In our reviews of Sesame Street’s first 36 seasons, all of the reviewers have been adults. We all grew up with Sesame Street, of course, so every single piece has been written from the perspective of someone who has nostalgia for the show. 

For season 37, we’re going to offer a different perspective. I have two small children – Iris (age 4 ½ years) and Miles (age 17 months). I sat down with them and watched five complete episodes from season 37. For each of these five, I’m going to share Iris’s thoughts and a list of the songs that Miles danced to. He’s a big dance guy.

Episode 4109: Abby Cadabby Moves to Sesame Street

Iris’s thoughts on the introduction of Abby, a character she loves:

Favorite part: “Baby Puffins are so cute! Well, and there were two princesses – Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella, which was really weird that Cinderella was in Sleeping Beauty.”

Favorite song: “Count Me In, because it has a lot of kids that I wanted to play with but I couldn’t”

Favorite character: “Abby because she first moved and I liked when we moved here.”

Funniest Part: “Well, I laughed when Cookie Monster ate the M that wasn’t really a cookie, because he always does that!”

Miles danced enthusiastically to:

  • “Someone to Play With”
  • “It Feels Good When You Sing a Song”
  • Count Me In
  • “Elmo’s World theme”

Episode 4126: “Zoe has a Birthday Party for Rocco”

Iris is a lot like Zoe. Like, a *lot*. Sometimes my wife Rosalynn and I are startled by how similar they are. Iris loves to dance, wear tutus, and be in charge of situations. But most importantly, she loves rocks. She loved rocks before she ever saw Sesame Street or Zoe. She has two rock collections – one inside and one outside – so she is actual target audience for this episode.

Favorite part: “The rock birthday party, because it was a birthday party for a rock. My rocks have names and Rocco has a name. Rocky and Rockalina, and I gotta think for the names in front. Because Rockalina’s birthday is next morning. Daddy, if you find a rock before her birthday party, bring it because she likes other rocks.”

Favorite song: “Happy Birthday to Rocco, because they were singing and Miles danced.” [Miles her brother, not Miles from Sesame Street, although he too danced]

Favorite character: “Rocco, because he’s a rock and I have two rock collections, I mean three rock collections.” 

Miles danced crazily to:

  • “Happy Birthday to Rocco”
  • Luis’s killer version of “Rockin’ Robin” over footage of kids dancing
  • “Rap #17” (Seh-seh-seventeen!)

Episode 4130: Gina Adopts a Baby, Part 1

Iris was super excited to watch this three-episode arc, for reasons that will become clear momentarily. In this episode, Gina and Maria go to Guatemala so Gina can adopt baby Marco. Because this is 2006 and not 1983, we do not see them in Guatemala. We only see them get ready for the trip and then leave.

Favorite part: “When we saw the cute little baby Marco, because he’s so cute!”

Favorite song: “Doing the Family Thing, because it has us in it. Because it has families!”

Favorite character: “Gina because she was going to adopt a baby.”

Funniest part: “The guy dancing with a zucchini!” (in Veg Side Story)

Miles danced excitedly to:

Episode 4131: Gina Adopts a Baby, Part 2

In this episode, Gina and Maria arrive back at Sesame Street with Baby Marco. Iris was so bummed out that we only got a brief glimpse of Marco in the previous episode, so she was super hyped for him to actually be on Sesame Street in this one.

Favorite part: “To see the cute baby! Because he was so cute!”

Favorite song: “Sitting in my Mommy’s lap, because it has my mommy in it.” [Note: at this point, she hugged Rosalynn]

Favorite character: “Telly because he was so silly and a triangle lover isn’t even real.”

Miles danced vigorously to:

Episode 4132: Gina Adopts a Baby, Part 3

The epic saga concludes, but Iris was a lot more excited about all of the parts devoted to jumping. She was an extremely active little thing during this one, bouncing like crazy through all of those segments.

Favorite part: “When Big Bird and Snuffy play Peek-a-Boo! No no, when they imagine themselves as babies! Because babies are so cute and they spit. I mean drink out of bottles.”

Favorite song: “It was the one Snuffy says about ‘Eat Your Mush’”

Favorite character: “Baby Marco because he’s so cute and he’s a baby.”

Funniest part: “Can I go check on my rock family? All of my rocks are a rock family. It’s actually Rockalina’s birthday today, and her party tomorrow.”

Miles danced furiously to:

I’ve watched Sesame Street with Iris many times, but it was fascinating to sit down and see what really affected her. Cute things were the highlight, obviously, while spoofs were the lowpoint. Ryan wrote about the excessive number of spoofs last season. That continues here, and my daughter did not enjoy most of them very much. She’s here for the characters she knows, or for silly cartoons, but most of the parodies just made her bored and confused.

The big exception was “Outrageous Makeover: Home Addition.” Frank Oz comes back to play Grover in that one, but Iris didn’t care about that at all. She was just happy to see her old pal Grover instead of some randos she didn’t know.

Also, delightful for me: Iris walked around the house humming the between-sketches transition music (heard here) for the next couple of days after we watched these episodes. So Sesame Street is definitely having a big effect on her, which is wonderful to see.

And one-year-olds? They just love to dance.

Notable Character Debut: Gina’s son Marco, who stuck around for a few years. It’s a real shame that we didn’t get to watch him age into the young teenager he would be now. It would have been fun to watch him grow up, like we did with . . .

Notable Character Departures: Gabi and Miles – who should be 3 or 4 years apart in age – both graduate from high school. They’re both still on the show for several seasons after this, but they officially aren’t kids anymore.

MVM (Most Valuable Muppet): The newly-redesigned Hoots the Owl, for reasons outlined below.

MVH (Most Valuable Human): Gina, who gets one of the last really great “development in the life of a Sesame human” storylines. From here on out, not much changes for the old Sesame gang. Alan just kind of lives in stasis forever.

MVE (Most Valuable Episode): Rocco’s birthday party, at least in my house.

Other Notable Episodes: I don’t know, probably the one where Baby Bear writes “Goldilocks & the 3 Astrobears.”

Classic Sketch Debut: Law & Order: Special Letters Unit seems to be a fan favorite, I guess?

Classic Song Debut: “It Takes a Street” by Hoots:

Musical Highlight: John Legend and Hoots the Owl tear the roof off of the courtyard with their cover of “It Feels Good When You Sing a Song.” 

Best Celebrity Moment: Jamie Foxx meets Jamie Fox (and also Elmo). 

WTF Moment: It debuted a few years earlier, but Herry Monster singing “On My Mommy’s Lap” over footage of real families is the weirdest thing.

One More Thing: In a sketch in episode 4126, the Count calls the Countess “my little Sacher Torte!” I love when Sesame Muppets say offbeat stuff like that, seemingly to entertain themselves.

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by Anthony Strand

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