(Greetings from a newbie; I apologize if this is the millionth thread on this topic.) If I had to summarize in a single sentence the difference between the Sesame Street of the Henson era and the show with the same name today, it would be the following: "The overall tone and casting of the show has moved away from the gentle, personal feel that it had in common with shows like Mr. Rogers, and toward a more formulaic, superficial kind of impersonal entertainment trend (like some of the shows on Nickelodeon or Cartoon Network)." It's not a matter of Gen-Xer sentimentalism toward the disco/rock music of the era, or the clothes they wore on the set, or the hippie animation style, or that the actors were all 20 years younger, or that the original SS muppets were an unrepeatable formula. Rather, the older shows made a conscious attempt to look and feel real and authentic (especially the realistic street set itself, with its tiny pieces of scattered trash), and they reflected a zest for life that was the synergy of actors, muppeteers, animators, short documentary directors, and musicians who were all geniuses in what they did. An hour with the new SS gives one the same feeling that you get from a visit to someone's house a year or two after their father or mother passed away suddenly. Something just isn't right. Everything is too happy, too plastic, too forced, and with good reason when you consider the evolution of the show. Key actors have died or disappeared mysteriously, to be replaced inadequately by actors who seem out of place in their roles. Other actors are not aging well. The writers can't seem to decide what to do with the old bunch, whereas in the old days, you could count on 8 grownups being on the set, in every episode, with clear personalities and good chemistry. Today's cast is a hodgepodge. (And don't get me started with Gaby, who was cute as a little kid, but innately lacks the acting instincts of her mother, to put it nicely.) Key muppeteers have died or left production, and their replacements are forced to focus more on making their voice sound like Henson, Hunt, Oz, and Nelson and less on just being themselves. Other characters who were created as supporting characters have been thrust into starring roles for no other reason than that their muppeteers are still alive and on the payroll (think Elmo and Telly). You could feel Henson's soul in the eyes and words of Kermit and Ernie, and Oz's soul in the eyes of Cookie, Grover, and Bert. They were real personalities that came alive. In contrast, Telly is caricatured insecurity. Elmo is caricatured toddler exuberance. Baby Bear is impersonal yuk-yuk schtick. They are career supporting muppets who have no business being center stage. These are not muppets who would give you a hug. A tap-dance, maybe. Or a babbling neurotic diatribe about their own fears and insecurities, but not a hug or a quiet song. The new Grover and Ernie are louder, more Elmo-like shadows of their former selves. Only Spinney's BB/Oscar and Robinson's Snuffy (virtually the same as Nelson's Snuffy) remain as anchors of the past. The quality of the animation has declined. There are still some very good computer-generated segments, but computer-generated animation will never reflect the personality of the artist like drawn animation. New drawn animation segments have decreased in quality, for some reason (presumably because CGI is cheaper). The quality of the music has declined out of SS's desire to stay musically relevant to a wider culture of declining contemporary music, rather than stick with their trademark sound of small-ensemble jazz, 60's rock, and 70's disco. All-in-all, the older Sesame Street was the greatest children's show ever made, and deserves to be ranked with the greatest programs ever produced. The new Sesame Street is not out-and-out "bad", per se. But it has followed trends in the entertainment industry that have led it to become "just another kids show", comparable to any of the shows you might find on Disney Channel or Nickelodeon. Comments?