Two Things about

Sesame Street season 36

Two Things is a new Tough Pigs feature, where you get to voice your opinions on the current Muppet productions. Now, I don’t have a lot of time to pay attention to other people’s opinions, so all I want to know is two things: What’s one thing you like about it, and one thing you don’t like?


To start with, what do you think about the new “Happy and Healthy” season of Sesame Street? If you’ve got two things to say, send your entry in to, and you can share two of your thoughts with the world!



Quinn Rollins One thing I like about this season is a trend I’ve seen over the last few years: as Steve, Eric and David become more used to Ernie, Grover and Cookie Monster, we’re seeing more of them on the Street set. They interact more with the human cast, and with the characters we usually see on the Street, like Big Bird, Elmo, Zoe and Oscar. It used to be that you’d only see Jim and Frank’s characters in their own sketches. Part of the magic of the various specials was seeing them all together, but it didn’t happen much on the regular show. So seeing them together more often is nice for me.


One thing I’m not liking as much as I had hoped is the OVERemphasis on the healthy eating and exercise… I realize childhood obesity is a problem, and I understand the pedagogy behind repetition, but right now I feel like half of Sesame Street is a lecture. Teach me some letters and numbers, man!



Mike Cervantes One good thing: They’re really digging deep into the archives this season. I was happy to see Henson’s “King of 8” stop-motion sketch, something that I’ve previously seen for only two seconds in the season 35 retrospective. Given all of the space they’ve freed up to show segments, they’ve made an impressive effort to fill the time with some of their best material.


One bad thing: The new sketches. So far, the recurring skits I’ve seen have been poorly animated or shabbily acted. It’s a shame to see the brilliantly executed “Cat Food Can” cartoon, contrasted by some poorly-animated stop-motion cherries too shy to help form an ugly face on a heavy-duty paper plate. Yeesh!



Nick Wheatley One good thing: Character consistency. I like that even though Cookie Monster learned how to eat healthy in the infamous “Cookies are a Sometimes Food” sketch, he still chose to eat the cookie at the end.


One bad thing: Curriculum overkill. Teaching the audience to eat better foods is one thing, but having it be the theme of every episode can get irritating really quickly. When Miles started singing at me about fruits and broccoli, I had to temporarily change the channel.



Jake C One good thing: No more having to go through Journey to Ernie for an Ernie/Bert sketch. Journey to Ernie wasn’t horrible, but it’s best to have the Ernie/Bert sketch without it. It gives Sesame more time for sketches.


One bad thing: No more Count’s Number of the Day? The Count’s been replaced by a remix of the “Song of 10,” which stops where the number of the day is. It’s good to see a remake of the song, but not at the expense of the Count.



Scott Hanson One thing I liked: The presentation of the Number of the Day. Seeing the Count last season doing the same exact thing every time was REALLY boring. This year, they’ve updated the old song with the kids counting up to 10 that used to end with the baker falling down the stairs. A new animation of the flashy numbers is followed by a kid cranking a jack-in-the-box, obviously not knowing on which revolution the jack will pop. It’s a hundred times cuter and funnier to see a reaction from the jack-in-the-box kid than the Count going and going to find today’s number, much as I love him.


One thing I didn’t like: I used to pride myself on it, but now I can no longer tell the difference between Frank’s Grover and Eric’s. Damn.



David Hirsch Good thing: The return of Buster the Horse. I always liked Marty Robinson’s voice, and the character’s personality. I was under the impression that Buster was retired, along with Forgetful Jones, when Richard passed. It looks like they’re using the Buster puppet that was last used over a decade ago — or if it’s a new one, it looks pretty darn close.


Bad thing: The remade version of the 10 song. Not because it’s a remake, but just because the whole thing looked and sounded very awkward, with the paper animation and the kids singing. The decision was made a long time ago to retire the old films, and that’s life. But to me, it wasn’t worth remaking.



Lara Frazier Good thing: Journey to Ernie is gone. I never really liked that segment, although it did let you know you had some Bert and Ernie coming.


Bad thing: HELLO! If you wanna go on and on and on and on about exercising and eating right… CAPTAIN VEGETABLE! They haven’t used his segment yet, have they?



Ryan Roe One thing I liked: The show feels more like the Sesame Street that’s familiar to me than it has for the past two seasons. They’re no longer shoving Journey to Ernie, Monster Clubhouse or Hero Guy in every day, which leaves more room for varied segments. The presence of new and recent material with Cookie Monster, Grover, Ernie and Bert adds even more to the feeling that this is the Sesame Street I know and love. It’s a good feeling, like walking into a favorite restaurant and it still smells the same.


One thing I didn’t like: That counting segment with the jack-in-the-box is so boring. Here’s what I want, Sesame Workshop: Baker. Stairs. Pies. Make some magic.

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