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  2. Sesame Street Season 48
    Sesame Street's 48th season officially began Monday August 6 on PBS. After you see the new episodes, post here and let us know your thoughts.

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Changes that you actually liked

Discussion in 'Sesame Street' started by Drtooth, Nov 20, 2007.

  1. Ilikemuppets

    Ilikemuppets Well-Known Member

    Yeah! I really love the imaginations song a lot too. It's a bit Elmo Centric, heh, but it cover it in a matter of minuets and it and within length of the song number.
  2. Convincing John

    Convincing John Well-Known Member

    Elmo Centric...(rim shot).

    Yeah, it does get the point across, and the composition and design of the bit obvously took a lot of time. The hard work really pays off, as so many elements look realistic, yet are set in imaginary context. I always liked that realistic hand moving the cloud, the butterflies around the window and the hidden "Elmo Gone Nuts!" sign.

    As I've said, SW can do some really great stuff if it wants to. This clip, in all honesty is Elmo's World. It's Elmo's imagination.

    As a former teacher in elementary schools, it's sad what Sesame Street has to conform to sometimes. I've seen the curriculum of my former schools. Sadly, creativity and imagination take a back seat...a very distant back seat to adequate scores on standardized tests. Rote memorization was abundant and reading focused solely on non-fiction. An acceptable student in the eyes of the administration was represented mainly by test scores and how well their scores matched the others...

    Come graduation day...

    "Magnificent, aren't they?"

    SW writers need to realize that although it's important to address current issues (now the hot topic is nutrition), it shouldn't neglect the identity of the street and what it means to all of us. Sesame Street's unique, one of a kind. This competitive nature between it and other kids's shows not nearly as good (i.e. Dora) only hurts the "soul" of the street and is also an insult to the rich history of where 35 years worth of kids grew up. Sometimes I feel like the characters between shows are trying to see who has the loudest, most obnoxious voice. Elmo is a siren, Barney came along with an obnoxious laugh and terrifyingly saccharine demeanor. Elmo became even more falsetto and giggly. Then Dora appeared and shouts--her--words--slowly! Then it seemed Sesame felt it had to retaliate with the Elephant...whose voice cannot be explained better than by Vic.

    What Horatio the Elephant sounds like.

    It's as if all these networks are playing one big game of Ernie and Bert's "Appliance War" with their characters.

    I think that this is (partially) why Frank Oz is sad about the current state the show is in. Nearly 20 years of fine tuning the place with Jim at his side. And then...there's that elephant.

    It's not Stepford Street...it's Sesame Street. Frank knows that. We know it. The trick is to get the experts behind the show to realize this so the program can be the innovative powerhouse of learning and entertainment for ALL ages it once was.

    Sesame Street ain't just for kids. It's lessons are there for all of us.

    Convincing John
  3. Ilikemuppets

    Ilikemuppets Well-Known Member

    Aw, man! I've never seen the "Elmo gone nuts" sign before! That is totally cool! I have to keep a look out for that one!

    By the way. Is the graduation the attack of the clones?:eek:
  4. Convincing John

    Convincing John Well-Known Member

    Yeah, the "Elmo Gone Nuts" sign is there in the corner of the screen when Elmo sings about going for a walk on the moon. Also, since Elmo smiles a lot, they replaced Teddy Roosevelt (another well-known smiling personality) with Elmo on the Mt. Rushmore statue. Look for it.

    And yeah...when I was a teacher, there was this huge emphasis on standardized tests. Test scores defined the student as far as the aloof administration was concerned. Students as individual people was a concept sadly left unrecognized.

    To have an entire class of students achieve the same percentage on standardized tests, walk quietly in line at all times and not to disrupt the general status quo with independent thought was an underwritten goal of that administration. So when graduation comes for those kids...

    "As a result they are totally obedient, taking any order without question..."

    It was a scary time.

    It's times like those I was so glad there are artists (like Jim, etc.) that thought outside the box. Of course, when Frank Oz started out on Sesame Street, he was clearly thinking outside the box.



    Convincing John
  5. Ilikemuppets

    Ilikemuppets Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I remember having to stand in line and having to be quite and not talk. It had something to do with not interrupt or distracting the other classes while they were trying to work. But I know what you're talking about, though.:flirt:

    Sesame Street challenges that being different was okay and that its important to be who you are. All this stuff about trying to take away recess and playtime and PE is just crazy and scary all at the same time you know? Kids need to get out run rampant somtimes and not just be stuck in a uniformed, law biding environment all day. And the talk about thirteenth grade for the past several years.:eek:
  6. CensoredAlso

    CensoredAlso Well-Known Member

    As I understand it, the reason they want to take away recess is because kids can get so uptight and nasty and competitive when playing. And I agree, that does happen. But the answer isn't to cancel recess, it's to raise your kids differently so they know not to behave badly.

    I personally don't have many fond memories of recess because I'm not at all athletic and wasn't part of any groups. Kids aren't born bad, but neither are they born entirely good I think. They do need to be taught about empathy and compassion.
  7. Ilikemuppets

    Ilikemuppets Well-Known Member

    I do know what you mean by sports and group games like tag. I wasn't a very competitive person as a kid either and is was. You know, I always envied the kid who was chosen last because that were at least chosen at all, LOL! But I guess that is another subject for another time I suppose.:o But just let a kid get some energy out from sitting around all day. I mean slides and swings and monkey bars and other things to play on. But then their is always the possibility of someone hogging everything. A simple lessing about sharing and taking turns can go a long way, heh.
  8. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Sigh. I thank you for your opinion, but once again, this thread has degraded back into an anti-Elmo/post 1998 Sesame rant thread. I think we've covered this ground millions of times by now, and we have lots of other threads to post these in. May I suggest here?.

    So, if you have any changes that happened to the show in the course of it's 39 years... and it needn't be a recent one, this is where to discuss it.

    Not that I'm not agreeing with you (I do), but just trying to keep this thread from being cluttered up about something like this.
  9. Convincing John

    Convincing John Well-Known Member

    Didn't mean to get off topic. Sorr-ee.:halo:

    As for improvements over the course of the show, I would have to say I enjoy the constant additions of subjects added to the ever-growing curriculum. This was mentioned in the 20th Anniversary special with Bill Cosby.

    Although concepts were covered in a clip here and there in the old days (for instance ecology), sometimes shows would stretch out over a week (maybe more) in later years to teach this basic concept.

    They've done dozens of "themed week" shows dealing with concepts kids need to know beyond ABC's and 123's. After the recent hurricane episodes (done very well, by the way), I remembered another week of shows done in the late 80's, early 90's. It covered fire safety thoroughly with Miles (earlier post describing what happened).

    Also...I think think they re-aired it during October (Fire Safety month) in my area. Don't know whose idea it was to do that (the network may have had advice from CTW to re-air it) but it was a smart thing to do.

    Even though the divorce episode was too intense for kids, the other plunges SW has made over the years to teach about, well...life always gets a thumbs up from me. Hopefully, if an Old School 3 set comes out, episodes like that will be on there so kids can learn even more about big events in life (Maria and Luis's wedding, Mr. Hooper's death, Gabi's birth, etc). What can a kid learn from the wedding episode? Well, learning to keep your "beak" shut till it's over, for one thing.:D

    Since the curriculum is always in a state of flux, kudos to them for expanding kids minds and basically saying "Hi, and welcome to the world. Now, there's a LOT here, I know, but we're going to try to teach you as much as we possibly can about it. C'mon!"

    Can Barney do that? I think not.

    Convincing John
  10. SSLFan

    SSLFan Well-Known Member

    :o Honestly, I never meant for that to become an anti- Elmo type thread. In fact I was only expressing how much I missed, well, you've seen the rest...

    Anyways, my apologies.
  11. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    No need for appologies. I'm just trying to keep this thread a possitive one, since there is quite a bit of negativity in this subject.

    Indeed, that's what Sesame Street does best (though some times are more successful than others). Expanding the curriculum is always important to a show that wants to be a living breathing contribution to American educational TV. Heck, only thing Barney did was shove in lyrics to pre-existing public domain songs.

    Another thing I like to see with each passing season is new cast members. Not saying Maria, Luis, Bob, and Gordon aren't still amazing after all these years (quite the opposite), but it's always great to see some new faces, new actors, and just plain new blood in the series. Last year's addition, Chris, really jumped into the series, and I can tell he's gonna fit in great for years to come. And I can't wait for the new Indian woman named Leela. I love to see a diverse Sesame Street. that way you can learn more about other cultures.
  12. Convincing John

    Convincing John Well-Known Member

    Yeah, new cast members...

    I was thinking about that a while ago. I haven't seen much new SS, so I might've seen Chris. Not sure. He's a teenager, right?

    I hope he sticks around. I look at Miles and Gabi and I remember when they were on the show as babies. (Man, I feel old). I feel like Herry in the 20th anniversary special with John-John. "Miles! Gabi! Is that you all grown-up?"

    Teenage roles on SS sometimes work, sometimes they don't. I remember (vaguely) Mike. All he did was eat...and had a carnival booth once.

    One cast member addition I liked was the addition of Olivia. I really liked her and the positive role model she was for siblings. It was cool to see that Gordon not only had a sister, but showed that siblings can get along (and squabble sometimes) as adults, just like kids do. She also has a good singing voice and fit in with the cast very well. Yet another example of Sesame's "Welcome! Here is the world" message is put forth beautifully in two songs Olivia sang:

    Who Am I?
    Everything Grows

    I wonder...and this might be putting the thread off topic here, but why doesn't Olivia return? 227 has been off the air for years. She could move to the street, be introduced as Gordon's sister, and today's viewers would never be the wiser. Olivia rocked, and I bet kids could benefit from her being on the street with the rest of the gang.

    Convincing John
  13. Ilikemuppets

    Ilikemuppets Well-Known Member

    Yeah! It would be cool if Olivia were to come back one day.

    I remember Mike! He had so much energy!:crazy:
  14. ISNorden

    ISNorden Well-Known Member

    I admit that Olivia is one of the best "late addition" characters on the show, but doubt that Alaina Reed would want to come back; from what I've read online, she seems mostly interested in her singing career with older audiences. The only chance Olivia might have is being played by another actress with a similar singing voice; though that's a pretty tall order to fill, Gordon's been recast three times himself! :)
  15. Pig's Laundry

    Pig's Laundry Well-Known Member

    A few changes I enjoyed: Telly's design change in season 32. I'm not much of a fan of his previous two designs, but think the current one looks nicer.

    Also, Roscoe Orman taking over as Gordon. I know this has been mentioned before on the thread but, I really don't like Hal Miller's portrayal of the character. He really just wasn't right for the character. He didn't really seem to have as much chemistry with the Muppets or even his wife. That's one of the great things about Matt Robinson's performance, he really made you believe he was the character and he really made you believe he was married to Susan. His charm and chemistry just worked no matter which character he was paired with. Hal, on the other hand, not so much. Now, I don't really dislike Miller, I think he could've been a great cast member, just not a great Gordon. Who knows, had Roscoe not taken over the character, maybe Gordon wouldn't have been on the show for so long.

    Obviously, another welcome change was Eric Jacobson and David Rudman taking over Frank's characters. Throughout the 90s, :(, :super: and :insatiable: hardly appeared at all. But than Eric showed up and truly made the characters his own almost immediately. And now he's taken over Guy Smiley and Oscar, and he's almost flawless. The man definitely has a gift, and I can't imagine anyone doing a better job than him.

    Also, special mention to Ryan Dillon. He's a magnificent Elmo.
  16. wiley207

    wiley207 Well-Known Member

    The only Frank Oz character I recall David Rudman taking over is Cookie Monster. Though initially, Eric Jacobson performed Cookie Monster for a bit before passing the role to Rudman.
    However, David Rudman DOES have a knack for taking over Richard Hunt's characters, such as Sully, the right head of the Two-Headed Monster, Dip the Cat (in the Inside-Outside Story), Sonny Friendly, even Scooter and Janice!
    I'd like to hear David Rudman's take on Forgetful Jones, and while I'm at it, I'd like to see Eric Jacobson perform Harvey Kneeslapper, and Matt Vogel as Herry Monster! (I think Matt would do a great job with Herry.)
  17. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    I really don't even mind the block format they introduced in Season 33: I know a lot of people rip the block format a new one because they grew up with and loved the older magazine format so much, but I kind of feel like the block format gave the show a bit more consistency and structure that it otherwise didn't really have beforehand.

    As for Telly, I really miss his Season 30-32 design, with the slightly larger, more bulbous nose - I always felt like he had a nose job afterwards, lol.
  18. Pig's Laundry

    Pig's Laundry Well-Known Member

    Well, I guess he has always been a bit insecure,
    Did Eric ever perform Cookie on screen? I'd love to see his take on the character at some point.
    David's Sonny Friendly is so good that most of the time I have a hard time distinguishing between the two performers. I think he'd do a pretty good job as Forgetful.
  19. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I'm ambivalent towards the various attempts at a block format since that season. It seems that they tried going into a compromised direction of somewhat block, somewhat magazine format only to go heavily into a slightly different block format.

    And I'm technically cool with the concept of a bunch of smaller shows in one big show that they had up until recently. Just the way they handled it was sloppy. Certain segments rotated, others were daily. It's pretty much pointless to complain about Sesame reusing the heck out of footage, but no matter how forgiving you can be, it was brutal. If there's one change about the new seasons I like, it's tweaking the block of smaller shows format. Still, I dislike the fact that the show really has no room for certain segments, and they all should alternate with each other this time. There's no need for giving the last 8 minutes to Elmo, especially when certain Elmo segments had to be edited so roundly.
  20. Oscarfan

    Oscarfan Well-Known Member

    The thing I don't get about the whole "block format" thing is that they keep saying kids don't pay attention for very long; things gotta move quick! So, why do all these long form pieces then? Use a bunch of small segments and one long one. If a child starts losing interest in one thing, boom, it's over in a minute or so.

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