Thursday, September 19, 2013

Elmo

For better or for worse, Marla is getting to the age where she's starting to enjoy watching television in small doses. But Marla isn't yet old enough to voice her preference for one particular show over another...with one exception.

Other than a healthy dose of the British children's cartoon Peppa Pig (one of Amber and I's favorites among Marla-appropriate shows), we almost exclusively watch PBS children's programming with Marla. (This is, in part, a deliberate effort to keep Marla away from Dora the Explorer and the Disney Channel for as long as possible. We recognize we won't be able to keep that up forever.)

Well, regardless of what we end up putting on the TV, Marla's reply is usually the same: "Elmo! Elmo!" So, yes, we watch our fair share of Sesame Street. Haven't we all?

Kids love Elmo, obviously. It's no coincidence that Elmo is, to date, the only fictional character Marla can name on her own. But his popularity didn't really explode until after my childhood, so he doesn't really hold, shall we say, a "special place in my heart". Instead, I can't help but think: how did we get to this point? All those other Sesame Street characters that we grew up with - Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch, Cookie Monster, the Count, etc. - you hardly see them anymore. In fact, in the episodes we've watched, the only time we've seen those characters at all was during the opening and closing credits. Instead, now it's nearly all Elmo, all the time. (Plus this new character named Abby. Apparently she was introduced in 2006.)

Well, I guess the moral of the story is, this ain't your father's Sesame Street. But they have every right to introduce new characters and phase out others as times change, sure, especially given how long the show has been on the air. There's no rule that says that Sesame Street has to be exactly the same as it was 25 years ago. Just as long as Marla likes it.

1 comment:

James Allen said...

Big fans of Martha Speaks.