Street season 36
Two Things is a new Tough Pigs feature, where you get to voice your
opinions on the current Muppet productions. Now, I don't have a lot of time
to pay attention to other people's opinions, so all I want to know is two
things: What's one thing you like about it, and one thing you don't
To start with, what do you think about the new "Happy and
Healthy" season of Sesame Street? If
you've got two things to say, send your entry in to Danny@ToughPigs.com,
and you can share two of your thoughts with the world!
thing I like about this season is a trend I've seen over the last few years:
as Steve, Eric and David become more used to Ernie, Grover and Cookie
Monster, we're seeing more of them on the Street set. They interact more
with the human cast, and with the characters we usually see on the Street,
like Big Bird, Elmo, Zoe and Oscar. It used to be that you'd only see Jim
and Frank's characters in their own sketches. Part of the magic of the
various specials was seeing them all together, but it didn't happen much on
the regular show. So seeing them together more often is nice for me.
thing I'm not liking as much as I had hoped is the OVERemphasis on the
healthy eating and exercise... I realize childhood obesity is a problem, and
I understand the pedagogy behind repetition, but right now I feel like half
of Sesame Street is a lecture. Teach me some letters and numbers, man!
good thing: They're really digging deep into the archives this season. I was
happy to see Henson's "King of 8" stop-motion sketch, something
that I've previously seen for only two seconds in the season 35
retrospective. Given all of the space they've freed up to show segments,
they've made an impressive effort to fill the time with some of their best
bad thing: The new sketches. So far, the recurring skits I've seen have been
poorly animated or shabbily acted. It's a shame to see the brilliantly
executed "Cat Food Can" cartoon, contrasted by some
poorly-animated stop-motion cherries too shy to help form an ugly face on a
heavy-duty paper plate. Yeesh!
good thing: Character consistency. I like that even though Cookie Monster
learned how to eat healthy in the infamous "Cookies are a Sometimes
Food" sketch, he still chose to eat the cookie at the end.
bad thing: Curriculum overkill. Teaching the audience to eat better foods is
one thing, but having it be the theme of every episode can get irritating
really quickly. When Miles started singing at me about fruits and broccoli,
I had to temporarily change the channel.
good thing: No more having to go through Journey to Ernie for an Ernie/Bert
sketch. Journey to Ernie wasn't horrible, but it's best to have the
Ernie/Bert sketch without it. It gives Sesame more time for sketches.
bad thing: No more Count's Number of the Day? The Count's been replaced by a
remix of the "Song of 10," which stops where the number of the day
is. It's good to see a remake of the song, but not at the expense of the
thing I liked: The presentation of the Number of the Day. Seeing the Count
last season doing the same exact thing every time was REALLY boring. This
year, they've updated the old song with the kids counting up to 10 that used
to end with the baker falling down the stairs. A new animation of the flashy
numbers is followed by a kid cranking a jack-in-the-box, obviously not
knowing on which revolution the jack will pop. It's a hundred times cuter
and funnier to see a reaction from the jack-in-the-box kid than the Count
going and going to find today's number, much as I love him.
thing I didn't like: I used to pride myself on it, but now I can no longer
tell the difference between Frank's Grover and Eric's. Damn.
thing: The return of Buster the Horse. I always liked Marty Robinson's
voice, and the character's personality. I was under the impression that
Buster was retired, along with Forgetful Jones, when Richard passed. It
looks like they're using the Buster puppet that was last used over a decade
ago -- or if it's a new one, it looks pretty darn close.
thing: The remade version of the 10 song. Not because it's a remake, but
just because the whole thing looked and sounded very awkward, with the paper
animation and the kids singing. The decision was made a long time ago to
retire the old films, and that's life. But to me, it wasn't worth remaking.
thing: Journey to Ernie is gone. I never really liked that segment, although
it did let you know you had some Bert and Ernie coming.
thing: HELLO! If you wanna go on and on and on and on about exercising and
eating right... CAPTAIN VEGETABLE! They haven't used his segment yet, have
thing I liked: The show feels more like the Sesame Street that's familiar to
me than it has for the past two seasons. They're no longer shoving Journey
to Ernie, Monster Clubhouse or Hero Guy in every day, which leaves more room
for varied segments. The presence of new and recent material with Cookie
Monster, Grover, Ernie and Bert adds even more to the feeling that this is
the Sesame Street I know and love. It's a good feeling, like walking into a
favorite restaurant and it still smells the same.
thing I didn't like: That counting segment with the jack-in-the-box is so
boring. Here's what I want, Sesame Workshop: Baker. Stairs. Pies. Make some
you have two things to say
the new Sesame season?
your comments to Danny@ToughPigs.com
let the world know!