As a father to a two-year-old, I see my fair share of Sesame Street. She doesn’t watch much TV, and what she sees is pretty much limited to our Sesame Street Old School DVDs and Sesame Street On Demand. While I love sitting down and watching a show from the early 70s, it’s the more recent episodes On Demand that are a little more painful to watch.
While it’s comforting to see so many of the same faces, alebeit much older, the current version of the show lacks the same magic. The scripts feel forced and the people on the show feel like actors rather than people that actually live on a street with a gigantic bird and a green grouch. And while the formerly Henson-voiced characters still sound pretty good, the overall vibe of the show lacks the punch it used to have. And I don’t just think it’s because I’m older, either… my daughter prefers the older episodes.
I put the blame on two things: Elmo (easy target) and writing that no longer takes parents watching with their kids into consideration. The in-jokes that were frequent in the late 70s and early 80s are all but missing today.
So, I suppose I’ll just have to wait for the next batch of Sesame Street Old School DVDs, back in a day when the writing was extra-smart and Elmo was a background character (if he existed at all).