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Sesame Street Old School DVD's: Not For Kids

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

  1. Jyllian New Member

    Old School Parental Warnings?

    That "original Sesame Street Episode DVDS" will come with a warning for parents..
    Of course then they said "coming up later on the new at 10pm" but i wont be here to find out what its about...

    does anyone know what this is about? are there new dvds being released of classic sesame street besides Classic sesame 1 and 2?


    anyone hear about this yet? thanks Jyll
  2. CherryPizza Member

    The frenzy over the Old School DVDs (my two cents)

    It seems that Australian TV's beloved Channel 10 has pretty much lived up to its own dodgy news standards.

    Not only is it jumping on the bandwagon of making unwarranted fuss, it is also jumping on it somewhere in the region of a month or two after US media decided to kick up a stink about it. In short, the Old School DVDs were mentioned on the news with the introduction of "The Sesame Street episodes that children weren't meant to see", with the typical tone of voice of someone abusing his position as a newsreader.

    Frenzied members of the media have jumped right on this, citing everything from political correctness gone mad to the trippier content of 70s Sesame Street being "drug induced". Now, the time must come for people to take a deep breath, settle down, and just look at the bare facts.

    It is a fact of life that times change. If Sesame Street is going to be doing its job properly, it has to change with the times. The whole point of Sesame Street in 1969 was (as it has been in the years since) to use the popular television techniques which always engrossed kids, and get them interested in using the television to learn. Television has changed a lot since those days, so it must be acknowledged as a possibility that using early-70s television gimmicks may not be that effective for today's children.

    Have I always supported the changes to Sesame Street? No. In my opinion, is the show as good today as it used to be? No. Do I think that the Sesame Street of today would be better if it learnt from its former, more vibrant, more character-driven, Elmo-less self? Absolutely.

    While I do not philosophically agree with every change the show has seen, it is still a simple fact that the show has changed, and in many ways needed to change. Sure, sometimes Children's Television Workshop/Sesame Workshop has got it wrong in some people's opinions. Sure, healthy debate and commentary on the issue is needed. But please, anyone who is going to fuss over it, fuss over it for the right reasons, and not because of an exaggerated interpretation of a necessary disclaimer.
  3. CherryPizza Member

    Um, why was my post moved here? I made a deliberate decision to make it a separate post.
  4. heralde Well-Known Member

    Good points, it's just that not everyone thinks the disclaimer is necessary. It puts the Old School material in a undeserving bad light. Carroll Spinney even said the changes to SS are greatly due to the money Tickle Me Elmo brings in. That's largely what it comes down to. That's one problem with doing education on TV, the show is subject to the ratings system.
  5. heralde Well-Known Member

    I agree, that's where education is going now. It's not something anyone will thank us for later on, heh.
  6. CherryPizza Member

    That's very true, and unfortunately much of the debate doesn't cover this issue of the effect of commercialisation on education. I still live in fear that one day in the not-too-distant future high schools are going to open McDonald's canteens on campus and the syllabus will mysteriously change to pamper the corporate buddy.
  7. Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Actually, we have several threads about this already. What it boils down to is thus:

    • There are segments that only don't work today do to one or two little things- i.e. a segment where kids were playing in a junk yard, and another skit where kids were riding bikes without Helmets (as helmets weren't required back then).
    • Something involving SW, child Psycholigists, parental groups, or some such feel that kids would be more accostumed to the stricter formula present today.
    • Noise makes news. Remember the debacle that the "Veggie Monster" rumor caused? A lot of unfounded Panic, just made for the news so they could get more viewers.

    I think I figured it out. The "warning" is more like a mild advisory towards parents that buy anything and everything SS to quiet their too young to be watching TV kids. However, now that it's become big news it looks like big sales for cureous people with enough dispossable income to buy them without even watching the set the whole way.

    Other than a few little things, I call bullox on the whole thing. I mean, some older episodes could be slightly off without a little explaination, but there is nothing even slightly objectionable with the second set.
  8. heralde Well-Known Member

    I agree about the helmet thing, they should be showing kids wearing helmets nowadays. But I'm still not sold on warning against the junkyard. Plenty of kids even today have no place else to play. All of our complaining and sanitizing won't change that.
  9. mikebennidict New Member

    Kids playing in a junkyard.


    Are you sure there was an actual film of that?
  10. Drtooth Well-Known Member

    that's more of a grey area for me. I don't think it's good, but I don't think it's bad. And even still, if a parent would actually take the time to explain what the kids are doing there's no real problem. Even still, other than a few kids asking "where's Elmo?" I think this is just an odd comprimise. I don't care for the "warning" (and even still, calling it a warning is a little harsh a word... more like a recomendation, if anything).

    Funny thing is, CBS did a fluff story about it, and (in the news story) they tried to rationalize how "Dangerous" it was for kids. They even got Cookie Monster on the Cookies thing. I watched Old school sets 1 and 2, and even then, he ate Lettuce and Apples (amongst other things). They even talked about the one time he "Smoked" a pipe which isn't on either set (as it was an 80's skit). And that was a satirical prop, if anything. he Chomped it more than smoked it. (If we want to get into hypocracy, I swear there was a Popeye antismoking campagne at one point) But the great thing about the story is the parents they interviewed passed over and said the "warning" was rediculous.

    As I restate, I think it's more for first time parents, who never watched the show before, who buy anything and everything with the SS lable on it. I can see a bunch of Amazon reviews saying "My 3 month old kid refuses to sit through it as he is a little kid who doesn't sit through anything more than 5 minutes of Elmo anyway." (If they wait a few years, when the kid can actually grasp things, they may enjoy it better) Personally, I'd rather have a pointless, ignorable reccomendation than no box set at all.
  11. ISNorden Active Member

    If the comments on YouTube are reliable enough to prove anything, the disclaimers are a load of bull. I see a lot of fans leaving remarks like "My four-year-old likes the old episodes a lot better than what's on PBS today"; for all the kids who complain about Elmo's absence, there are at least some who enjoy the Old School material and learn from it.
  12. ssetta Active Member

    You know, I think I just realized one of the reasons why a lot of today's kids don't like old SS. It has to do with advertising and merchandise being sold. For instance, if you go into a toy store, you see Dora the Explorer, and even Elmo merchandise everywhere. But try to look for like a Big Bird, or a Cookie Monster doll. They hardly sell those at all. And that's the exact reason why kids of today don't like the classic characters as much. Because they're not really around.
  13. Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Crap? no. As much as the new SS pails in comparison with the classic episodes, I could hardly call it crap. it's unfortunately one of the best kids shows on today. And we know what that stuff is, horrible, patronizing garbage a board room full of licencees hack off a computer in 5 minutes. But other than that, I agree.


    True dat, as they say. But the fact of the matter is we have to figure in the first time parents that just buy SS merchandise and videos as a baby sitter. I have read too many dumb amazon.com reviews essentially saying "My 3 month old doesn't want Sesame Road and would rather listen to more baby friendly songs" to think otherwise. But I'm glad to see most of everyone feels that way, that the disclaimers are to avoid some annoying bad press from people who use it as a baby sitter.

    And then we can go and talk about television being the lazy parent's babysitter, but I don't feel like it.


    Cookie Monster is only slightly less common than Elmo, but Ernie, Elmo and Cookie seem to be the biggest focus. That said, how can they market the classic characters if they refuse to put a couple bits with classic characters? I find it complete bull that someone thinks that kids won't pay attention if they use a classic skit that's in conjunction with a newer character or one that's on focus.

    But then it all goes down to silly things like focus groups, testing, and working with a bunch of child psychologists that offer the same self contradictory studies.
  14. Muppet Newsgirl Active Member

    Here's something that'll take some of the wind out of the "today's kids won't understand shows that were made 20 to 30 years ago" argument.

    A user from Australia just posted a message in the Fraggle Rock forum: his (her) four-year-old son is a huge fan of Fraggle Rock.

    So there is hope for the world after all!
  15. Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Unfortunately all the corporate synargy in the world will blanket that notion. It's due to for profit kids shows like Dora and Blue that really hurt SS. Heck, even in the dark days of the 90's with Barney the Dinosaur and all his ripoff pals, preschool shows took a big hit in quality for the sake of money making faddery. I still agree with someone who said that even in 1998, the show was still enjoyable. I'm glad that they're moving away from frankly rediculous theories and experimentation with the show's format. But I don't think they've gone far enough.
  16. Redsonga Active Member

    I think it all has to do with how their parents do (or don't) raise them. If they grow up basicly with the media teaching them everything of course they will only ever see what is new as 'cool'. But if the parents actually step in a show their babies the older shows and teach them to have a more well-rounded POV I think only good things can come of it :wisdom:.
    If all there is to learn and understand as a child is only what they teach on tv nowadays I feel really sorry for this coming generation :(
  17. heralde Well-Known Member

    I agree, I don't like the attitude, "Oh kids just don't like old stuff, therefore we won't show it to them." Kids don't always enjoy school or other things that are good for them. That doesn't mean parents should always accomodate. :coy:

    Love the new smilies!
  18. Redsonga Active Member

    I know, and most of the old stuff is even more fun than school while being good for them, so I see no reason not to show them it.
    It's not like the nature of being little has magically changed in a couple generations :shifty: .
    It's just that many parents seem to be stepping aside a saying 'that's just how kids are nowadays, they just like new things' in place of actually doing anything about what their children watch :smirk: .
    Of course, my ma's hate of things like the Beetlejuice cartoon didn't stop me from watching it, but at least I knew she cared and watched older shows to ...
  19. heralde Well-Known Member

    I think it's a combination of both parents needing to work (which they definitely do) and not being as available as they could be. Then feeling guilty and needing to spoil their kids to make up for it.

    That, and an overly permissive and helpless attitude. The same attitude of, "Kids will drink whether I like it or not." It's a reaction to how strict parents used to be in the '50s. Things need to balance out.
  20. Redsonga Active Member

    I already know I will be a stay at home (or work from home) mom simply because of my disablity from the get go...

    I know what you mean about the spoiling/ helpless attitude that seems to be common in alot of parents lately.
    The wal-mart ad that went something like 'Pardon me madam, I mean Mom.' and had little ones selling the idea of buying a toy to their mom like their moms were strangers and they were used car salesmen made me die a little inside :cry:

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