Most kids today have no idea how awesome Sesame Street used to be. For example, as pointed out in this comic strip, some kids think that Cookie Monster is a “Blue Elmo”. I weep for the kids of those who are kids now because their parents (the ones who are currently kids) are all morons.
But let me give you a positive example of what I mean by “Sesame Street used to be awesome”. Here we have the Bridgekeeper:
(To this day, I still don’t know what’s up with that girl’s cheeks. Maybe she has the mumps or is medieval Britain’s very first mutant.)
Those of you who have even the tiniest amount of geekiness or cross-culture exposure should realize that this scenario seems awfully familiar:
Seriously, think about it. I never saw any “Monty Python” until about eight years after I first saw that Bridgekeeper sketch. Kids aren’t and weren’t supposed to get the reference. Their parents were. Sesame Street used to a be a show that provoked kid-parent discussions. Think about it: a Monty Python sketch subverted to teach kids the basics of geometry? That’s just freaking awesome!
I haven’t seen Sesame Street in years, but when I last watched the whole thing had turned into The Elmo Show. Something for parents to distract their kids with while they do something else, secure in the knowledge that they won’t need to actually interact with their offspring because it’s dumbed down enough that nothing needs to be explained. Maybe it’s different now(maybe different worse), but I really don’t have any reason to bother checking. I suspect that the only Sesame Street I’ll be willing to let my kids see are the same episodes I saw originally, because frankly I’d rather not have them grow into moronic Elmo fans*.
I hope I’m wrong, but I suspect I won’t be. More examples of Sesame Street’s former awesomeness coming soon.
*Why am I so harsh on Elmo? Simple: it’s not the character I hate, because he was around when I was still watching it, and was instrumental in certain story-arcs back when Sesame Street actually had continuity. But as Elmo was given a bigger and bigger role, there was more and more of a dumbing down and Spongebob-ifying Sesame Street that Jim Henson wouldn’t have let happen if he was alive.
It’s like the Ewoks. I don’t hate the Ewoks in RoTJ. In fact, even the first Ewok movie is tolerable. But everything else with Ewoks in it (including and especially the second Ewok movie) is going too far, for reasons that are obvious if you’ve been exposed to any of it.