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What year did it all change for the worst?

Discussion in 'Classic Sesame Street' started by JimmyGillentine, Oct 28, 2006.

  1. MrBloogarFoobly Well-Known Member

    I don't really blame Sesame Street for the problem, as much as I blame the shift in society towards coddling children, and keeping everything politically correct. That's when the show took a dive, because the writers/show runners are catering towards this new generation of soft children.
    MelissaY1 and Pinkflower7783 like this.
  2. Pinkflower7783 Well-Known Member

    Unfortunately nothing stays the same forever...society has changed the way people look at things now. You need to be extra careful what you say nowadays for fear of offending people. So in some ways I can't blame Sesame Street for the root that it's taken. Although for me personally when Jim Henson died Sesame Street was never the same...and never will be again. I always joke why is it even Sesame Street? It's more like Elmo and Abby Street.

    That's not to say I disrespect Kevin Clash I think he is an extemely gifted man and after watching the documentary I have a whole new outlook of respect for him just Elmo was never my favorite character to begin with even before he became really popular. And I feel Elmo overshadows all the other great characters on Sesame Street today. And Abby well I guess I can't say whether I like her or dislike her because I never really grew up with her so...I'll say for me it's a bittersweet thing. I think it's great Sesame Street is still going strong after all this time but it's also sad that the days of what made it classic are gone. Again this is just MY personal opinion!!!
  3. D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    I think by 1998 (Season 30), SST kind of got back on track... granted, it still wasn't like the SST of the 70s and 80s, but on that same token, it wasn't like the SST of 1993-1998 either: they fixed a number of the mistakes they made, such as getting rid of ATC, and the large number of characters that took up space, while still holding onto some who did somehow leave an impression on kids, whether it was Muppets (like Ingrid and Humphrey with Natasha) or humans (Ruthi or Tara).

    Some would argue that 2002 (Season 33) would be another change for the worst, as most fans whine, gripe, and complain about the new block format and everything, but research has shown (and Caroll Spinney had confirmed) that kids responded positively to the new format, and that the kids like predictability. In my opinion, SST has had some hit and miss seasons since then: it's hard to judge Season 33 since it was the first season that experimented with the new format, but I think some seasons went over really well (34, 36, 38), but some seasons were rather disappointing (35 and especially 37 because of all the Abby hype for her to only appear in two episodes and barely a third). Season 39 brought on even more changes, but I haven't been able to see a lot of these seasons, so I can't really give an opinion of them.
  4. Muppet fan 123 Well-Known Member

    Is Elmo's World really a half an hour? Come on, why do they give him so much time? I can't stand Elmo's World... I turned on the T.V the other day and I saw Sesame Street was on, so I decided to stop by and see it. I went bonkers watching Elmo's World.
    Pinkflower7783 likes this.
  5. Pinkflower7783 Well-Known Member

    When political correctness came into view. :p
  6. D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    No, it's fifteen minutes.
    There is no such thing as political correctness on TV, it's just a myth. Seriously, if there was, there wouldn't be HALF the things on TV that there are today.
  7. Pinkflower7783 Well-Known Member

    Could've fooled me. Then people wouldn't be whinning like their 5 years old about every dang thing! Seriously this world drives me insane nowadays you can't even sneeze anymore without someone taking offense. UGH!
  8. MelissaY1 Well-Known Member

    I agree with you, Pinkflower. There's a LOT of PC nonsense that goes on in every form of media and entertainment today. I was disgusted to hear that Sesame Workshop decided against airing the footage with Elmo and Katy Perry just because a few whiny parents out there felt their kids couldn't handle it. Katy Perry wears midriff tops that show off her boobs, that's what she does aside from "singing". If someone felt it was inappropriate, maybe they shouldn't have had her on or asked her to dress more conservatively.

    I mean for pete's sake, I grew up watching soap operas with my mom where people were making out in bed, in the shower, etc. and I turned out fine. Kids are exposed to far worse out there than Katy Perry's boobs.

    But getting back to this thread, I don't think Sesame Street has "changed for the worst", it's just a different show for a different audience in a different time and society. I think people forget that when Sesame Street started there was NOTHING like it on television and it served a particular purpose. Now, those purposes have been retooled, and the show has tons of other things to compete with.

    I'll admit, I watched Sesame Street pretty much my whole life through until college until maybe Season 30 something. But I haven't watched it in the past several years, nor do I really want to. I still love the show, and it's history and what good it does for children today, but darn it still makes me laugh everytime I tune in. When it stops doing that and helping kids, THAT is when it will take a turn for the worse.
    Drtooth and Pinkflower7783 like this.
  9. MelissaY1 Well-Known Member

    Well said, MrBloogar. Well said...
  10. Oscarfan Well-Known Member

    I think SST's been pretty consistent, but "the show hasn't been good since X" is all a matter of perspective. I sure some fans from the 70's would have negative things to say about the 80's, the 80's about the 90's and so on.

    I don't care for the block format really, but it's fine for what it is. The science experiment bits were a vast improvement. The only real issue I have with the format is it limits the number of inserts. We basically get one "random" insert each show, not counting the letter/number/Word of the Day bits. And half the time this past season, the random bit was a pretty dull film that was just filler (that "Happy and You Know It" one for example). I don't mind having more films and cartoons, as the show had been lacking them around season 33, but now Muppet inserts have taken a back seat and I don't like it.
    Drtooth likes this.
  11. Drtooth Well-Known Member

    The funny thing is... they kinda did. They gave her a body suit, and it accentuated the problem. Little kids do not like cleavage. Boys think it's gross, girls just say that's what their mommy has... no one was selling sex. At worst, they should have used some CGI trickery to cover it up. Still, that's not politically correct... that's prudish. Sexual situations are not part of political correctness, to answer Snowth's question...

    I don't even like the term politically correct. TRUE political correctness is not freely using racial slurs and not denying jobs for anyone based on race or religion. We NEED that political correctness. What we really have is Offendophobia, where people have to stifle everything out of fear that someone's going to write some letter. And half the time, you wind up offending someone and getting letters ANYWAY. Sesame Street used to be tough. It stood up to racists that wanted the show banned for having people who weren't white in it, they handed it to some crazy moron with a 20 word vocabulary who was objecting the Count's parody vampire status.... now they have to meekly apologize to Fox News for saying what everyone says about them.


    Words well spoken.

    Things cannot stay the same forever, no matter how hard you try. SNL has changed style of humor with every writing staff and massive cast change. I'm glad they didn't just hire similar actors to keep giving us Coneheads sketches 30+ years later, even though I'm more of a fan of those classic years myself. But we'd also be robbed of Jon Lovitz and the late Phil Hartman.

    Change isn't always good, change isn't always bad... but change is inevitable. Shows that have a consistent writing, acting, and humor style throughout haven't lasted too long. Even Seinfeld has massive changes in writing and humor, and that made the show a classic. Those early episodes aren't that funny. At least not as funny as George's angry breakdowns and Kramer's increasingly surreal actions.
  12. Pinkflower7783 Well-Known Member

    Ehh I need to unwatch this thread it's too serious for me.
  13. MelissaY1 Well-Known Member

    I agree, we do need certain things in place, but I can't remember now if it was you or someone else who posted earlier in this thread, there's this coddling going on with kids, but just in general. You're right, Offendophobia. Everyone's afraid to say anything to anyone these days and I just don't get it, nor do I recall when it started happening.

    And I agree, change is inevitable no matter what the form of entertainment is. I know my mother was bummed about her recent soap operas being canceled from ABC that like Sesame, were on for over 40 years but it's a different time. There's not that many "housewives" left anymore who watch them, and younger people who I've seen them try to cater to, just aren't interested. I don't like it, but unfortunately this is where we are today.
  14. Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I don't know about the actual movement, but when it comes to children's television, I blame the 70's, and movements that started slowly in that decade... but things didn't affect Sesame Street until the 90's. But that's just what I heard and what started to happen because of Action for Children's Television. That's why 70's cartoons sucked and why 80's cartoons were so stifled. That's when the "PC" Crowd took over kid's programming... they just didn't do anything to Sesame Street in that era because there was no need to.

    As for societal PC... well, that's because of the rise of groups. Well meaning groups that were sick of being treated as second class citizens, and had actual problems that needed to be fixed. But as more and more groups came the sillier and more marginal their concerns... and the more letters they wrote. Companies and those in the entertainment industry, no matter what scale, are constantly walking on eggshells... they're afraid of letters and bad press.

    Now, as far as other things are concerned... Child psychology is constantly changing, and everything winds of getting discredited in the long run for something else that's soon to be discredited as well. The science keeps changing, and the shows get these studies that, as Sonia herself said conflict. They have to deal with contradictory stuff about segment length and how kids learn things... it muddies up the show the writers want to do.
  15. D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    Well, even from the beginning, SST was all about taking chances, why don't the writers take a chance, and maybe for half a season, do the show the way they want to do it? I mean, look back on Season 38 at how experimental that season was: they actually tried to rewind a little bit, and try episodes that followed the former magazine/commercial format (with NO Elmo's World)... of course, the little kids did whine about no Elmo, but I haven't heard too many negative reactions about trying the old format again, and again, it was all experimenting.

    So yeah, I think they should take a chance, and just try doing the show the way they want it to be done, and the way they think it should be done, just to see how well that goes over.
  16. Oscarfan Well-Known Member

    I don't see why they couldn't have kept the season 30-32 format; just make the story a bit longer so the kids will know what's going on and keep interest, then have Elmo's World at the end.
  17. Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Melissa said it best. SST took chances because it had the luxury of being the only kid's program on TV. Now you have entire channels on cable devoted to 24 hr preschool programming. There's little room for Sesame Street to be risky, unless the risk is coming up with a new way to clone everything else.

    I forget if the choices were made after 9/11 or if they were some time coming... but the concept I remember reading was to comfort kids through uniformity and upholding schedules. Yeah... That's more child psychology mumbo jumbo that ruined the show. I was never a fan of forsaking spontaneity for routine... though it does seem like they were trying to impose structure long before that, only with putting 3 letter and number commercial segments in a row the seasons leading up to that.

    It's such a shame the block format was such a success... I think they nailed it the year before that change. We had things in segments, sure... but they were much looser than before, and we only had the major segments by then... letters, numbers... Elmo's World.
  18. MelissaY1 Well-Known Member

    I think is where it all went wrong: when these bigger industries started to get "scared" by these groups and caving to their purpose. Again, I don't disagree with some of them and their concerns. But like every group, there's always the more over obsessed who make it about themselves or just totally stray from the group's original focus. I really think Sesame Workshop dropped the ball to cut the Katy Perry segment out of the show. They should've just said to everyone we hired her to do her skit on the show, we're airing it, the end. Everyone today also feels like they have to apologize for something or someone, and the real ridiculousness of all that is that the apologies are never sincere. They're written up and forced upon the public by the lawyers, because like you said heaven forbid they get bad press and letters. sigh
  19. Drtooth Well-Known Member

    When there are concerns, there are valid ones, stupid sounding ones, self serving ones, and crazy ones on different levels of dangerousness.

    I really hate the media landscape we have now. We can't even have a kid's meal promotion without some group writing letters about how evil it is for them to have merchandising. That's why, instead of little Brave action figures at McDonalds, we have crappy tote bags in Subway's nitrate filled crappy sandwichkids meals instead... also why there's no Avengers or Spider-man ties ins (except for a weird Carls Jr. promotion that ticked Stan Lee off). It's not because Disney cares about health and wellness... they just don't want bad PR or Lawsuits. I wish these groups would tackle REAL problems like childhood sexual abuse with that pinpoint accuracy and passion.

    The Katy Perry thing is complete rot. It IS their fault for leaking it on Youtube and allowing comments.

    I needn't even have to finish that statement. Youtube Comments should say it all. People with NOTHING better to do, finding an innocent video and dumping their irrelevant viewpoints on it. Like I said, look up any non-PC 1940's cartoon with racial caricatures, and prepare to make your soul weep.

    To let THAT justify what they can and can't put on the show only proves how weak they are.

    If we had the current leadership, that kook with a 20 word vocabulary with a vendetta against the Count (and no doubt Groovie Goolies, Count Chocula, Halloween costumes, and basically anything with a cartoonish vampire on it) would have successfully killed one of the most beloved characters on the show, instead of looking like a marginalized weirdo.
  20. MelissaY1 Well-Known Member

    I agree with all of the above, Dr. Tooth

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