the notion that Blue's Clues is the more popular show in our house. Our daughter doesn't pay as much attention to Sesame Street, but she will sit and watch Blues Clues all the way through (talking to it the whole time).

I personally have fond memories of SS, though. I loved it then and still enjoy it when it's on.

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  • 2 years later...

Big Bird defies the gods (and a demon played by James Mason!) in this 1983 special:

 

 

Synopsis and screencaps here.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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