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Things you miss

Discussion in 'Classic Sesame Street' started by galagr, Sep 30, 2012.

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What do you miss the most?

  1. The old Charcters

    79.2%
  2. The animations

    33.3%
  3. Certain Cast Members

    37.5%
  4. The Setting

    20.8%
  5. Nothing

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
Multiple votes are allowed.

  1. ISNorden

    ISNorden Active Member

    I miss a lot more than just "not having too much Elmo"; here's my list in no particular order--

    • So many old characters who were lost because the performer died and/or left the show: not just Muppets like Mumford, Herry, and Little Bird, but also human cast members like David, Mr. Hooper, and Olivia.
    • So many old songs and sketches that didn't need remaking to teach the same lesson today: Bud Luckey's original "Ladybugs' Picnic" beats the CGI version any day. And the theme song...I miss the version that played every weekday for 20-odd years (not counting the rewritten arrangements during "trip weeks", though those were OK in my book).
    • Long street stories that couldn't be resolved in 15 minutes or less, and involved more than a handful of characters (sometimes even the whole neighborhood).
    • Less predictable structure than the show has had for 10-11 seasons. Not knowing what the next segment was going to teach was part of the fun, but I learned a heck of a lot anyhow!
    • Multiple letters per day. When was the last time someone needed to recognize only one letter to read a longer word? (I can understand how multiple numbers per day might confuse someone today, though--especially with numbers above 12 in the curriculum. Counting a whole lot of shapes on two different cards would be trouble for someone who can't tell 13 squares from 14 of them!)
    • Multiple clips about any topic important enough to teach. Kids need to learn about the same things in different contexts--and some children learn differently from others.
    • Just-plain-fun fillers, as long as they're kept to a minimum (those short, abstract animations they used to link sketches were awesome!)
    • Kids behaving naturally in real-world settings, or talking to cast members spontaneously.
    • Trip weeks. Seeing some of the cast (human and Muppet) in a different real-world setting, making discoveries and friends wherever they go.
    You get the idea: not all changes on Sesame Street involve budget cuts, concerned parents, or younger viewers. Some of what I miss is just a different style of teaching and performing...and an attitude that doesn't talk down to kids.
    Katzi428, Sesame Skates and heralde like this.
  2. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I miss when they didn't hammer a single subject into kids as part of an initiative due to failures in our education system. Sesame Street always had a buffet style of topics, an would always touch on a little bit of everything in a single episode. It's gotten better so far this season (out of 6 episodes), but when complex (for the demographic) scientific concepts start edging out reading and basic math, you know something's up.

    Not to mention that awful health initiative. I don't know if I hate that one more or just as much as the natural sciences initiative.
  3. muppet maniac

    muppet maniac Well-Known Member

    I was going to vote "Nothing" on this, but...

    I much preferred it when the show wasn't celebrity/pop culture heavy like it's become in recent years. I know that both of these things have been a tradition of Sesame Street since the beginning, but it seems like every episode nowadays needs to have some A-list personality or a few cultural references just for the sake of having them on there.
  4. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    Yes! I miss that too! I miss seeing how genuinely excited those kids looked being on the street, and interacting with the people and the Muppets, nowadays, the kids all look robotic and like they dread being there; there are very few exceptions anymore, like that Antonio kid who did a few inserts with Papa Bear, or pre-Murray Murray (when he was known as "Filfil").
    YES! I've said that many times before too, you're right, celebrities and pop culture references have always been a part of the show from the beginning, but there was a time when you DIDN'T see a celebrity EVERY SINGLE DAY. Not only that, but I notice in addition to the bits we have today where an A-lister and a Muppet (usually Elmo, Abby, or Murray) discuss the Word of the Day, but it's like every single street story anymore has a celebrity guest star (NPH as a shoe fairy, Jimmy Fallon as a survivalist, etc). I know Joan Ganz Cooney said they decided to do that to encourage the parents and other adults to watch the show as well, but it almost seems as if they're ringing of desperation the way they've been doing it lately.
    heralde and Sesame Skates like this.
  5. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    That is usually what that indicates on Television. ;)
  6. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    It a symptom of a show that used to be created more organically and has now become a corporate entity. You know like Barney (remember that show's robot kids? ::shivers:: ). Lol
  7. Oscarfan

    Oscarfan Well-Known Member

    Not every street story has a celebrity in it (last season had, like, 3). And the reason they mostly appear with Elmo, Abby and Murray is because the Word of the Day bits are filmed in LA, so they can only bring a few puppeteers (normally Kevin, Leslie, Matt and Joey).
  8. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    It's SS's attempt to swing people away from the cable competition. I like the parodies, I like the guest stars on the street, but it seems that they're marketing them over the existing characters that are arguably more famous than half of them. Elmo alone has had a steady career for almost 30 years (the scary thing is, we're just about 3 years shy of that milestone). But even Elmo can't sell Elmo DVD's

    Celebrity guest appearances always were a staple, sure... but they were never marketed over the characters, and most of all, they were always a surprise. But that last bit isn't exactly their fault. The press releases hit the internet to the point where SW has been releasing press packets for everyone to peruse for the past several seasons. Kinda like how we find out every single detail in a movie before the first trailer gets to theaters to the point we know exactly which movie to see to see the trailer of it. Internetz spoils everything, and ruins every surprise.
  9. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    Well the original characters that still appear are well known and Elmo certainly is. I don't think the other characters are too well known outside of the age group.
  10. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Elmo is a celebrity in his own right. Big Bird, Cookie Monster, Ernie, Bert, Grover, The Count, and Oscar are very well known as well. More people know Sesame Street Muppets than Muppet Show Muppets. I don't really feel they need to emphasize celebrity and spoof segments, but it has to do more with trying to get adults that could care less about the show to watch it with their kids. The first time parents that grew out of that stuff quickly.

    Still, there's a lot of B and C-listers that appear from time to time, and the main characters are much more instantly recognizable.
  11. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    But they're not being utilized as much. And the newer characters never did really reach that level of instant recognition.
  12. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Well, sort of sort of. Kids know who Cookie Monster is, definitely. Grover's utilized quite a bit. Oscar toys are all over the shelves. It's the fan favorites like Sherlock Hemlock that they'd have problems with.

    But the older fans know who they are, and will watch the show with their kids to see if they can find them. In the instance of disgust for the characters going underused, that's what the online clips are for.
  13. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    And that's the future anyway. The gov't and corporations just want to delay it as much as possible, hehe.
  14. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    SW has been good with online clips. They didn't even demand fans take down their grainy old video taped versions.

    But on the vein of celebrities, and I kinda mentioned it before... I miss when everything was a surprise. Now we know when everything is, and again, it's an internet issue.

    But there's just something wonderful about surprises. They still manage to have a few. Ernie's "I wonder" song was a pleasant surprise.
    Oscarfan likes this.
  15. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    True, they definitely have.

    I find that you just have to know where not to go, lol.
  16. JLG

    JLG Member

    I could say a lot of things, but I'm gonna try to boil it down.

    What I really miss is the casual feeling it used to have. You'd be visiting a familiar place, full of familiar friends you knew so well, but your visits were always unplanned. You'd just wander along, not in any hurry, not going anywhere in particular, waving to all the friends you saw along the way, not knowing who would and wouldn't happen to be around that day. And you'd never know what was around the next corner---the place was so huge and so full of nooks and crannies. Even sticking to the same path would never result in having quite the same journey twice.
    I really miss that.
    Today, the visits are very different. You can't just wander around, you're guided. Everything is planned and organized. There's no time to just stop and reflect on the scenery, because you gotta stick to the schedule. Hustle hustle hustle. As a result, you see much less and have a smaller experience.

    Many of the individual things I miss can fit somewhere inside what I said above. The variety, the eclecticness, the mishmash quality, the breezy casualness that somehow managed to prevail despite all the research behind it....
    And also the greater breathing room that all your friends, human and Muppet alike, had to develop organically and be themselves, much less weighed down by specific guidelines. The longer storylines---and story arcs----afforded them that, as well as the improvisional quality many scenes used to have. Not so much today.

    The show used to just be so....big. It was a BIG place to visit, and you could totally get lost inside of there, encountering everything from a talking typewriter to a girl taking her llama to the dentist. But since today we have to stick to the path set by the tour guide, we don't get to see people like that anymore, or have the opportunity to meet new friends just as varied and interesting.
    heralde, Drtooth and muppet maniac like this.
  17. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    That sums up the problem perfectly. The structure season (32) ruined the course of the show. They were getting more structured before that, lumping the number and letter sketches with each other... but there's no time to stop and smell the Muppet flowers, since everything has to fall into the place of a rigid schedule of celebrity appearance, parody, Abby segment, Super Grover segment, Letter and Numbner segments, Elmo the Musical, and whatever's left has to tie in to some part of the curriculum. Most people say the show has dumbed down... I say it's quite the opposite. Now it's too busy and all over the place. They tried to get it back to where it was, but then they decided upon the block format, and that became a ratings hit. That means, they're sticking with it for a while.
  18. Katzi428

    Katzi428 Well-Known Member

    Well, ISNorden pretty much said what I miss. (Then again she & I are about the same age & grew up on the old school SS B.E....AKA Before Elmo) There weren't any 20 minute skits centered around 1 character like there are today. I think they've pretty much babyfied SS . (yes..I know there's no such word as "babyfied" ) But my 5 year old niece stopped watching SS when she was about 3.
    Someone mentioned when the cast went on trips. SS should NEVER have stopped that. I enjoyed that when I was a kid! Seeing the cast go to Hawaii, Puerto Rico, New Mexico was interesting! Instead now they devote their time to 20 minutes of Elmo's World & NOW what's this about MORE Elmo? ! They should've given Elmo his own show if kids loved him so darn much!(although if Romney gets elected I don't see that happening)
    ANYWAY(I'm muffining here)
    They should try to cut down some of the skits down & get back down to basics & get back to on the street stories & some of the stuff they used to show in the 70s & 80s (with a new twist) like Today's Secret Drawing & One Of These Things w/the adult characters singing & voicing(like Bob) over the clip.
  19. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    With such a meager budget as they have, they probably can't afford to do any traveling/vacation episodes anymore.

    Heck, I was disappointed during that really short story-arc back in Season 37, when we never actually saw Gina and Maria travelling to Guatemala so Gina could adopt Marco... I thought that at least had potential of maybe further exploring the story a bit, if not also, squeeze a few little educational tidbits about Guatemala and everything... if anything, they could have had a nice little emotional moment when Gina holds Marco in her arms for the first time.

    Speaking of which, considering I haven't been able to watch in such a long time, I assume Marco is probably walking and talking by now, isn't he?
  20. Katzi428

    Katzi428 Well-Known Member

    To be honest I forgot all about Gina traveling to Guatemala to adopt adopt Marco.(I forgot about Marco himself. Sorry!) And yes..I'm sure he's walking & talking.
    Another thing. a while ago they had a story about "Bob's Deaf Niece" Samara.That was probably just a 1 episode thing right. How soon they forget about Linda who was there for more than I'd say over 5 seasons? Kids need to be taught about handicapped people .A LOT of handicapped people had been on the show(I don't need to make a list). Did the present writers of SS want to ignore the fact that there are handicapped people in the world?OK Canadian friends ...wasn't there a little girl Muppet named Katie that was in a wheelchair on "Sesame Park"? It's like the American version of SS all of a sudden wants to shield their kids from the handicapped!Aristotle the blind monster apparently didn't last long. That's not right!:mad:

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