Sesame Street Season 46 Episode 4602 - Mucko Polo, Grouch Explorer

Drtooth

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I'm surprised we're still having Elmo the Musical . . . hasn't the hype over musicals kind of died down in recent years?
ETM only came out about a couple seasons ago. The segment was meant to replace Elmo's World, and frankly it was a far better segment. It wasn't written to talk down to kids, it was shorter and had a zippy pace. Problem is, it was expensive. Something tells me, to answer this question...

So that means they're alternating betwenn EW and EtM?
Indeed that seems to be the case. It's a money saving move. ETM only has a few segments because it, again, was expensive to produce. So naturally, instead of rerunning the same things over and over and not shooting too many more of those because money, they opted to just toss these back into the show. Thankfully it seems they alternate, but EW is just soooo late 90's-last decade in all counts. But the good thing is they cut a lot of the fat off of that bloated series to give it a less than 10 minute run time. Hopefully HBO's money goes further in the next season, the first made specifically for them (season 46 was in the can before the deal happened).

This episode was okay. The street story felt rushed, but it maintained a lot of the show's sense of humor, like Drtooth poinetd out, the Mucko POLO running gag being intentionally annoying very much in Sesame spirit.
Both street scenes felt very rushed,although I did enjoy the Mucko Polo street story,but it sort of felt like there was a scene or two missing from both street stories.
Welcome to the 27 minute format. All stories are going to be truncated, though hopefully future episodes will be written as 8-9 minute segments instead of crushing them into shorter time frames. That's something that's been a problem the past season as well. And those were hour long formats.
 

zhelder

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A few thoughts on Season 46...

- I like the new opening song. It may be a bit too polished, glossy, and corporate, and maybe a touch more "Barnified" than the last few themes with the super-sweet, happy chorus of kids that's sure to dazzle two-year-olds, but it sounds... nice.

- I love the new ending song. Good rhythm, good composing, good singing. Good job.

- It's criminal that the show no longer ends with the sponsoring letters and numbers. It's a show hallmark, and should not have been eliminated. Thank goodness the shows are still numbered at the beginning.

- Nina is OK, but comes across to me like a direct Leela replacement. I almost feel like the producers must've thought Leela was "too old" and they had to get a younger, peppier girl. (And, aside from the Latina ethnicity, I see absolutely no resemblance to Maria.)

- The 30 minute format is a killer, especially with the main story segment chomping up 10 minutes and Elmo's World/Elmo the Musical chomping up another 10. The show is too brief. And recycling Elmo's World? They'd be much better off showing classic 70s and 80s Muppet sketches.

- When I first heard Billy Barkhurst perform Ernie a couple of years ago, I thought my television speakers broke the voice was so bad. Well, the guy must have been studying a lot, because he now sounds excellent.

- I still hope and pray that Frank Oz will one day come back to perform Cookie Monster. David Rudman has improved a lot over the years, but still can't hold a candle to Frank's Cookie.

Overall, I was a little disappointed. The show is too rushed, has too many long recycled elements, and I fear that as we get further into the HBO seasons, the show is going to baby itself down (again).
 

MuppetSpot

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I know Joey play one of the grouches, who did the other Grouch, David Rudman, Tyler Bunch, or Matt Vogel.
 

tutter_fan

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I thought the running gag was pretty funny myself. Sure, Oscar found it annoying, but I didn't!!!!
 

Drtooth

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- I like the new opening song. It may be a bit too polished, glossy, and corporate, and maybe a touch more "Barnified" than the last few themes with the super-sweet, happy chorus of kids that's sure to dazzle two-year-olds, but it sounds... nice.
I'll take anything that doesn't have the embarrassing Zoe puppet in it. The show was due for a theme song change, they put it off until now. I'm mixed about it as well. The "Oooh Yeah OOOh Yeah" opening I kinda don't care for. Though, usually I hate ukulele and chime arrangements, or at all (commercials use them to sound all quirky), I dig there use here. The slow-mo thing I'm still ambivalent about. It's an overdrawn, overwrought special effect I've got sick of seeing in movies. Here, it does kinda work. It's not their fault Hollywood has used that to death since The Matrix.

- It's criminal that the show no longer ends with the sponsoring letters and numbers. It's a show hallmark, and should not have been eliminated. Thank goodness the shows are still numbered at the beginning.
It's unfortunate that had to go, but with everyone watching crap online now, would that even register? The letters and numbers were always supposed to be the commercial breaks of the show, and it really hasn't had that since before the 32nd (or is it 33rd) season of the show. If SW wants to emulate advertising now, there'd be a minute and a half opening about the letter M before the show started and pop up ads on the side of the show and during for the number 12.

- The 30 minute format is a killer, especially with the main story segment chomping up 10 minutes and Elmo's World/Elmo the Musical chomping up another 10. The show is too brief. And recycling Elmo's World? They'd be much better off showing classic 70s and 80s Muppet sketches.
For the record Classic segments from the show are never going to be part of the show again and why would we want that? Why wait around through a bunch of Elmo-centric sketches for the offhand chance maybe a remake of Rubber Duckie may be on when we can watch rare bits on Youtube? They're not going to magically show a Placido Flamingo opera no matter how much money they don't have. I'd be surprised if they even showed something as old as Elmo's World is.

But I do see the point in Elmo's World not deserving to be back on the show. Ideally, I'd think ETM should alternate with other segments (Smart Cookies, Super Grover 2.0) so there would be more time for letter and number segments, and maybe another sketch or film in the show. But then again, if they did anything to Elmo's screentime, a bunch of parents would complain their kids aren't focused. Shame that the show dug itself into that hole way back when. Now it can never dig itself out.

Overall, I agree with the complaint about the show being 30, well...27 minutes (theme song and ending included). But the past few seasons showed they weren't capable of filling the 50-something minutes they used to have either. That's the only reason Abby's Flying School was still part of the show, even though they haven't had new segments for over 2 seasons. To fill out time with something they spent a crapload of money on. It's almost as if the perfect runtime would be 45 minutes, but there's no such thing as a show that runs for that specific length of time. So the show is stuck with a rushed, breakneck pace, or 10-20 minutes of filler. And no, that filler will never be "Me Gotta Be Blue."
 

AndyWan Kenobi

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It wasn't so much his voice, it was his inflections, he almost sounded like he was self-inducing some kind of an odd accent, like he was hamming it up for the scene or something.
Yeah-- it sounded to me like he was trying out his Christoph Waltz impression. I was tickled by it!
 

zucca

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What bothered me was that they basically reused the "Explore" theme from last season-- everything after the street story was from "Everyday Magic" (where that was the Word of the Day) so it was basically just watching that episode again after 10 minutes.
 

Oscarfan

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So far, I don't really mind the changes that much. WOTS is gone, which isn't awful. I do like the Muppet characters doing the cold opens.

The opening theme is a tad too happy sounding, but it's visually great. It makes the street look like a an actual place, exactly the kind of feeling it should give off. I do like the closing song though, super catchy.

I'm a little upset at the loss of "Brought to you by..." Yes, the show isn't the same as it was in 1969, and that's one of the things that's been a constant since. And it does seem like an artifact now and even the past couple of seasons, it seems more of a last-minute tacked on thing. It kinda feels weird though to go straight from the end of a random segment to the credits; there's not really a sense of closure.

I will say there should not be an Elmo segment at the end of each episode, which appears to be the thing. He's going to be more prominent than ever with the street stories, there's no reason for him to have a segment of his be in every episode. They should do what the half-hours on PBS do and rotate the long-form segments episode-by-episode. The pacing of the whole half-hour is really off, especially in the street stories.

It's hard to tell from just two episodes, but I hope things can improve in the future installments.
 
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