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Your Thoughts: The Street We Live On

Discussion in 'Sesame Street' started by Phillip, Apr 4, 2004.


What did you think of "The Street We Live On" special?

Poll closed Jul 3, 2004.
  1. I thought it was good

    38 vote(s)
  2. I was very disappointed

    52 vote(s)

  1. dvakman

    dvakman Member

    Amen friend. I snipped the rest to save space but you've perfectly captured how I feel about this show.
  2. Censored

    Censored Well-Known Member

    Actually, if they took that theory to its logical conclusion, they'd have to stop calling it "Hooper's Store" and rename it "Alan's".
  3. dvakman

    dvakman Member

    I really feel for you. It was a painful show. We all went into it with the best of intentions.
  4. Erine81981

    Erine81981 Well-Known Member

    And alot of want to too but until that happens ur either going to have to watch what u taped over and over or watch the new ones. U see Ssetta she hasn't cried about the speical being bad even tho she might not like him that much. I really don't care at all, I care about is seeing new episodes even if I do have to set through Elmo's World. I don't like him that much but I remember him being on when I was little and that was 1980's. I've seen alot of SSU and I see why alot of people want old Episodes but we can't expect everything to come on TV. Look at Nick. There are alot of shows that I miss so much that I could see them but I know until they show them on TV again or when they make VHS or DVD then I'm going to have to wait. There's alot of old show that don't come on TV land that used to come and they don't. I liked Donna Reed, Patty Duke, My Three Sons and Car 54 Where are u? I used to watch them alot but I really don't care anymore because I don't care. So just deal w/ SS and get over it. JUST SHUT UP! ELMO ELMO ELMO ELMO!!!!! HA ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!!!!!
  5. Baughdie Howes

    Baughdie Howes New Member

    I cried through the whole thing too...from being lied to by something that had always purported to be my friend, and had always promised to tell the truth.

    This may illustrate to younger forum members, why we older ones are feeling so betrayed:

    Several years ago, I attended a book-signing and one-man promo concert starring Bob McGrath, for the launch of "Sesame Street Unpaved", at a big bookstore in Toronto. The audience was full of kids, accompanied by their parents who had (like me) grown up with "Sesame Street". Bob told some stories and led us all in singing a bunch of songs. Most of them were the "classics", but there were a few newer songs thrown in to keep the kids happy.

    Now, as a general rule, I have never felt comfortable around little kids---not even when I was a little kid. I've spent years trying to figure out exactly why, and I'm still not sure.

    However, that evening, for the first and only time in my life, I felt so comfortable and connected with them, that I took off my glasses and used them to turn the sleeve of my faux-fur coat into a makeshift puppet to entertain the little kids sitting closest to me, while we waited for the show to start. I even made my "puppet" sing along for them, when Bob led us all in the ultimate classic, "Sing"!

    I remember Bob speaking very fondly and admiringly of the millions of "Sesame Seeds" out there. That's the "inside" term for those of us who grew up with the show. He said it was amazing to think that that the very first generation has now produced its own generation of little "Sesame Seeds". He also commented on how much the cast and crew of the show appreciated the deep love that we still had for them all, even though we were now older than many of them had been when the show first began.

    That night, we were all united by the magic of "Sesame Street".

    We "Sesame Seeds" thought that magic would always be there. We thought we could always trust our old friend.

    Sure, we knew it would evolve, because we'd watched that evolution, even as children. Those hour-long, deep storylines showed all sorts of changes happening in our little world. And when they were extended over a whole week, we could see such things as Big Bird going off to camp, being nervous, making friends, and then being sorry to have to leave the place. If you've ever gone through the "summer camp" experience, you'll know that's a really big evolution for a kid to go through...and all in just one week!

    And we all thought it was great when suddenly the adults could finally see Snuffy...and when Maria went from being a librarian to being a construction worker...and when Maria and Luis fell in love and got married...

    And we were all heartbroken by the most dramatic change of all: Mr. Hooper's death.

    So "Sesame Street" was always evolving, a little bit at a time.

    Evolution is one thing. Catastrophic destruction is quite another. On last night's anniversary special, we saw a clip of Big Bird discovering that a hurricane had wiped out the corner where he lived. Remember his plaintive, lost cry of, "My nest... My home..."?

    Well, that's how I felt upon discovering that I had been lied to, and that the "Sesame Street" I'd loved so much had been totally destroyed by a devastating, heartless, outside force. That big tree of memories I'd been told would be there was gone, except for a few little twigs, here and there.

    "My Street... My childhood..."
  6. I just watched the special again on PBS this morning (my PBS station showed #4054 for some odd reason) and now I can say what I like & hate:

    I like:
    The flashback scenes
    The evolution scene at the end
    The song
    The beginning
    The new Grover puppet
    The Grover, Big Bird, Maria & All Elmo's Friends Channel (it was good until the ABC Song & Dance, what the ****? They never did that.)
    I Dance Myself Do Sleep
    Global Grover
    The doors green again!
    The return of Herry

    I hated:
    Elmo's World extension
    The 3D cartoon with the kid in a wheelchair (This thing dragged on forever)
    That the number wasn't 9 (we could have had :sympathy: folks!)
    Oscar (He got on my nerves, it got annoying hearing "Get lost!" for the 30th time in one show)
    That you could see Elmo at the wedding (Elmo: Why is Elmo here if he wasn't born yet? Grover: Oh, stupid Sesame Workshop executives.)
    That creepy talking tree during the song
    The fact that it was nothing but a regular Sesame episode with Elmo's World around it.

    And I also pretty much hate everything else about the special.
  7. janicegroupie

    janicegroupie New Member

    I just got done reading everybody's reactions and I have to agree that I too felt cheated by having the whole special be an episode of Elmo's World. I actually have not really watched any new episodes of SS only read about them so it was kind of surprising to me how it seems to be just like an episode of Blue's Clues. I can see how this really appeals to kids though yet I was still disappointed because I thought there would be more flashback clips since it was an anniversary special. I know me and my fiancee watched expecting to relive our childhood instead we watched Elmo being really annoying. I had always liked Elmo but there was just way too much of him, but again I do see how he appeals to kids I just wish the special hadn't been all him. There were things I really liked about the show though one being the clips at the end those were awesome. Also I don't think people are giving enough credit to the song The Street We Live On. That was an amazing song and me feel a litte better about the new SS. Overall the special was a disappointment but at least there were some old clips and a great end song. I know next time not to set my expectations too high so I won't be disappointed again.
  8. mikebennidict

    mikebennidict New Member

    well i saw the SS special and i just loved it! not!!!!!!!! it was stupid!!!!!!!!!!!! yes there were some great momments. but not enough reminincing, too much elmo, and it was pathetic how they spent such a short time on the Mr. Hooper, Miles being adopted, Maria & Luis' Wdding and Gaby Being Born. shots. and there was no sound! please! the whole thing was more bad than good. and i don't wanna hear about the young kids of today and all that has been discussed about how kids are different today then from what they were when SS 1st hit the airwaves i do understand they're more of the focus and is generally more important. but they have every day Mon. thru Fri. for the kids. i think just this once they could of done a very good job compared to what they did and if the young ones liked it fine. but if not. oh well. they have all week long for the stuff they're most familier with.
  9. gildir

    gildir New Member


    The most important fact about the special which has not yet been emphasized enough is that it aired on Monday morning as a regular episode of Sesame Street in the regular time slot. (WGBH again refrained from having a voiceover during "Mahna Mahna" on this occasion.) Presumably it will be shown again in the future in the regular rotation of episodes. Therefore, it had to be written in such a way that it could stand as an ordinary episode while also serving as a nostalgic prime-time special. I don't think that it could have accomplished these two simultaneous goals any better than it did. Indeed, the cleverness shown in writing it with those goals in mind places it, not among my ten favorite episodes, but certainly among my 35 favorite episodes of all time.

    As others have pointed out, the entire purpose of the regular segments such as "Journey to Ernie" is to give children in this frazzled, fearful world a comforting sense of familiarity and predictability. Since "The Street We Live On" was to air as a regular episode, the inclusion of these segments was absolutely necessary, no matter what adult fans might think. Indeed, I was surprised the special departed from the usual format as much as it did by having the Letter and Number of the Day, "Journey to Ernie" and "Global Grover" interwoven with "Elmo's World" rather than being separate entities. Whatever one thinks of Elmo, this allowed the episode to flow better as a special.

    The Mr. Noodle, Question for You, Ask a Baby, Drawer and TV segments within "Elmo's World" were all used to celebrate Sesame Street in ways small children would understand, such as the discussions of how Cookie Monster would eat a cookie. And I suspect that the TV cartoon segment may have been a highlight of the special for casual adult viewers who would find it weird and trippy to see the familiar Muppet characters as cartoons rather than Muppets.

    Many fans have expressed a wish that Mr. Hooper had made a longer appearance. Given that this show had to be watched and enjoyed by three-year-olds, how could this have been accomplished? If Grover and Elmo had stayed in that timezone much longer, Elmo would have inevitably asked where Mr. Hooper was now, and Grover would have had to tell him he was dead. Death is a big concept that cannot be casually mentioned in a show for children of that age. (The reference in the final montage to Mr. Hooper "not coming back", out of context as it was, would have sailed right over young children's heads.) Elmo's visibility in the wedding scene was regrettable, but as a Doctor Who fan, I know that continuity errors are inevitable in an anniversary special for a long-running series, especially when the plot involves time travel.

    The time travel sequence could, of course, have been extended in scope to include events that Elmo actually remembered. This would have avoided the continuity error and allowed the inclusion of further big events like the revelation of Snuffy's existence, Slimy's trip to the Moon, the hurricane and the (post-9/11) firehouse visit, all of which were shown only in brief clips in the final montage (but those clips had sound). But this might have left insufficient time for the regular segments which, as I have explained, had to be included. (Indeed, the special had no opening title sequence, perhaps also for timing reasons.)

    As for the suggestions that a number other than 10 should have sponsored the special, all I can say is that I was overjoyed to see the "Song of 10" with the baker and the "10 tiny turtles on the telephone" again. And the operatic version of "C is for Cookie" with Marilyn Horne, which I had never seen before, is surely one of the best Sesame Street segments ever. (But I was underwhelmed by the song about counting 10 flowers by twos -- am I right in suspecting that it dates from after the passings of Raposo and Moss? Also, I distinctly recall seeing the "10 bells" section of the "Song of 10" in the early 80's -- if it was edited into the segment after the fact, this was done before then.)

    I have only one serious criticism of the special. I was a big fan of the late actress Lynne Thigpen, who starred on the "Carmen Sandiego" series as the Chief and appeared on CBS' "The District" as Ella Farmer. She also appeared on Sesame Street in the "Slimy to the Moon" storyline as the head of Mission Control. I missed all the episodes of that storyline because I was busy with school, and I very much wish that the final montage in the special had included a clip of Lynne Thigpen rather than the clip of Tony Bennett singing about Slimy. But other than this, I was extremely pleased with "The Street We Live On". And we did get to see Mr. Hooper, David, and both Ernie and Kermit played by Jim Henson.

    And even though I love Elmo, my jaw dropped open with surprise and pleasure when Oscar called him "the little red menace"! How many TV shows are that responsive to their fans?
  10. lowercasegods

    lowercasegods Member

    Sesame Street shows cracks in its pavement

    I'd like to think that my girlfriend and I were not the only ones who found the 35th anniversary special an atrocity. What should have been a warm and entertaining look back through interviews and ancient clips was instead an over extended Elmo's World episode (which, for the record, is absolute junk and should be removed from the regular episodes). Ideally the show should have been a lot like the 20th anniversary special which was hosted by Bill Cosby. Now that was a brilliant tribute, extremely touching, and hit all the necessary bases. The bit where Ray Charles sings Bein' Green never fails to floor me. The best parts of the 35th Anniversay special (and they're weren't many) were the few (and man do I mean few) brief clips from the past, like the footage of Mr. Hooper ("Who's that?" Asks Elmo. My answer: somebody with greater significance to the show than you'll ever have, you little fleece and fabric menace). The scene at the very end of the show with the classic Manah Manah song was so wonderful to see. That's how the whole show should have gone. And it was so great to see Gordon, Susan, Luis, Maria and Bob still keeping things together on the show. It'll be a dark day when they all move on. And I'm sorry, I love Kevin Clash and his contribution to the Muppets, but I hate Elmo and how he's taken over Sesame Street. The current powers that be of Sesame Street have no respect for the show's past at all. No mention was given of Joe Raposo, Jim Henson, Richard Hunt, Jeff Moss, Jon Stone or even Joan Ganz Cooney, just some of the great people who helped make Sesame Street the beautiful gift it was. The only good thing about Sesame Street's modern day incarnation is that new puppeteers (specifically Eric Jacobson) are bringing back long ignored characters such as Cookie and Grover. My hope is that the new generations that discover these characters will prefer them over Elmo. Kevin Clash needs to put that puppet down and show what else he can do. So bottom line, the special was horrible, and a sad sign of what's happening to the street. If this is the quality we can expect from now on, maybe we're all better off that the show has been cut down in its number of episodes this season. This is not what Jim Henson would have wanted for the show.
  11. Don_Music_2004

    Don_Music_2004 New Member

    I thought the special was pretty good, I think theyr'e gonna start using the Baker #10 films again.
  12. Cheebo

    Cheebo New Member

    Or they shouldn't of been nice and gave us the season premire a day earlier and at a new time?
  13. Convincing John

    Convincing John Well-Known Member

    But they can't show Rowlf...

    They could show those baker clips again...except for the #9 one...since :sympathy: is in it...(sigh).:(

    If they do show 'em again, I hope they don't add those annoying extra sound effects. It bugs me to no end when they do that! :grouchy: Extra "wobble" sound effects are used everywhere, and every time someone blinks, you hear a synthesized xylophone note, like in the Typewriter clips.:boo: To a "Sesame Seed" like me, it's like having a photo of an old friend suddenly get a permanent, unrepairable scratch across the middle.

    Convincing John
  14. Censored

    Censored Well-Known Member

    I think that banana in your ear is going through your brain. I guarantee you that it would be easier to get the existing episodes of any old television show through some circles than it is to get vintage Sesame Street episodes anywhere. Heck, even old shows that are considered racist such as "Amos and Andy" can be obtained. It makes absolutely no sense that a totally harmless show like Sesame Street would not be available in the same way. BTW, Erine81981, I think the majority of people on here are fond of the old days and want to see more of it. If our complaining bothers you that much, you might be happier on the current kiddy Sesame Workshop website. Just a suggestion.
  15. Censored

    Censored Well-Known Member

    Actually, Mr. Roger's philosophy was that kids never really change, which was why his show remained relatively the same throughout his lifetime. I think adults are the ones who change and they project it on to the children.
  16. Censored

    Censored Well-Known Member

    Perhaps, but making sure a scene doesn't include a character that was supposedly "not yet born" is a no-brainer. The truth is that there were many delightful things that were truly "before Elmo was born", such as their trip to New Mexico, SAM the Robot, other humans and muppets that have come and gone. They could have shown numerous memorable scenes from the 70's that would have made perfect sense for Elmo to be curious about. But no, even when they show the old days, it can't be too far back and the late 80's is about as far as they're willing to go (save a split second of a mute Mr. Hooper).
  17. Splurge

    Splurge Member

    The "10 bells" was edited into that skit/song for the longest time, it's not new. In fact I had no knowledge of "10 Little Indians" until I saw it on Noggin. They must have realized how problematic it could be and made that change very early on.

    I even remember Gladys the Cow making a reference to part of that film, which cuts off after the bells, and right to Gladys. She says, "You must admit, the number 10 has a nice ring to it." :D
    Jared DiCarlo likes this.
  18. Mark The Shark

    Mark The Shark New Member

    My reaction (36 year old SS veteran viewer)

    First: Does anyone else besides me find it a little ironic that an anniversary special for a supposedly *educational* children's TV show should have a *grammatically incorrect* title? ("The Street We Live On;" didn't anyone teach these people that a preposition is the wrong kind of word to end a sentence with?) (Before the humor-impaired jump on me, I'm aware I just did the same thing...it's a joke, kids, irony, get it?)

    I was really looking forward to this show after I read the same press release that the rest of you read a few months back. It sounded cool, like Elmo (who I find reasonably cute in very small doses, but irritating for more than a couple minutes) would maybe (through the magic of digital technology) would be *interacting* with Mr. Hooper, etc. but maybe I was just expecting too much...however, the cursory way in which that segment was done almost seems like it was *deliberately* glossed over, almost as a joke or commentary on the way SW has been criticized for ignoring its history sometimes. There is literally a seconds-long silent clip showing Mr. Hooper, his voice is never heard, then Grover says something along the lines of "You know Hooper's Store? That's Mr. Hooper. He used to own Hooper's store." And that was it! The other clips were just the same old ones they trot out on every special: the Maria/Luis wedding, adoption of Miles, etc. That was a big disappointment to me, especially since I was in high school or college when all of those segments originally aired and never watched them originally. Maybe I'm just a cantankerous old man, but the "foleying" of Grover's footsteps over the first 20 or so minutes really grew grating on my nerves after a while. The first half of the show just seemed to drag on and on and on...I have not really kept up with "Sesame Street" lately, but I watched a handful of shows over the last couple of years and most of what was in there seemed like more of the same...a long, drawn-out shoot-me-in-the-head "Elmo's World," "Journey To Ernie," etc. I kept saying, "Okay, yeah, and?"

    The clip montage at the end was cool, and it was nice how they started it off with Gordon's (the original Gordon, Matt Robinson's) introduction from the top of the very first show. The quick-flash clips that followed were all cool, but then, I have most of that on tape from Noggin. Nice to see Northern Calloway as David in there too.

    The Baker #10 film was very nice to see. I have grown very, very weary of "political correctness," and I understand the editing of the "10 Little Indians" segment, but come on...but seeing the "ten bells" part was very interesting. I do not remember that at all, and it looked like a vintage segment from the same time period or at least close. Anyone know the story on that? Has that been shown before and I just don't remember it? Also, I thought the addition of sound effects was unnecessary, though a lot less intrusive than it could have been, and if that helps to make some of these old segments more "repeatable" for a current audience, then it's a small price to pay to see some of this stuff again. I couldn't help but think, though, that if there had been one less monster in the "monster parade," then the "number of the day" would have had to be 9...and then we would have gotten to see the #9 Baker film with Rowlf in it ("Nine lights!") Well, maybe another day...

    I cheered for Oscar a little when he referred to Elmo as the "little red menace."

    There were a few "laugh-out-loud" moments for me. One was Grover's joke about having a cab actually stop for them, so it had to be a fantasy. That was funny. I also liked Grover's scene with the peacock. There were a few flashes of the kind of humor I remember from watching the show as a kid...the kind of jokes that parents would get, but kids probably wouldn't. The kind of writing that *respects* the viewers instead of talking down to them in a condescending way. When Ernie was doing "Dance Myself To Sleep," I almost got a little tiny bit choked up for a moment as I thought about the great songwriting that used to be part of the show. The song Elmo sang at the end of the show did not impress me, and it stood in stark contrast to the kind of writing and performing I remember. The show really has been "dumbed down," and that's a shame. As more and more newer and "hipper" shows come down the pike, SS is going to have a tougher and tougher time competing. If there was more stuff to grab the parents' attention, it could only be a positive and could help keep the show going and thriving for a little while longer than if they keep "dumbing the show down" and pandering and talking down to their audience. But that's just my observation.

    "And Gordon is still bald. Some things never change." That was kind of clever, although of course, that *did* change, since the original Gordon (in fact, the first two Gordons) were not bald.

    The opera interpretation of "C Is For Cookie" was pretty clever and inspired, at least I thought so. Whoever wrote that was probably laughing themselves silly while they were writing it. That's the kind of humor I remember; again, maybe there will be a return to that kind of humor to some degree.

    The "Manha Manha" clip that ran under the closing credits might actually have been the best of all the clips they showed. Of course, that was shown in a couple of "Unpaved" episodes, but was still cool to see again.

    I kind of liked that animated segment on the "Big Bird, Grover And Maria Channel" (which was enough of a "non-sequitur" by itself to get some snickers out of me). That was different.

    So overall, it was not a completely wasted hour. But did the content justify running it on a Sunday evening? I'd say no. I doubt a lot of parents or other adults would be too impressed with it. But hey, it wasn't a total loss.
  19. jzion12345

    jzion12345 New Member

    Well, on further review of this thread, I can tell you that two institutions of American TV have gone in completely different ways in preserving history. You look at Sesame street and The Price is Right, both shows on US TV for more than 30 years, and you see how they both have evolved over the years. Bob Barker does not have as much time to talk to the contestants as he used to. It frustrates him so much, that some games are so rushed and are pulled from the show. But, still, The Price is Right still remembers its past, even though owned by Freemantle. When Mark Goodson sold his library, some people say the show went down the tubes. The whole sense of family is lost. When the Barker's Beauties stopped being regulars and they started rotating models, the show started getting the feeling of being all about Bob. The same arguments can be made about Sesame Street. When Jim Henson sold sesame Street to CTW, now Sessame Workshop, many people say the show went down the tubes, that the show doesn't have a sense of history, that it had dumbed down the show, shifted focus. Yes...All of those points are right. neither children's programming of game shows are produced the same way they were 30 or more years ago. The Sesame Street some of us knew from 1969 is completely different from the one we know today. Even Bob Barker was a pretty plastic host back in the early days and look at him now after 32 years. Things change over time. Whether they change for the better or for worse is just your decision to make.
  20. Censored

    Censored Well-Known Member

    Also, game show fans may be one of the few other television audiences who would have the same difficulty in finding reruns of their favorite shows in their prime. I'm not even sure if they saved every episode of old game shows. Game shows aren't my thing, but if anything from television still exists, and it was good enough for public viewing at one time, people should be able to see it somehow today. Bring in the new, but don't erase the history of the old.

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