Sesame Street Season 46 Episode 4615 - Birdie and the Beast

Oscarfan

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Also, is this the first time this season in which ETM was shown in it's entirety?
It was missing about 30 seconds, but yeah. I was surprised to see it shown so long.

I did really like the street story; the sets, the puppets, it all looked very nice.
 

BlakeConor14

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Oh o.k. as I dont get sesame street over in England so I didn't know
 

antsamthompson9

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It was missing about 30 seconds, but yeah. I was surprised to see it shown so long.
I didn't watch it, I just fast-forwarded it. So I didn't know something was edited out. Still it's close to the whole thing.
 

Drtooth

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UGH! Naturally, HBO has a free preview weekend to co-incide with the Game of Thrones premiere, and the next episode of Sesame Street simply has to be a reused episode. On the plus side, I might just catch this episode's rebroadcast.
 

Drtooth

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I'm glad that we actually had some actual scenery for a change instead of more of the chromakey and CGI (though there was some for obvious visual effects and such), and funnily enough, the set design for the Beast's castle looked like something out of a Sid & Marty Krofft show. I loved the design of the Beast puppet, and overall, Big Bird's story felt very much in spirit of what SST has always been about: teach through humor and entertainment, because that's what this episode was - very humorous and entertaining.
Absolutely. This was the season's best episode so far, and it didn't feel rushed or abrupt like some of the other episodes did. A nice self contained street story starring Big Bird. Elmo and Abby were there for the sake of having them there. They could have been any character, but that's the only thing that was a nitpick.

I also love that they went with more practical effects in this episode. They were simplistic as heck, but it worked beautifully. I absolutely loved the look of the paper thin settings and puppets. And while most other characters in these self regulation episodes are usually varying levels of obnoxious, Tyler played the heck out of The Beast. Loved the puppet for him too. And I dug the song parodies. Not sure if the first one was supposed to be something, I'd assume it's "Be our Guest," but the second song was unmistakably "Something there that wasn't there Before." Sure, it's decades late, but they did a Disney Beauty and the Beast parody and pulled it off wonderfully.

And I give them credit for finding an animated that fits in with the show's subject matter and actually features the letter of the day.
 

Daffyfan4ever

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That said, it was really sad listening to how Caroll just can't reach that high a level of voice for Big Bird anymore, but I'm just thankful that Caroll's still involved with the show in general, even if he's on the sidelines now like Jerry was for the last few years or his life.

And lemme guess . . . John Kennedy was Beast? Care to confirm, Shane?
Actually, it seemed like Carroll and Matt split the role of BB for this ep. It did sound like Matt's BB voice at least in the story. Another clue is the JTE like backgrounds and Matt always performed BB in those, but I'm just guessing there.
 

antsamthompson9

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I really hope @Pig's Laundry or someone watches this episode on PBS tomorrow and replies to this thread. These threads really need to get more attention after the shows air on PBS.
 

CoolGuy1013

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These threads really need to get more attention after the shows air on PBS.
And that’s where I come in…

Welcome to the series finale of CoolGuy Reviews! Wait, what?
OK, if you’re unaware, in the thread for episode 5035, I said that the CoolGuy Reviews title would be reserved for my reviews of the upcoming HBO Max episodes, with the remaining HBO episodes to be reviewed under “CoolGuy’s Other Reviews” (I thought of “CoolGuy’s Classic Reviews”, but these episodes certainly aren’t classic yet). And this review would be the last one of an HBO episode published with the “CoolGuy Reviews” title. With that said, Birdie and the Beast. Will this episode make me like happily ever after, or will it be much more Grimm (get it?) Let’s find out.

The episode starts with Cookie Monster setting up the theme of fairy tales by reading a book of them. I’ll give you 5 seconds to guess the punchline. Oh wait, you don’t need to, because you already know what it’ll be. Yup, he eats the book. Predictable, but not much else to say.

Alright, now for the episode proper, and I’m pretty sure this is the first Big Bird-centric episode of the HBO era. The plot is basically Big Bird writes a story, and reads it to his friends. While we occasionally cut back to them reacting to it, the episode mostly takes place in the story, so let’s talk about it.
In the story, Big Bird plays Birdie, who has just moved to a nest next to a castle, which he decides to go investigate. Credit to the people who designed the interior to the castle, it looks great, and is a nice change from the typical green screen/CGI they usually use. The props look nicely designed too. Anyway, when he arrives, he meets a rather unfriendly beast, who sings about how he’s a beast and doesn’t like to share. The songs in this episode are definitely some of the best of the season, by the way.
But enough gushing over little things, when Birdie decides to leave, Beast prohibits him from doing it, as he must make a friend before all the coconuts fall from a tree in the middle of the room. It turns out he’s under a curse, and will remain cursed forever if he doesn’t. After Birdie refuses, Beast gets mad and a coconut falls. He then traps Birdie in the castle until he became his friend. The next few scenes are pretty simple. Birdie tries to play a game with Beast, Beast cheats, and another coconut falls. Birdie tries to have a picnic with Beast, Beast eats all the food, another coconut falls. These scenes, despite their simplicity, are pretty entertaining nonetheless, and it was kinda funny when Beast mistook the word “share” for “shrub”.
After the picnic, Birdie is fed up, and decides to leave. After Beast realizes he’s down to the last coconut, he begins crying, and Birdie comes back, deciding to help him through another really good song. Beast is now happy again, and realizes the error of his ways, unlocking the door to free Birdie. With this, Birdie finally becomes Beast’s friend, and the curse is lifted. In a pretty funny twist, it turns out that, the curse merely messed up Beast’s hair. And with another brief song, the story is finished.
All in all, this was a really good Street story, probably the best I’ve reviewed so far. That said, it was kind of disheartening listening to it. If you don’t know, Season 46 and 47 were Caroll’s last seasons doing the voices of his characters, and with BB having a major role in this one, it’s a little depressing to hear him with such a weak, quiet voice. Oh well, doesn’t really affect the story's quality that much.

Now onto the letter of the day, F. And for it, we get a fantastic letter segment. Notice the lack of quotes around Letter, as this one actually focuses on both the letter and the theme, something of a rarity following this season. Anyway, the segment tells the story of knight named Fearless Fred preparing to face a fearsome dragon, encountering a little girl named Franny Jones (who looks suspiciously like the story’s narrator) along the way. After reluctantly letting Franny join him, the duo meet the dragon, who, ironically, scares Fred. This disheartens the dragon, until Franny comforts him, finding out that he’s friendly. Franny apologizes to the dragon for offending him, and the segment ends.
This is probably one of my favorite letter segments of the era. It was made by the same crew behind “D for Dinosaur” from When Dinosaurs Walked Sesame Street, another actual letter segment. And one more thing, I completely forgot to mention that it’s a song.

Strangely enough, this episode has no short-form segment between the LOTD and NOTD, nor anywhere else in the episode like Bedtime Story and Funny Farm did. There is only a other episode like this and it’ll probably take me a while to review it, so let’s briefly tackle the Number of the Day, 0.
Fittingly enough, we get 0 Segments other that the introduction (though I did love the Count stomping 0 times) so now I can finally tackle the ETM, which was used in the Princess Story, But since this episode has the complete version, I intentionally held off reviewing it until this one.

Like all Elmo the Musical Segments, this one begins with Elmo imagining what he wants today’s musical to be about, eventually deciding to play a prince. He then imagines a kingdom and some mice as guards. After a song that kinda sucks, it turns out that a dragon it terrorizing a town in his kingdom, which it takes very confusing directions to get to. After some pointless scenes involving a burping hill of beans (I’m just as confused as you are), 5 friendly singing frogs (the most normal thing here), and a hiccuping hoop (also confusing), they finally make it to the Johnny Cash-esque dragon, who is terrorizing the town with his halitosis. He even sings about it in a song that is admittedly not the bad as far as country music goes. Anyway, Elmo decides the only way to defeat him is by making his own breath stinkier. He does so by eating 5 pieces of garlic and 5 piece of Limburger. It works, and the segment ends.

So that was Birdie and the Beast. I love it. The street story was one of if not the best of season 46, the letter segment was great, and I even liked the NOTD regardless of a lack of segments. While I felt Elmo the Musical was a bit weak, it doesn’t affect the episode too much, and I feel confident in giving it a 9/10. Great way to kind of end the show.
On that note, I got a footstool with a secret little zippered compartment for my birthday. In it, I placed the episode numbers for the remaining HBO episodes, and will draw one at random at the end of each review to decide the next one. And for the next episode, we’re going into one that could be considered pretty topical nowadays. See you all in the next review!
 
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