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Your Thoughts: Sesame Street Documentary "Sesame Street: 50 Years of Sunny Days"

Phillip

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Documentary - Sesame Street: 50 Years of Sunny Days
ABC Premiere: April 26, 2021

For the first time in over a decade, an all-new Sesame Street special is airing on one of the big three networks. Monday night, watch an all-new documentary, "50 Years of Sunny Days" at 8|7c on ABC. See classic clips, celebrity guests, never-before-seen footage, and a new performance from Stevie Wonder.

Please note, this documentary will be available on-demand on Hulu and other services on Tuesday, April 27, 2021. This is a different documentary than the PBS production, "Sesame Street: 50 Years and Still Sunny!" which aired last year with a similar title.

On Monday, April 26 (8:00-10:00 p.m. EDT), ABC presents "Sesame Street: 50 Years of Sunny Days," a two-hour documentary special produced by TIME Studios, highlighting the 50-year impact of this iconic show and the nonprofit behind it, Sesame Workshop. The documentary features special guests including W. Kamau Bell, Gloria Estefan, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Whoopi Goldberg, Christopher Jackson, John Legend, Lucy Liu, Olivia Munn, Questlove, Chrissy Teigen and Usher. Additional participating celebrities to be announced at a later date. The special can be viewed the next day on demand.

For over 50 years, "Sesame Street" has addressed and explained diversity, equity, and inclusion around the globe by using the universal tools of music, empathy and celebrity. Through its iconic shows and targeted outreach, Sesame Workshop has found ways to make these daunting and seemingly impossible conversations accessible to people of all ages, usually delivered with the help of a furry friend. "Sesame Street: 50 Years of Sunny Days" reflects upon the efforts that have earned "Sesame Street" unparalleled respect and qualification around the globe, including addressing their responsibility to social issues that have historically been seen as taboo such as racial injustice. This special also chronicles the creation and introduction of a Black family of "Sesame Street" Muppets, Wes and Elijah Walker, a father-and-son duo who are at the heart of Sesame Workshop's new racial justice initiative Coming Together.

For TIME Studios, the production is directed by Rebecca Gitlitz and executive produced by Alexa Conway and Ian Orefice.

If you saw this documentary, please "like" this post and share your thoughts below.
 

Robinlover

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I’m watching this right now and they just now showed within the first 10 minutes about 20ish seconds of ‘Snuffys Parents Get a Divorce’. At least we know it’s still intact. I couldn’t be more happy to see those 20 seconds.
 

minor muppetz

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I wasn’t expecting clips from the divorce episode and Mr. Hooper’s death to be shown within the first 12 minutes.
 

D'Snowth

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Nor the discussion of the George Floyd murder in the first half hour.
 

minor muppetz

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Within a half hour I figured that this must be focusing primarily on the moments that were a big deal for the show.
 

mbmfrog

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I am a bit surprised that this is focused on current events with little focus on the past of the show. I understand that Sesame Street has a huge impact thanks to current events, but I was hoping for more of a look back on the history of the series and its cast.
 

D'Snowth

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I am a bit surprised that this is focused on current events with little focus on the past of the show. I understand that Sesame Street has a huge impact thanks to current events, but I was hoping for more of a look back on the history of the series and its cast.
Yeah, I was getting ready to point this out as well; it felt like the history of SS was but a mere foreword to a documentary of how SS has tackled and handled current events in recent years - and even now, we're getting ready to discuss the COVID pandemic after the current commercial break.

I feel like perhaps STREET GANG will be more along the lines of a retrospective.
 

Oscarfan

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I think the promos might have been a little misleading about this being a nostalgia trip, I wouldn't disagree. The actual written statements about it though made it clear what this was about.

I liked it. If you want something telling you about the creation of the show, there's plenty of books and documentary things (including the newest one) that will give you that information. You want to relive classic moments? Go to YouTube or get the DVDs/HBO Max. There isn't as much beyond that World According to Sesame doc showing the scope of the social issues they address. And I think this really put some things into perspective, especially hearing from people who the issues actually affect/affected.

The E&B part was an interesting inclusion. Seeing this now, I think I do agree that their past statements about their relationship weren't right, and I think that's partly because what they were responding to wasn't actually serious. It was things like jokes on FRIENDS or Family Guy calling the two gay rather than any actual LGBTQ+ people believing it, so their response was naturally making a joke right back at it.

Only things I didn't quite like is the music was a little much sometimes, and I feel like Maria, having actually been there, should have been the one to talk about Mr. Hooper's death (no disrespect to Alan Muraoka).
 
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D'Snowth

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Admittedly, if there was one thing about this special that bothered me just in the slightest, was taking certain clips from classic sitcoms and basically using them to illustrate what narrow-mindedness looked among the television landscape in previous decades . . . that's such a Millennial thing. Like showing that clip from the GREEN ACRES pilot of Oliver telling Lisa about how he bought a farm . . . that's bad how? Otherwise, some of it was also kind of cherry-picking as well, like that clip from the BEWITCHED pilot of Darrin telling Samantha she has to learn to cook and keep house and such - Millennials like to point that out as an example of backward thinking when it comes to women's places in society, and while they're not wrong, they're missing the entire point of what BEWITCHED was all about: Darrin's attitude about how he perceives what a "normal life" should be like aside, it was Samantha's decision to do this for Darrin because she loved him so much, she was willing to give up her witchcraft, and the power of having whatever she wanted with the twitch of her nose, because she would've rather Darrin provide for her out of his love for her. In fact, BEWITCHED tackled a lot of social and civil issues in its own way back in the 60s: witches and warlocks were almost an allegory to minorities in society, they sort of lived their own lives away from the rest of the mortal world, and so for Samantha, a witch, to marry Darrin, a mortal, that was seens as something of a mixed marriage that Samantha's parents (who were legally separated at a time where the subject of divorce and separation were considered taboo in television) didn't necessarily approve of. And again, Samantha herself was never just a submissive little housewife, she was clever and resourceful, and try as she may, she only used her witchcraft as a last resort to help her out of a jam when push came to shove.
 

The Count

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So after watching the special, it makes me reaffirm if only to my own self why I feel proud at times to call myself a Sesame Seed (equivalent to Walters).

Yeah, it wasn't so much the 50th anniversary retrospective two years too late D'snowth jokingly called it that I agreed with we expected it to be. It was more promoting what we'll be getting next season with the additions of Elijah and Wes to the cast. And of course, the talk about the current events shaping Sesame's outreach across the globe and history of racial/cultural diversity/inclusion.

Yes, I have questions regarding certain segments of this special due to my blindness... But I'll save those for other posts should I remember them.

For now, in closing, the special made me remember a Sesame song I love that I haven't heard in years made all the sweeter because of the film accompanying it as it's sung by different children: "We all sing with the same song, the same voice, the same song. We all sing with the same voice, and we sing in harmony."
 
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