Remembering Sunnier Days

When I had my daughter, I really looked forward to watching “Sesame Street” with her, but the truth is now that she’s old enough we hardly ever watch it. “Sesame Street” just isn’t what it used to be.

Maybe I’m remembering things wrong, but when I was a kid “Sesame Street” had an episode-long “real people” plot line that was broken up by educational “commercials” about letters, numbers and Spanish, as well as short comedy skits with muppets. I would sit through counting “commercials” like these just to get to the live action plot line that ran throughout the show.

Classic pinball action.

The baker falling down is one of my favorite “Sesame Street” memories.

And we can’t talk about “Sesame Street” number “commercials” without including “Ladybug Picnic”.

These days, all of the live action plot line happens at the very beginning of “Sesame Street”. The learning “commercials” are few and far between and usually incorporated in one of “Sesame Street”‘s heavily regimented schedule. Instead of an episode-long plot line with commercials, now there’s a short plot at the beginning, “Ernie and Bert’s Great Adventure’s” in claymation, “Abby’s Flying Fairy School” in computer animation, “Murray Has a Little Lamb” and “Elmo’s World”.

There are still learning “commercials”, but they are usually integrated and explained into a segment such as “Elmo’s World” or “Murray Has a Little Lamb”. They are usually clustered together into one part of the show instead of spread throughout.

I’m sure there’s some heavily researched reason “Sesame Street” changed its format, but I liked it better the old way. With the “commercials” clustered together, I’m less likely to watch them. Honestly, I’m less likely to watch most of the show. I used to stay tuned just to see what happened next in the live action plot line. Now that segment ends within minutes of the beginning of the show. I have no motivation to continue watching or to sit through the “commercials”, especially since I don’t like many of the other segments (I’ll be ranting about the other segments for the remainder of the week).

I miss old “Sesame Street”. I wish it would go back to how it was during my childhood. Despite this, I know I should just learn to love “Sesame Street” as it is now since my kids still enjoy it. In fact, in 25+ years, my daughters will probably be whining that “Sesame Street” isn’t as good as it is NOW. At least, they will be whining about it if I can ever get over myself enough to turn the show on.

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Filed under Sesame Street, TV Tuesdays

3 Responses to Remembering Sunnier Days

  1. Rachel

    I agree. I miss the old Sesame Street. I can’t understand why they messed with a good thing. I don’t think it’s working for them– in NYC they’re on at 10am which is a weird time slot, and while Tali was a big fan in 2003-2006, Pazi does not watch it at all, which makes me kind of sad.

    I tried to get her to watch it the yesterday, in fact, and she just doesn’t like it. Incidentally, she does like 1 Sesame Street video we happen to have (“Fiesta”) which has the live-action plot line, dotted with “commercials” as you describe.

    On another note, can you believe that in addition to working at Shel Silverstein’s publisher, I also worked at Sesame Street for a time (1999-2000)? I worked on the web site, not the TV show. It was during this time when Elmo’s World came out, and I think it’s been all downhill from there — having these daily animated segments that seem to overtake the whole structure of the episode. First it was Elmo’s World, then Journey to Ernie, and then who knows what. I haven’t been keeping up with it, but read your post about claymation Bert & Ernie, what a travesty!

    • I was thinking about how you used to work for “Sesame Street” when I started writing this! I was so jealous.

      At least half the show is now dedicated to these animated segments and Elmo’s World. It makes me sad. The girls usually pay attention during the plot and Elmo’s World, but get distracted during one of the animated segments. We watched an old episode on Sprout the other day and they were much more interested.

  2. Pingback: The Elmo's World Takeover | Kids Play The Darndest Things

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