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Why people dislike modern Sesame Street

Discussion in 'Sesame Street' started by D'Snowth, Dec 14, 2010.

  1. CensoredAlso

    CensoredAlso Well-Known Member

    I know and that's fine; that's your opinion. I just don't agree. Not trying to be rude, just explaining. :)
  2. Oscarfan

    Oscarfan Well-Known Member

    The problem with the block format is that it leaves barely anytime for random inserts. If we get a really long street story, we won't even see a Muppet insert for the rest of the show. The format limits the use of character. The only ones who we know for sure will appear are Abby, Murray, Bert & Ernie and Elmo. Other than that, we hardly see a Cookie Monster sketch, or a Count one, or even Grover. We saw a lot of AM bits in Season 41, most of them being parodies.

    They had to create a spot in the new format for non-show-like bits. It's like the season 33 JTE. You should've have to assign a spot for random inserts, the show should entirely consist of them. Maybe if the two Season 38 episodes had Elmo in the plot, we'd see more of them.
  3. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    It's not so much I hate the block format as I find that it hinders the writing in cases. Again, I sight that episode about the Road Trip as an example. the tension of certain storylines being stretched out and serialized throughout the episode makes them more exciting, and there's no need for awkward time jumps and transitions in the story. That's what the "commercials" gave the illusion of.

    But then again, I think you CAN have the block format AND mix it up with a little magazine. I don't like things being disconnected and like you're watching a series of different shows in an hour period. And that really didn't take effect until last season.
  4. muppet maniac

    muppet maniac Well-Known Member

    I don't watch Sesame Street anymore, as I'm outside of the States, and also because I don't have a TV. (I have a TV set, but no cable or satellite; just a set for watching DVDs with)

    I have, however, been keeping up with the show via Youtube and the Muppet Wiki. All I have to say is, I really don't care that much for the recent stuff. I think it's because of the Elmo and Abby hoopla. Elmo's okay, I just don't like the fact that he's the "big thing" now. It's Abby that I have a bone to pick with. I just think she's too goody-goody and too girly even for Sesame Street.

    But hey, who am I to complain? Sesame Street wasn't made for us (those way above 5 years of age) to begin with. If the kids are enjoying it (the show as it is today), then so be it.

    And the funny thing is, a few years ago, I was staying at a home school/camp run by some friends, one of them a mother (American) of three kids, all of whom are aware of Sesame Street - and the Muppets in general - and are about the target age group (I'd say about 5-6 years old). I showed them some 1969-77 episodes I had on my computer (ones that were ripped off from Noggin), and they loved them, especially the Hawaii episodes and skits with Ernie and Bert (they especially laughed at the "Imaginary glass of water at night" sketch) And interestingly enough, not once did I hear any of them ask "Where's Elmo?" or "Who's that old man?" (Mr. Hooper)
    MikaelaMuppet likes this.
  5. The Shoe Fairy

    The Shoe Fairy Well-Known Member

    I'm just going to throw it out there and say that I don't hate current SST on the basis of characters. I really like Abby as a character and I do enjoy a fair part of the writing. I am however an opponent of the current block format, I would like to see a return to the street story segments split up over the course of the episode. I'm not one to whine too much over this though; I intend to watch SST in future and continue to enjoy it.
  6. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I've said all too many times, Abby's potential as a character is hindered by her role as the girl character mascot. Same deal with Elmo. The characters seem to have friend of a friend stuck with each other when that friend has to leave early, and then awkwardly have to hang out with each other the rest of the day chemistry. Elmo works best with Zoe, Oscar, Grover, even Telly and Big Bird in cases... Abby works best with basically everyone besides Elmo. Why they don't have any segments where Telly is nervous or worried about how she can screw her magic up is beyond me. That seems rife with comedic tension.

    Again, I liken it to if Disney had a show where Mickey and Pooh were teamed up... without either of the other's friends. Mickey can't be funny without Donald, Goofy or Pluto to play off of, Pooh isn't that interesting without Piglet or Tigger... they're only paired up because they're popular.

    I actually quite like Abby, but again, she needs to do more.
  7. The Shoe Fairy

    The Shoe Fairy Well-Known Member

    I second this, but I don't find /so/ much that awkwardness interferes with humour; I really enjoyed quite a few Elmo and Abby skits. I agree that Abby should be placed with Telly, it seems only logical to put two opposites together to create humour. :)
  8. Canadian Fan

    Canadian Fan Well-Known Member

    It'd be nice if they brought back some of the classic characters to interact with the newer ones such as Abby (I've only seen her interact with Telly, Elmo, Zoe, Rosita, Snuffy Cookie Monster, Grover, Oscar, Big Bird, The Count and Baby Bear). I could see Abby and Mumford (with Jerry doing the voice and Matt doing the puppetry) interacting with hilarious results, both have trouble doing magic. Abby with Bert and Ernie would be funny as well.
  9. beakerboy12

    beakerboy12 Well-Known Member

    Abby and Mumford would be a great pair! I really think that would be funny as well as her and Telly in a skit together. Telly could be worried once she begins doing her magic. And maybe Abby could even acciedentally turn Telly into a pumpkin.

    I agree with Canadian Fan, Abby should interact with more characters. And some classic characters would work really well with her. Abby & Bert and Ernie should do something together, although I don't know how the skit might end up. Another classic character that might be good with Abby might be Sherlock Hemlock :)search:). I could definetely see something with the two of them together!
  10. SSLFan

    SSLFan Well-Known Member

    One of the issues that has been bothersome to me is the extreme lack of Big Bird.

    Seriously Sesame Workshop? How can one have trouble writing for Big Bird? Or is it so much that you choose NOT to write for him, yet you've managed to shove out a bunch of Elmo-Abby-snorefest episodes these past two seasons. Yeah, I know they're your big "Meal ticket" characters, but you don't have to pair them up together ALL THE TIME. Face it, ELMO & ABBY HAVE NO CHEMISTRY TOGETHER, so stop trying to force to make it to work, IT'S NOT.

    But back to the topic, how can you have trouble writing for a character you've written 40 years for? What's happened now where you can't find a simple story for the bird to carry throughout the whole show instead of reducing him to quick 30-second cameos in a street scene? Characters like Bert, Grover, Cookie, etc. have an advantage because they can always appear in a muppet sketch-insert(if time lets them - thanks "block format":smirk:) if absent in the main storyline. Big Bird however, was CREATED for the sole purpose of appearing ON THE STREET. So if he isn't seen in a street story, he's done for the entire show.

    It's really coming to a point of concern that is if Big Bird should just be considerd "semi-retired" now. I know fans in the past have said how he and others are barely on the show anymore. This is really the case now! Seriously, what's become of this show?
  11. CensoredAlso

    CensoredAlso Well-Known Member

    The thing is, kids also enjoy not doing their homework. That doesn't mean we as adults should just accept it. ;)

    That's great! There's this myth that people love to convince themselves of that kids won't respond to older entertainment. They just accept it without finding out if it's really true or if there's something they could do to change it.
  12. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    That must show how sad things are. That makes it sound like watching something enjoyable is work!

    Writing is writing. Every writer has a handicap and advantage. Some characters are harder to write for than others. It happens, and it's unfortunate. Big Bird is decievingly complex to write for (Kermit the Frog? Pwhhhheeeeewww... I love him madly, but I couldn't write for him for an extended period of time when Muppet Labs, Gonzo, even Fozzie write themselves without that much effort). But I'm starting to think this isn't completely the case. There might be pressure from higher ups, there might be an availability issue... Same reason why we lacked a lot of Steve Whitmire this season.

    As long as Matt's around and can continue that symbiotic puppetry voice magic with Jerry, there's no call why Mumford and Abby can't meet for just one episode or skit. There's just so much comedic wackiness from 2 clumsy characters messing their stuff up together. And yes, Abby does great when the characters get annoyed by her magical mess ups... like Oscar. Sigh... if only Disney were a little more lenient. You know who would REALLY work well with Abby? Kermit.
  13. CensoredAlso

    CensoredAlso Well-Known Member

    I hadn't thought of it that way, but yeah I guess I was saying that watching Classic Sesame Street can make you smarter, hehe. :wisdom:
  14. Yorick

    Yorick Well-Known Member

    I don't mind Elmo or Abby, though the writing could be better. But then, maybe that's what you mean, since the writing does help to define the character, along with the performer.

    Before I mention what the new SS lacks (or new kids shows in general lack) I always point out that I know it's not for my age group. But here is (to me) the problem:

    Though I assume kids today like it (since it's still on) I just feel it's a shame they missed the best stuff - much higher quality -which was made in the first 20 years or so of SS.

    I know I said this before, but I always thought the rise of Barney (and someone at the top deciding to integrate a Barney-like mentality to SS for higher SS ratings to compete with Barney) was the beginning of a slow decline for SS - and this was confirmed when I read the SS book "Street Gang". So when I got to the part of the book where they mentioned they changed SS since (paraphrasing here) "the kids love this new guy Barney" I thought, "well of course they do! SS was created as a way to teach kids, since they were watching the test patterns at the time, so why not fill their minds with something helpful and fun instead?" Barney was a big step back, and all the shows went (and continue to go) with him to some degree or another :(

    I know they don't know what they're missing...but we do.

    Even "Elmo in Grouchland" (1999) while fun, wasn't even close to the magic of "Follow That Bird" (1985) - and I don't hate Elmo, so it's not that for me.
  15. Yorick

    Yorick Well-Known Member

    Wonderful ideas!:batty: Maybe they could learn from each other. I wish you fans here wrote for the show!

    Well said!

    PS classic vs new:
    I think it would be WONDERFUL if they slipped original clips (from 1969 to the early 1990's) into the new show. If the kids notice it looks and feels different, that doesn't mean they won't like it. It's a different segment, so it can have a different feel. If only!

    When I say original clips, it can be SS Muppets, Teeny Little Super Guy, you name it. I bet the real fear is that they'll get letters that the parents and kids love the classic clips more :)
  16. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I'm starting to think what REALLY is making the writing suffer is both the idiotic 10-15 minutes of solid story they have to use now (a LOT of stories can benefit from time passing in between letter and number segments), and the obvious fact that they have a smaller writing staff now because of those layoffs from years ago. There's just something lacking, and it's not the writing itself... it's like they're way too short handed recently.

    I've said that for years before that book even came out! SS was created in a varitable wasteland of kiddy shows. Sure, there was Captain Kangaroo, and Mr. Rogers was around somewhere... but there wasn't cable competition, let alone channels upon channels of the stuff. it's terrible when something has to compete with something else on the same network, and Barney was the first one to bring that to the table. SS was created for the soul intention of educating kids in the inner city that didn't have access to preschool. Barney was created out of a want to create terrible low budget kiddy videos for booger eating preschoolers to shut up so Mommy can go take migrane medication... caused BY watching Barney videos. It spread like a virus to television, and dumbed down kid's programming irreversibly as we know it.

    That said, SS isn't even for it's original intended audience anymore. Preschool is more readily accessible, city kids live in gentrified neighborhoods... and of course, the rise of the anal retentive parental group that squawks every time an unpleasantly hits television and they don't want to have to talk to their own kids about it. it's amazing to see that years ago, SS defied a bunch of racists who complained they had black people on the show, and now they shiver, shudder, and cave in to ANY small complaint.
  17. Convincing John

    Convincing John Well-Known Member

    Honestly, given the choice between watching an episode of that purple prehistoric nightmare and test patterns...there's no contest. I'd much rather watch the test patterns.

    For those who haven't seen it, Caroll Spinney gives some excellent advice at the end of this clip. I think everyone young and old should follow it. It makes perfect sense for anyone with common sense. Just listen what he says on the stoop with Telly (while they're saying goodbye):


    God Bless Mr. Spinney for saying that.:wisdom:

    Convincing John
    Duke Remington likes this.
  18. Yorick

    Yorick Well-Known Member

    Right on!

    Our talk of Barney reminds me of the Dinosaurs episode that tackled the Barney problem, "Georgie Must Die" where Earl looks to the camera, and says to us viewers (just before punching "Georgie" real good in the face to knock him out) "this is for all you parents at home!" Quite poignant.

    And Mr. Spinney is right on with the end of the clip, and also earlier when he says how you shouldn't talk down to the kids.
    Of course, is comment at the end goes well with the earlier quote :)
    Duke Remington likes this.
  19. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    The sad thing is, I didn't actually mind Barney at first... just... terrible acting from everyone involved, the cheapness of squishing bad lyrics into public domain songs, and the whole school kids worshiping Barney as a cult in the show thing got on my nerves after a while. There's nothing clever or innovative about what Barney did, other that being the polar opposite of Sesame Street's inner city and going with a super safe well to do suburban li'l red school house. So basically, a step backward. And something about that suburban setting seems to have creeped and crawled into Sesame Street's influence over the years.

    Now what REALLY sucked were the Barney knockoffs... and then the Thomas the Tank Engine ones... those were terrible! Ever see Jayjay the Jetplane? It's at least as annoying as Barney was, if not more. At least we got TTE back... unfortunately, not in the fun Shining Time Station way. And it's all CGI.. and always about Thomas going too fast when he has to deliver a special.
  20. Yorick

    Yorick Well-Known Member

    This whole post was right on, and when you mention knockoffs, shall we include Hip Hop Harry? Or did they make enough changes to his character that it's kind of an improvement?

    (I'm not saying he is or isn't, just curious to see the replies)

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