Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Sesame Street Season 40: Can you tell me how to get the heck out of here?

A "new school" resident of Sesame Street, Murray is pretty cool. He does the Word on the Street segment. I always loved it when monsters or Barkley went out into the real streets.

If I started singing "1-2-3-4-5, 6-7-8-9-10, 11 - 12. Dooo, do-do, do-do-do-do, dooo-dooo...." You would totally know what I was talking about, right?

Sesame Street premiered its 40th season yesterday morning at 6am in the Philadelphia area.  At least I think I was watching Sesame Street.  Maria, Luis, Gordon, Bob, Barkley and Big Bird were there, but so was some monster named Murray, some CGI fairies at a CGI daycare and a whole lot of generically arranged "hip-hop".  Absent were trippy animation shorts about aliens, farm animals with names or ladybugs jumping rope that featured scores of every musical genre.  Sesame Street is a weird place now.  Hooper's has an outdoor cafe and a one episode character like yesterday's sleazy real estate agent for birds that tries to sell Big Bird a new habitat was played by a human instead of a Muppet.  Creepy Muppets = funny, creepy humans = creepy.  Sesame Street feels off in its present form, which is odd since you'd think a lot of people responsible for making it also grew up on the original.  Am I saying that watching classic episodes doesn't leave me compulsively counting in my sleep?  Actually no, I'm not, but I don't think the DVD of "old school" Sesame Street should come with a warning that it is not intended for children.  Old school Sesame Street simply no longer reflects the accepted sterilized and imagination free practices of today's preschool education programs. Sure, it wasn't perfect the first 4 years or so, but today's version is simply lacking innovation.