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Sesame Workshop Trying To Have It Both Ways(Bert/Ernie issue)

Discussion in 'Sesame Street' started by beaker, Nov 1, 2011.

  1. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    As a woman I hate to point this out, but this is something I have observed from time to time (and I'm guilty of it myself). Girls don't always want to seek out girl characters. Or girl artists for that matter. I remember reading about a Beatles concert in the '60s that had a well known girl group as the opening act. Apparently a lot of the females in the audience got up, moved around, were clearly not interested when they were on. But as soon as the Beatles came on, they came back and were completely into it.
  2. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    But do you know ANYONE who goes to a concert and give a crap about the opening act? I remember going to the ONLY concert I ever went to (take a wild guess... really...) and I was worried I was going to get there late, and there was a comedian there halfway through the act. I was relieved. That's what they're there for... exposure, to get the audience ramped up, and to give people who think they're going to be late a huge sigh of relief.
  3. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    I dunno... again, I witnessed a fairly interesting opening act when I saw Jerry Seinfeld a couple of years ago: Mark Schiff (aka Little Dog from 2 Stupid Dogs).
  4. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    From what I read, the girls loved the other opening act which was an all male band. ;)
  5. Ruahnna

    Ruahnna Well-Known Member

    Going back to the original thread idea, I think you have to make a distinction between official merchandise and un0fficial merchandise. While I agree that the comment that "muppets don't exist below the waist" was a stupid, knee-jerk answer to a question that just won't go away, it was, well, stupid and untrue. Jim Henson, who was--directly or indirectly--the creative mind behind the muppets would NOT agree that muppets don't have fully dimensional lives.
    Having said that, and going back to the original thread idea, I think you also have to be honest about the difference between what the character portrays and what the audience wants to make of the characters. Bert and Ernie were conceived (Just stop. Stop now. I work with adolescents all day and I don't want to deal with that here. Sheesh!) as two very different personality'd friends who exhibited good manners and good role modeling for children. Children could watch Bert and Ernie--so very different in the way they approached life--deal with problems and ideas and hurts and friendships and realize that it was okay to be friends with people who were different in all sorts of ways. That's it. That's all.
    I understand the longing that people from particular, um, culture groups feel to identify with iconic characters and want to read into their behavior some sort of acceptance of their own worldview, but the truth of the matter is that that feeling originates--and resides--with the watcher. Not the characters. Brent Spiner, who played Data on ST:TNG, has talked often about how female (and I assume, some male) fans wrote to him and gave him pages and pages of interpretation of what Data was feeling when he raised his left eyebrow, but Brent said, "All I did was raise my eyebrow." He was amazed at the different interpretations that so many--so convinced of their correct interpretation--could have of even the simplest, most mundane act. Even in Conan Doyle's day, people tried to ascribe feelings and opinions to Sherlock Holmes that Conan Doyle flatly denied the character had. And, well, to be fair, Conan Doyle would probably know. To be fair, it IS more difficult when there is not just one author--but a writer, a company that "owns" the character, a muppeteer, a NEW muppeteer when the old one is replaced, etc., etc. There are more cooks to spoil the broth or fail to maintain a unified view. And in some cases, like the newest mutation of Star Trek, the maniacally egotistical director felt like it was his job to "fix" Spock and Kirk. How nice of him.
    With the muppets, this was even a problem when Jim was alive, but it is more of a problem now. (Case in point: Jim said Kermit and Piggy were really married, and yet there are all those, um...grown up people who get rather nasty about that. In other words, even when a character's "god" speaks, fans will argue they are correct and that the person who actually knows or has the right to make the decision mis-spoke and is wrong, wrong, wrong.
    I'm sorry for the disappointment that comes from wanting a character to be "just like I want them to be" and knowing in your heart that they aren't. (FYI: Dr. "Bones" McCoy was supposed to wait for me to grow up--sadly, he didn't.) At some point, as an adult, most people learn that they can have as rich and varied an internal life as they want--but they don't have to inflict it on other people.
    Most fans feel a certain sense of propriety for the object of their affections. We want to think that our "take" on them is the "right" one, but wanting it doesn't make it so. That is a lesson our society could stand to learn again.
    I would also like to point out that no one--NO ONE--in this entire post, complained about the way television and movies portrays people of faith. They are almost universally portrayed as moron, perverts or racists, and everybody says, "Amen." It's apparently OKAY to be intolerant of SOME people. Even on Seventh Heaven, when their son renounces the Christian faith to become a traditional Jew (this is a HUGE change, and if you don't even know what that means, don't even bother to wade in here), the mother's biggest concern was that her potluck food wasn't kosher. I don't recall anyone howling indignantly (or, frankly, even understanding why they should). And Joan or Arcadia was other folks idea of "real" religious television. Deliver us.
    If I like raspberry jam and I believe--no, BELIEVE that Gonzo loves raspberry jam, I don't understand why I have to go around berating everyone who doesn't think Gonzo likes raspberry jam. I can just enjoy my thought/belief that Gonzo adores raspberry jam and listen politely when other people state their arguments for why he would never, under and circumstances, like raspberry jam. If we're all civilized, we might even have a good, rousing conversation about it--without labeling each other as ignorant morons for believing/not believing whatever it is. If we all use our nice manners and our big brains to think with, we might even learn something interesting from each other.
    Time and again, I have seen even sensitive subjects wallowed around here with great insight and sensitivity and I believe that we are capable of that level of discourse if we aspire to it.
  6. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    Lol, that's so true. We fans are very good at that. ;)

    I'll be honest, I did not like that show. I found it bland and insipid and sugar coated nonsense, and it almost made me embarrassed to be religious. But that's just me, lol.

    I'm not entirely sure what you mean there.

    To each their own. I was sad when that show was canceled.
  7. Ruahnna

    Ruahnna Well-Known Member

    We are very good at that. Part of that makes us FANS. And part of that makes us wonderful. But part of that CAN make us obnoxious and guilty of using something that we love for our own purposes without thought to the damage it might cause to the thing we profess to love. So--happy fandom-ing, everybodd! Just don't hog the road....
    Piggy: What?! What that a pig joke?!
    Kermit: Um, no--it was a figure of speech.
    Piggy: What about my figure?!
    Kermit: Oh, sheesh....
  8. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    Well...hmm...like I said I think it's annoying when people assume two men can't possibly be just affectionate friends. It's an immature attitude that we as a society really need to get over.

    That said, I don't think some fans choosing to look at Bert and Ernie as a couple is causing damage to the characters.
  9. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    That probably has to do with the fact that... well, sex. I'm not beating around the bush there.
  10. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    Right, yes, lol. Which is understandable. But the problem is some men don't always care to look for quality female characters either (I know I'm generalizing). So it's a cause that doesn't always get a lot of support.
  11. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    I have no interest in entertainer women(be they singers, actresses, performers, etc) based on looks, though I understand a lot of male bands or female actresses may appeal to people simply as eye candy. To me the more honest, human, warm and genuine the more sexy. That's why Im disappointed in Zooey Deschenel's new sitcom, as she usually played in roles that catered to the quirky...and here she's reduced to a show catering to the lowerst common demoninator(the bro crowd)

    But this is why I find Bernadette a zillion times hotter than Penny on Big Bang Theory:)

    As someone who goes to a lot of shows(a lot of them of the "indie" variety), I have to say often I am blown away or at least quite impressed with opening acts sometimes more than the headliner.
  12. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I'm kinda digging Amy, actually. I have NOOOOOO idea why, and it kinda bugs me. I refuse to say which celebs I find really hot, though.

    Zooey's show seems to me a complete knockoff of ABC's Happy Endings. I sort of like that show, or at least like things about it... but not half as much as I dig The Office or Modern family. If nothing else, that show has the least gay gay character I've ever seen. Gotta give it credit for that. And whoever is responsible for Whitney should be forced to watch that show for all eternity. Nothing's a more fitting punishment.
  13. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    The reason I have such venom toward "Whitney" is because the character is just like every single spoiled skinny girl or woman I've met who thinks the world(and guys) revolve around her and thinks everything she does(including bodily functions) is "cute"...and that she can get by on her looks alone. Freaking disgusting show.

    I've tried watching Zooey's new show a few times, but I just don't like the vibe. Total bro show. She should be working at an indie record store or someplace cool, and have cool Williamsburg hipster nerdy friends going on oddball adventures. I can't believe she'd agree to swill like this.

    The ONLY shows I now watch are Big Bang Theory, Office(new season hasnt made me laugh much, but I love "Robert California" and do not miss Steve Carell),
    Modern Family(didnt know how much Id fall in love with the dynamic), and sometimes The Middle and Up All Night. I love Curb Your Enthusiasm but its so irregularly made and aired. Its difficult for me to get into Always Sunny. 30 Rock is excellent at what it is, the timing...but I kind of fell out of it. Ashton Kutcher 2.5 men is unwatchable sadly.

    And maybe its just me, but something about How I Met Your Mother....its hard for me to get into that show. Part of it is what a giant db NPH is on the show. For a gay guy, he sure plays one of the most obnoxiously unlikeable straight guys Ive ever seen on tv next to Quagmire. I really miss King of Queens, Ellen and Seinfeld, but sadly Big Bang is the only traditional sitcom I still like.
  14. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I just hate it because it's something that would be a midseason replacement 8-10 years ago that should have ended after the third episode. But for some reason people like it? Yeah, she is a self absorbed not that attractive "outspoken" (read: snotty like everyone else) and seems to have a bug up her butt about everything and just makes lame 90's style sarcastic barbs about everything... but it's the poor attempt at humor with very "mature" peepee and weewee jokes that drives me insane. I also HATED the heck out of New Christine, and I see that almost the same kind of show.

    As for Barney Stintson... I think the subtlety is lost on you. it's not so much the guy's a womanizing tool, but the fact that he's got arrested development written all over him and he thinks he's cool. He's fooling himself, and has been his whole life. A LOT of crap happened to the character... his mother was easy, he was under the belief his father was Bob Barker because his mother constantly lied to him to spare his feelings... my favorite bit was he used to be an overly sensitive 90's hippy type and his girlfriend ran off with an overbearing rich snotball, and he took on that personality. The story now is he's trying very hard to get into and keep an actual relationship. He WILL be married off eventually. They pretty much gave that one away.
  15. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    Maybe I just need to watch HIMYM from the beginning, as Ive seen a couple random episodes and it kind of irked me. Not Jason or the other guy, to me those are golden moments. I LOVE CBS for keeping the sitcom alive tho!

    What do you think of 2 Broke girls? I still cant get into Mike and Molly. Its nothing but fat jokes. On Roseanne, they were two overweight working class people but I dont remember many fat jokes. I guess anything is better than Friends, I just cringe whenever a rerun comes on(cant believe I used to watch that) My two favorite 90's sitcoms besides Seinfeld were of course Mad About You(not sure why I love that one so much, Im like the shows only fan it seems) and Ellen. And the short lived Margaret Cho sitcom All American Girl. I'll be sad when traditional laugh track sitcoms go away.

    I gave Always Sunny a chance, and just cant get into it. But some comedies that I didnt like at first I got really into
  16. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    Yeah I saw some of that, too bad it didn't last!
  17. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Broke Girls is alright, I guess...Mike and Molly seems to have dumped the fat jokes, at least the constant barrage of them lately. I REALLY didn't like the first episode where it was nothing but. Especially that fat= cannibal joke in the first episode. That was a clentch your teeth together and go "thhhhhhh" line.

    But Neil's character in HIMYM has gone through quite a bit of character development. In the 90's he would have just been that flat man-ho type character and be a catchphrase. They never would have given him a backstory or any depth of any kind. There's a great episode last season where he's trying hard to settle down, but just can't. But I LOVE Jason on that show. Actually, Allison wazzername. This is the ONLY thing she was in I liked her in. never got into Buffy and I do NOT want to watch the American Pie things. But yeah, Neil's character had gradual depth the past few seasons. it's a show that took me forever to get into myself (seemed a LOT like the British show Coupling at the beginning), but now I'm glad I did.

    Only sitcom I truly hate on CBS is Rules of Engagement. Big ENG fan I am, I really wanted to like a show with Kuzco and Kronk in it... heck, Patrick Warburton in it. But it's just... horrid. Though I liked the reference to Scooter from the Muppets in one episode.
  18. LamangoNumber2

    LamangoNumber2 Active Member

    I'm pretty sure the only Muppets that are gay are Howard Tubman and his look alike that's openly gay with a Bison.
  19. Muppet fan 123

    Muppet fan 123 Well-Known Member

    The whole thing is riducoulous.
    They're freinds Okay?
    But they should make them sleep in sperate beds to make people happy
  20. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Yeah, but the point isn't if they are or they aren't... the point is that Sesame Workshop is constantly denying it, but marketing Ernie and Bert merchandise with supposed gay symbols, like rainbows. As I said, it's a snide aside to those who found malicious intent in the old joke. Also, I have to add, the fact that they put a LOT of adult innuendo on their shirts too... so they're just running with things that college kids wear on their T-Shirts now...

    AND I Still can't find the "All your cookie are belong to me." one


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