Time to Rename Sesame St. Sesame Highway?

30 Nov

Sheesh.  I love Sesame Street.  It’s one of the few shows that both my almost 2-year old daughter and I can sit through (or dance, get up and run around, come back to sit in front of) together.  It seems, though, that the opening segments are getting longer and longer.  I’m able to read lengthy appellate decisions without a break but have a hard time getting through some of the endless openings on Sesame Street lately.  The one that appeared today, the story of a Jack be Nimble who lost his jump, was especially painful.  They pulled out a kangaroo, then the cow who jumped over the moon, then even serenaded him with an inspirational song to try to get him to jump.  Do we really want to be coddling this white dude fairy tale character who isn’t even a regular on the show while the crowd who gathered to watch him, including the real-life girl in the wheelchair, have to sit through his emergency therapy to get over his candlestick fright, which in the end isn’t even explained (or maybe it was but I was writing this by then)?  Exhausting!  So, although I know Sesame Street has spent decades trying to make up for the fact that it (rightfully, probably) was blamed for birthing the first short-attention span generation, its reparations are, in short, too long, and if you can judge by me – a member of that first ADD era – too late.


4 Responses to “Time to Rename Sesame St. Sesame Highway?”

  1. Steven Myers November 30, 2011 at 7:43 pm #

    SS is an hour long show, right?
    is a theme typically revealed in the opening segement?
    if so, does it shine like a miner’s light throughout the episode?
    if this sounds lie an exegesis of SS, i’ll add that big bird was always kind of cute to me.
    too much mind is bad for our animal
    but seriously, this fear of jumping, i must admit, sort of sounds interesting in the never ending human habit of courting quick sand–self sabotage.
    maybe a subbordinate was chosen for the role like rosencranz and guildenstern or ephraim and manaaseh from the bible…
    to preserve public perception of the regulars. oscar the grouch wouldn’t bother with jumping over the moon. he’d rather stay nestled under the lid and kvetch. and also, we sometimes forget that non heroes-the everyday billy or bernadette on the bus live heroic tales. we only have to ask.
    i guess the key question is did they stick to this topic throughout the hour? i’ll look for it on pbs later today and get back to you. as always, i love your fresh original topics

    • Revel December 3, 2011 at 3:36 pm #

      Thanks! And sorry for the delayed response. I kind of lost interest in the episode after that but I did notice there was some picking up on the theme but not enough to reverse my displeasure. I think I also noticed this before i had my morning coffee and I am still a caffeine junkie. It’s one of the few crutches I’m not giving up. So’s anyway. These are all very good questions. I like your miner’s light analogy. SS is an hour-long show, no commercials (as all good tv kids’ shows should be) except that the opening and ending are nods to the sponsors, and of course geared toward camouflaging themselves to look like part of the show itself, at least to the non-discerning three-year old’s eye. They come out with a new show everyday so I think it’s a big demand to make them all great. It’s like Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert — I forgive them some non-funniness because they’re doing this on a daily basis. The only other original content daily television shows I can think of off the top of my head are soap operas, which likely are a more realistic bar for the quality of material you can expect to keep squeezing out of a staff on an ongoing basis. So, yes, the bar is low. And, in light of that, I can forgive SS a little bit of nonsense. They do other things well, like showing people of different abilities (i.e., people in wheelchairs and kids with mental/physical different-abilities). They’ve got a pretty good racially mixed group of characters. HOWEVER, most of the muppets are male, and those that aren’t are ridiculously girly (like Abbey the flying fairy). There’s only one who is supposed to be Latina but she’s actually blue who is a little butch. For a long time I didn’t even know she was a girl. All that said, most of tv and media is pretty far behind in portraying equality between boys and girls. I even have a quiet gripe going with NPR right now for sexualizing things and perpetrating stereotypes. But more on that later. I have a motion to write, coffee to drink, and a SS show to turn off soon. Thanks for your comments!

      • Steven Myers December 3, 2011 at 3:54 pm #

        denying that commercials exist doesn’t seem fair to kids.
        why not tell them what marilyn manson says,
        fear and consumption fear and consumption fear and consumption
        the little ones might even get salty earlier than expected.
        we can only hope for the decline of saccharine.

        i always found big bird to be attractive in a transexual sort of way.
        isn’t that the ultimate representation of acceptance of both x and y?
        the blurring of the sexes i say. bow to the bird and things might loosen up a little.
        hermaphrodites as they once were-awed.
        it wouldn’t be appropriate in my over educated, lori engels estimation
        to advocate x and y in the flesh
        that would be too transparent, but it seems to be there if you sniff around.

  2. Steven Myers December 3, 2011 at 4:58 pm #

    three year olds tend to be smarter than adults in free form ways like sniffing i think. they don’t have a definition for everything, but they know.
    also, another daily show always overlooked is the nightly news. in 30 minutes, what drama! from exaggerated cats stuck in trees to bombs bursting in air to weather analysis and sports. it tangos kind of spastic in a good way, but more importantly gives us masses a bass to play off.
    and the acting is godzilla cheese.

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