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Sesame Street Old School DVD's: Not For Kids

Discussion in 'Sesame Merchandise' started by Brooklyn, Nov 15, 2007.

  1. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    The thing is, it's not wrong to show TV characters occasionally acting badly. That's what makes a good story. It helps the real life audience connect with the characters. The important thing is whether the overall character teaches something good in the end. The answer is not to make a "Stepford Street" where everyone's happy and cheerful all the time. :)

    "We must blame them and cause a fuss before somebody thinks of blaming us!" ;)
  2. Boober_Gorg

    Boober_Gorg Active Member

    THANK YOU for quoting the South Park movie. Seriously. This board needed it. :D
  3. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    Aw, no problem! I completely agree; it was a fantastic movie. I used to judge South Park (like a lot of people did) as being vulgar and stupid. But when I finally sat down to watch it, I realized it was one of the most intelligent things I've ever seen on TV. I'm not saying 8 year olds should be watching it, lol. But it definitely should not be held responsible for the degredation of society. :)
  4. wwfpooh

    wwfpooh New Member

    But as intelligent as it is, it sure isn't changing things for the better in how crude it is, either.
  5. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    Well again, I definitely don't think kids should be watching South Park. It's not the proper audience and they wouldn't understand what was going on anyway.

    I definitely respect your opinion, I just feel like PC issues such as crude language are overshadowing deeper ones. South Park expresses legitimate and thoughtful opinions on important social issues. And that is something that is desperately needed on Television (and in society) today. :)

    But I don't want to go too much off topic now. ;)
  6. wwfpooh

    wwfpooh New Member

    Whilst what you said rings true, this doesn't mean the show must contain foul language to get said point across. Heck, as we know, Old-School Sesame crossed that border several times without truly ever crossing too many controversial lines. It is just that in today's modern PC-protective world, even vintage Sesame is dogged for being too risque when it was eventually accepted for its time period.
  7. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    Which is a big reason why I don't think PC is the way to go. ;)

    You're right, South Park does not need to use foul language (though again, it's not for children). And definitely, not everyone has to like it. However personally, I think they do it in a humorous and well placed manner and not just "for the heck of it." They even did an episode that said people shouldn't curse every other word.

    And sadly, there are TV shows that don't use any curse words, but then have no message at all (or at least not helpful ones). I'm just saying cursing is not the biggest problem we have.

    And ultimately, people young and old should know better than to shape their behavior and personality solely off a TV show. It needs to begin in the home. And while I think TV should provide a good example, it should not be expected to raise children.

    "Let us...recognize that we are bound together
    In our desire to see the world become
    A place in which our children
    Can grow free and strong." ;)

    (That's a song called "Shed a Little Light" by James Taylor. It was written for Martin Luther King, but sung for Richard Hunt at his memorial.)
  8. ISNorden

    ISNorden Active Member

    I've heard of some over-zealous parents complaining about Cookie Monster's language in a recent "Letter of the Day" sketch. The offending phrase? He said "What the hey..." before giving in and eating the letter cookie. Worrying about a mild, not-so-obvious expression like that goes beyond political correctness or "Stepford Street" ideals; it's just plain ridiculous.
  9. wwfpooh

    wwfpooh New Member

    Hey, even we had our Mortal Kombat back in the day and as we've seen, we've turned out pretty good. As noted before, learning and teaching really does start in the home, for if parents don't do their job (in instilling some crucial ideals into their children's heads early on), don't do it well, or leave TV/games as the "babysitter", it is bound to sometime bite them in the backside, and this is because even the most wholesome of shows would have its times of misery.

    Heck, look at Fraggle Rock! As much as that beloved series showed the kindness and loving care that we all should strive for through music and likeable characters in a way that only Jim could do, it also--through things like Doc's constant belittling of Sprocket, the Fraggles' constant sacrifice of going into the Gorg garden just to sustain their livelihood, and Boober's often depressing nature on the whole--dealt with its harsh times as well, even as far as to threaten the very existance of the core characters in episodes such as "The Bells of Fraggle Rock".
  10. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I call bullhonkey on all counts. Cookie still eats cookies (and buildings and foam rubber letters). Oscar living in garbage was never an issue, and heck, Oscar acted pretty out of character in 2 skits from 1970 (refer to this thread. And as for Ernie's Bathtub? Well, they've shown Do the Rubber Duck and the new version of Rubber Duckie since. Again... no complaint.

    I think multiple problems stem from the need to get the youngest possible audience and having to incorporate kids who don't get any benefit from television. I mean, if a child is less than 2 years old, they aren't going to take anything away from anything. No matter how many cheap oven mitt "Puppets" Disney makes for the Baby Einstine videos.

    Here is a review of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (note: this is posted purely for the sake of argument and ties in with what I'm about to say-any critique of that show is best left to another thread). That pretty much summs up 90% of children's programming since Blue's Clues. I can't even say dumbed down.

    It's a shame SS has to sink to that level, but hey... remember they wanted to air the show when they would not have competition. That was 1969... long before rich suburban parents with cable. Now they have nothing but competition. Bad ones. More of these rich suburbanites would rather their kids watch that garbage than Sesame anyway.

    As for role models... well, I'm sick of people saying Dora is a role model jut because she's Latina. The character has zero personality. Rosita, however, is a character... she speaks full fluent Spanish at a real world level (not slow and repeating one word she said in English in Spanish). But no one ever pats SS on the back for her.
  11. wwfpooh

    wwfpooh New Member

    Agreed, especially on the part of the Mouse. Disney needs to realize that they just needed to get Mick out more instead of just serving him as the logo-inspiring figurehead he is now made out to be, which totally diminishes his own character.
  12. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member

    I don't see how it's bad for kids any more than it was for us. I grew up and my only problem is Attention Deficit. I'm okay other than that, a bit more creative than most kids today, and I think it was perfectly fine for us and today's children.

    The only difference with today's kids is that we live in a sue-happy society and everybody is terrified of it. BAH! Classic SS was perfect! They were educational, but also sometimes just did things for fun.
  13. wwfpooh

    wwfpooh New Member

    Not everyone. These rich suburbanites apparently thrive on how the world works nowadays.
  14. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    The only thing that worries me is that I see kids today growing up not knowing basic cultural references, even things like A Christmas Carol, they've just never heard of them. And what is more, they don't care. If they've never heard of it, it doesn't matter. And I think that does start with kids programming. If you don't expose kids to the adult world when they are young, they'll grow up thinking their own little world is the only thing that matters.

    When I started learning SAT vocab words in school, I was delighted to see I knew some of the words already, because I'd heard them on kids shows years before. So I'm glad those shows didn't under estimate me, but instead challenged me to learn. :)
  15. wwfpooh

    wwfpooh New Member

    Which is exactly why we need people with similar mindsets as that of Disney, Henson, and Shultz to come forward, but due to circumstances, they can't or won't.
  16. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Firstly... hard to believe kids wouldn't get references to Christmas Carol... since every cartoon character in the history of man kind has milked that one.

    Secondly... who says kids have to get the references now? I mean, a lot of stuff on SS did go over my head, mostly a couple song parodies (but that was when I was really young). That's not a bad thing. I mean, look at Bullwinkle. Half their stuff is pretty esoteric. The Ruby yacht of Omar Kayam? Can anyone explain that off the top of their heads? It took me a history class back in High School to get it. I started cracking up in class and no one knew why. It's those references that take years to get that I think are the best.

    SS has been capable of this in the past. And not too far into the past. The second Hurricane episode featured a character named I. M. Pig. I don't even think half the adults got that one. And the constant use of SAT vocabulary like Piquant and Gastroenteritis as examples of words that begin with certain letters. I. M. Impressed.
  17. muppet maniac

    muppet maniac Well-Known Member

    - The fact that Cookie Monster is addicted to cookies.

    - That fact that Oscar permanently lives in a trash can, and is never affable.

    - The fact that Ernie is seen in the bathtub (from the waist up!) (*gasp* Implied puppet nudity! Not to mention that when Bert is in the same scene, it might send the message to the children that it's ok to walk in on someone when they're naked! Highly doubt that.)


    If there's one thing I hate, its these PCers and parents who won't stop "witching" (alternative to the B-word) about what is/should be appropriate and what isn't/shouldn't. Especially if it comes to Sesame Street. Okay, so what if Cookie Monster is/was addicted to cookies? So what if Oscar is/was a grouch? It's what they are, and there's nothing you can do about it. Like they all say, "You can't ask a bird not to fly. You can't ask a fish not to swim. You can't ask a tiger to turn back into a Chinese dude at midnight"*

    * (You can probably guess where that came from) ;)
  18. wwfpooh

    wwfpooh New Member

    How true that is. Indeed, one cannot change people--and characters--from who they are (i.e. their personality based on identifiable traits). That'd be like Wembley permenantly changing from the wembler he is to the definate sort of Fraggle he was in one of the "Convincing John" episodes of FR.
  19. muppet maniac

    muppet maniac Well-Known Member

    ...and, these idiots don't even realize (or never bothered to) is that 1) Cookie Monster eats/has eaten waaay more than just cookies. Plus, he has been promoting healthy eating way back before the rumor even started. The "Cookie is a Sometimes Food" was only a one-time skit and if anybody's actually seen the entire 36th season, he was still eating cookies.

    And 2) Oscar is a Grouch, which is not only his personality but also (and more importantly) is his species. He is/was created to show that there are people who are different---having different perspectives and tastes, culture and whatnot, and that there's nothing bad about being grouchy.

    There were statements like this in books like The Works and even this one from the rare book, "All About Sesame Street" (which is also a very good book by the way):

    A character such as Oscar makes children aware of their own and other people's feelings, both negative and positive. He conveys that it is all right to be grouchy sometimes, or mad, sad, or silly---everybody is at one time one or the other. People have to accept you for what you are. When Oscar is grouchy, the other people on the street lean over backwards to understand and humor him.

    And yet, I still don't see how "old school Sesame Street" would be inappropriate for today's kids. Come on, it's Sesame Street, not (insert show for mature audiences here). All SS ever did was teach concepts like letters, numbers, opposites, and whatnot through groovy, psychadelic cartoons, films, songs..where was the harm in that?
  20. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    If it were up to parental groups like that, all cartoon characters would be devoid of personality. That's what they want, because the personality of any cartoon character can be seen as negative. Daffy isn't Daffy unless he's either crazy as a loon or greedy as heck. Donald is not Donald unless he looses his temper every five seconds (Unless we're talking about a Carl Barks comic, which is a special case, and I'll talk about that another day), and Garfield isn't Garfield if he isn't unhinging his jaw like a cobra and jamming an entire lasagne (tray included) into ihs craw.

    Now take the current preschool entertainment business... Dora, the "Super Readers" of Super Why, etc. Etc. They're devoid of personality. If you read the Mickey's Clubhouse review, the author says that most of the characters personalities were so toned down (Donald especially) they just weren't themselves. I think SS is grabbing onto what they have left. I mean, Elmo evolved from his original state in which he was more monstery (they did keep the talking in third person, which I'm sure was one of his original monster traits) to more of a child-like character. But few episodes actually delve into him as a character, and EW just doesn't feature him doing anything but hosting, and as we all know, you can't show too much character if you're hosting (Unless you're :) ).

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