to the Muppet Central Forum!
are viewing our forum as a guest. Join
our free community to post topics and start private conversations. Please
contact us if
you need help with registration or your account login.
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.
Discussion in 'Sesame Street' started by vettech28, Jun 30, 2015.
Will she be on the season that was just taped for this fall?
That's pretty upsetting... it's sad that the old human cast is diminishing (slowly, but it's happening), but I guess that's just how it goes. I'm not a gigantic fan of the newer human cast members, but as long as others AND the target audience is happy. I suppose that's all that matters. I'll still be watching the show on occasions, but it's sad to see her go. However, I wish her the best of luck if she does any future things (not sure if she's retiring from all work).
Let's not forget this is her choice and she's not being forced out of the series by any means. And let's also keep in mind how unprecedented that a show that has run from 1969 to this day actually is, especially when they had their share of mainstays and revolving door members. I'm sure most of the older cast members have outside lives and managed their money well enough to never have to work again. Bob appears, like what, once a year, sometimes just for a cameo? And both him and Loretta have been there since show 1. Loretta even came back as Susan for a few cameos lately. Contrast that with how SNL cast members last maybe a few years, maybe up to 10 or so.
Moving on from a show is only natural. Especially one you've been a part of 40 or so years. Then you remember how many cast members that have come and gone in much less time. Some only stayed a couple seasons.
So yeah. Don't take this as anything but someone willfully choosing to retire. Having to get younger cast members is completely natural for a show that's been on this long. Big Bird and the rest of the Muppets don't age, but human cast members do. And yes, they replaced Gordon several times in the first few years, there were 2 actors who played Mr. Hanford, and multiple child actors took on Gabby and Miles, but Sesame Street's strength has been not meddling around and replacing older actors for younger ones. A lesser show would have seen Sonia out in 10 years of her debut only for another Maria to be cast without a second thought.
don't.... don't remind me of that.
With the exception of when she was a tot, Gabi was played by Desiree Casado pretty much the entire time. Miles on the other hand, yeah, he went through about the same number of actors as Gordon did.
I remember way back during Season 35, TV GUIDE had a little blurb about Sonia as Maria, naming her "Sesame's Sweetheart" (like America's Sweetheart, I'm assuming); I loved the little snippet about Maria's unique relationship with Oscar, and how there's been a joke floating around the Workshop for years that Oscar is, "the only Muppet to see Maria naked." Sonia added, "funny, but not true."
What's sad is that it won't be mentioned. Maria won't likely be mentioned other than in passing by Luis, ("I've gotta get home to Maria," etc.) if even that. The human characters' roles on the show have diminished so much since the start that they can filter through in and out without a second thought.
Did Gabi have any sort of send-off when she left the show? She was on the show for over 20 years.
The human cast members don't even have plots of their own anymore. They exist solely to teach the Muppets about whatever the day's curriculum is and that's it. Basically, any one human character's role in a street story nowadays can be played by any one of the ten human actors with little to no difference to the overall plot. Preschoolers watching form bonds with Maria and Gordon the same way they form bonds with the celebrities like Bill Hader and Adam Scott. They know they're there, but they're not there often enough to care about.
That's the other thing: I love all the human cast members, but having ten of them as well as a huge amount of Muppets for only 26 episodes (sometimes less) when so few of them play an actual role anymore? Ten is a lot of main characters for any show, much less a show where their entire story happens in 11 minutes and they also have over a dozen Muppet characters as well as countless fairytale creatures and celebrity guests to fit in, too. In the beginning of the show, four human characters held down 130 episodes. I think everyone on here expects every current human to get just as much screen time as that despite more than double the human cast members and one-fifth the number of episodes. It's just not logistically possible, and that really is too bad.
Even if every human character were to get an equal amount of main roles in street stories as each other, that would still only add up to 2-3 episodes per cast member per season. It wouldn't help the kids get to know them better at all.
The fact that former heavy-hitters like Gordon and Gina are now being relegated to being extras on the street with no focus or lines is just sad to me. They all have so much to offer. I'm surprised more of them haven't signed off from the show already, to be completely honest.
No, and neither did Miles for that matter. The common fan theory is that they've simply gone off to college.
I'll agree to that, though I'd also add that a lot of the show seems to hinge on who's available that day. I wouldn't say that pushing the older cast members aside is some sort of fault on the part of the writers or the series. Some of them just seem to appear less and less because they've got outside lives. Seems Sonia's the only one to really announce a retirement, and the others seem like they're semi-retired and manage to come back for one episode or so a year. Sometimes just as a cameo.
But even with the newer cast members, I agree. There's less focus on them and some plots treat them as secondary characters. Some essentially just have them in there to walk over and give speeches to Muppet characters. And I agree with the celebrity thing. That's essentially for the adults, as kids rarely care who they are unless they're like in a kid's movie as the voice of someone. There's been a big push for celebrity and parody segments and that forces out the human and regular Muppet characters both out. Some of that seems like it's essentially for the press to say "HEY! We're still here in the incomprehensibly large pile of preschool programming" (and yes, there's a freaking crapload of it now. There's like 10 kid's cartoons together across several networks out there and like 10 preschool shows per cable channel).
But if there's one thing I think you left out, it isn't just that the human cast members diminishing from the main street stories, they've completely vanished from outside segments as well. And frankly, I have more problems with that. Clearly, SW is focusing on more just Muppet segments because they're easier to translate and remain culturally ambiguous (as in the American Muppet characters get the illusion of being their country's own instead of being just dubbed versions of the characters). But we no longer have anything like "Sing in the Shower" where the human and Muppet cast members share a disconnected to the story song or the Charlie Chaplin skits. The human cast only inserts were starting to be phased out as of the 90's, but today they're completely gone. The closest thing left are the Two Headed Monster segments with Chris as a voice over. And even then, voice over as in "just dub over him so we can use it in international shows."
I'm sure that's true to a point, but Bob has gone on record in both newspaper interviews and in I Am Big Bird to state that he now views Sesame Street more like a hobby than he does a job because he is not called in for more than an episode or two per season. So, it seems at least he is available to work more than they are calling him in for. Plus, the likes of Gina and Gordon are obviously available to work because they are there on the set, except they are extras in the background.
This is sad, and the fact they are not even giving Maria a decent storyline send off or anything. I'm sure everyone on here can recall how much respect they had for Sesame with the way they dealt with Will Lee's passing. There could be a great lesson in this for kids, because losing a friend due to moving, or going to school, or even death is very hard to deal with. So to see ether Elmo or even Oscar deal with somehow losing Maria, just like with Big Bird and Mr. Hooper could teach a younger generation about how to feel when someone we love leaves us.
Here's the thing. If they did give Maria a send off, Luis is still on the show and got a new lease as a character via the bike repair shop. Think of that message, even if unintentional. He's wearing a fedora now. Try and tell me it wouldn't imply he'd be the depressing yet sleazy guy trying to get younger woman to replace his wife. I'd tend to think that Maria would be given the illusion of being "still there" but not actually appearing. If both characters were said to move away I'd agree. There's just an unfortunateness to the wife leaving and the husband staying that even the smaller ones would pick up on.
The only characters I can think of that actually got the send off were Hooper and David, both for reasons we already knew. Everyone else that left just...left. And while you can hand wave some of the short lived vast as coming and going, you have to admit the disappearance and complete "sucked into the void and forgotten about" of some of the longer time members is jarring. Linda especially. She was a staple character for quite some time and then she just ...stopped. And not even a nod or reference to her existing. Heck, the entire Around the Corner disappeared and it was less awkward. (Is Sesame Street located that close to Elmore?) Even if there were a logical way to send Maria off on the series without making it depressing about Luis, it's not like they've had many for any other of the characters. A shame they don't, but that's how it is.
I'm not going to completely doubt that it has something to do with kids relating to younger adults. I mean, when the show first popped up Bob and Gordon and Linda were the young adults (20's and 30's young) that were the not quite parental figures (friends of parents) that acted like friendly teacher types/young adult relatives to the Muppet characters, and even the audience. Maria pretty much was the cute college age girl that little kids develop their first sort of weird "I don't understand the age barrier" crush on (which I'd say Gina, then Gabby, and now Leela filled as the show progressed). David and Luis at the time were the not quite college going teenagers, not quite Bob and Gordon age funsters (Chris and Mando today). Hooper was the not quite grandfather figure... maybe older uncle. That's a role I'd see Bob and or Gordon in today. I think there is lost opportunity for Gordon to mentor Chris, and that's sort of the role Alan plays. I agree. It's strange, though, that Gordon was the go to adult for the several seasons up until just recently.
It's a shame and unfortunate, but again who thought this was going to last 10 years, let alone 46? There was a huge learning curve and still is. I'm glad that they didn't replace characters willy nilly giving us a sort of Maria and a maybe Bob. Gordon's change was for the better, I think and they got very lucky with that one averting the "you don't look like you" he could have.
I'm not so sure there *isn't* a good way to explain Maria's absence. I've done quite a bit of fanfiction for other shows, and I can think of 2:
1. Moved close by to care for elderly relative (short term, of course, but my mom moved in with my grandma for 2 months as she was dying of cancer, though it was only 8 blocks away. Still, it could explain extended absences if she's the primary caregiver.)
2. Got job as nanny to make more money. (Doesn't have to be a human one, either. Could be a Muppet... like the all-too-absent Prairie Dawn) She'd be at her job but come home in the evenings, we'd never see her becasue it's daytime most times on Sesame Street when we see, and Lius is at work.
Then again, I came up with this to explain Uncle Jesse saying he graduated and findng out he had been lying on "Full House," so many it's just my weird mind at work.
Thought I'd share my signature here.
BTW, I'm not quite sure what you're referencing there, but one thing that reminded me of is Harriette Winslow of "Family Matters" who was recast at the end of the ninth season. That was a big disappointment since JoMarie Payton had played the role even before FM aired, (she originated the character on "Perfect Strangers.") Is that what you're referring to? Just curious on that one.
Sesame Street, being a kid's show, works on the fleeting demographic rule. By all means they could have recast any of the adults the second they started to go from youthful 20's and 30's to slightly older 30's and therefore hard to relate to for some reason. If Sesame Street was that kind of show we'd be on our fifth or sixth Bob by now. But Sesame Street sticks to its guns, and with certain exceptions, doesn't replace its actors, and long time favorites are played by who they've always been played by (Gordon being the exception, obviously, but Roscoe stuck and was the best one anyway). That's what they could have done with Mr. Hooper, but they refused. Could have done the same with David, but didn't. Worst case, they replace older characters with new characters instead of actors. And that gives the show a realistic quality... even though Bob aged and Big Bird didn't. And if you count his first season appearance, Big Bird actually aged down.
Least I Could Do, a webcomic, has been doing a story about Maria's departure--or, rather, the main character trying to move to Sesame Street now that there is a vacancy. Here's the first page of the storyline. Warning: this is an adult-oriented webcomic. Not porn by any means, but the characters do adult things and sometimes cuss. No "adult things" in this storyline (thus far), but a bit of language.
Kinda lame comic, actually.
I really like the style of art on the Muppets here, though. Shame the jokes weren't as good (liked Bribing Telly with the letter of the day, however). The "she didn't die, she retired...she stopped working so she could wait to die" gag sounds like a bad attempt at a Homer Simpson line.
Eh... then again, have they ever (David and Hooper aside) ever give a cast member a send off? They just tend to disappear. They had a real revolving door of cast members from time to time. You wonder if they're going to make a big deal about this or they're just going to give her the illusion of still being there. Fran's big send away was a throwaway line in a TV special.
Oh, I never knew that was the case with other kids shows. But I see what you mean, after all the show was still in it's earlier years when Gordon was recast, so they probably wouldn't do that in this day and age. I am going to have to disagree with you about the possibility of recasting Mr. Hooper and David though, especially with David since he's been on the show for nearly two decades before he was written out. I think a recast there would have been noticed. Maybe they made the right decision by writing him out of the show altogether.
Maybe they made the right decision by writing him out of the show altogether.
So maybe they are doing the right thing by writing out the character of Maria, rather than recasting her. As much as we'll miss her. It's better than having people get used to a 'fake' Maria. Just thought I'd put in my two cents there.
Exactly what I was saying, but that's why Sesame Street is so great. This show wouldn't have the same cultural impact if it just thought less of the audience and kept the human characters as ageless as the Muppet ones. Sure, does Elmo stay three and a half years old while attending the birth of a child and watching it grow to be an adult while he never will? Does anyone bother questioning that under the age of 20?
No, I think even if they're like me at that age and notice, they think what I did - the idea of the Muppets just being such special friends that they become "real" a la the Velveteen Rabbit.(pre-illness, that is, when the child sees him as real but before he becomes a real rabbit.)
Separate names with a comma.