Rant: No new muppets, LONG LIVE THE OLD MUPPETS!

Muppet Central Articles – Reviews: Sesame Street Old School Volume 2Greg Brobeck (November 1, 2007) – It’s hard to outdo last year’s awesome Sesame Street Old School Volume 1 set, but Old School Volume 2 does in a big way. This “best of” collection picks up where volume 1 left off with material covering the years 1974 to 1979. This was a very good era for the series. The show had hit its stride, the adult cast had gelled, the Muppet performers had grown and the show became even more lovable.This collection is intended for adult collectors, the ones that grew up with old school Sesame Street and love its virtues, entertainment and memories. Included are the season premieres from the sixth through tenth seasons, as well as the first test show, 57 bonus sketches and songs and a few hidden extras.

Muppet Central Articles – Reviews: Sesame Street Old School Volume 2

I’m sorry– but I’m a die-hard Jim Henson fan (have you heard my theory about today’s ensemble comedy & Hensonism? I’ll ramble about it again some time).

It’s just a shame that I can’t bring myself to watch the new Sesame Street. The new muppets they have PALE in comparison to old school muppets like Telly, Ernie, Grover, Guy Smiley, The Count, etc. Sure they may be featured here and there– but that Elmo? BAH!

If Elmo and Dora had babies, they would make my personal anti-christ. Harsh? Yes. Deservedly. I have found that I am a snob when it comes to my television. I love Yo Gabba Gabba (for its creepy absurdness) and Wonder Pets (quite possibly the cutest show ever). I miss old Steve and the proper Blues Clues (although, Joe, you do a darn good job too, it’s not your fault they screwed with the format), and even though I dislike the animation quality (and the urban-ish stereotypes)… whenever those Backyardigans start singing, I’m put in a happy trance. Lil Einsteins? Brilliant (remind me of my Montessori days)– it totally kicks The Magic School Bus in the tail pipe.

But Dora? Dora as a princess. Dora as a mermaid. Dora as a HUGE MARKETING, LICENSING SCHEME. Ask me another question Dora… I dare you. Bah! She makes me a bit nutty. There’s this great episode of Josh & Drake when Drake’s concert gets rained out and so the entire party has to be held within their house… Steve the crazy guy (now plays the big bro on iCarly… I have a tv crush on him. Yes, I’m weird) who works at the Premiere (the movie place where Josh works) is watching a faux-Dora show on the wind-up television and YELLING at the screen. I relate. Whenever Dora is asking me questions, I want to do the same. Blue & Steve never had this effect on me, and neither do the Lil Einsteins. But Dora? Nails. Chalkboard. Marketing Fishy Smell.

Elmo is the same darn way. Elmo was the shark jumping moment of Sesame Street for me. Sure, when I’m channel surfing, I’ll pop through and watch the old gems (like Count sing/counting about the Batty Bats or Cookie Monster singing about “If Moon Were Cookie…”). But you put on any of the newly filmed crap? Click. There goes my evangelism to the Muppet brand.

When Elmo talks, it reminds me of those darn Teletubbies and their “babytalk.” And all the Elmo-branding? It’s not as bad as say… Spongebob (who has long since jumped the shark, writing-wise), but it’s just as terrible as Dora. Elmo the PIZZA CHEF?! Have you SEEN that thing? Atrocious. And frightening.

So– buy these Old School Muppet vids for your kids. They won’t rotten their brains with babytalk or mixed messages. That is… unless you feed your kids soy and make sure they’re shining clean at all moments (and call their teachers nightly to make sure they’re going to excel at Harvard in 18 years)– your kids gonna have enough issues as it is, taking on creepy muppets is the least of your worries (ooo! Someone is snarky today).

And for your viewing pleasure– enjoy this little nugget I got from Bestweekever.tv.  It’s from the Elmo Pizza toy in stores now and it’s currently my favorite avatar icon, aside from the screen shot I have of Elijah Wood doing his Puppet Master dance from Yo Gabba Gabba!:


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