The new “Sesame Street” has undergone many ch-ch-changes this past year, and much of it is a self-prescribed face lift (although my kvetchy self wonders if this is the awkward type of face lift. You know what I’m talking about). A few months ago, we reported that the PBS show found a new home on HBO, but that’s not the only change.
So, what are the other changes? Big Bird’s nest has upgraded to a tree; Elmo moved from an apartment to a chic brownstone; Abby Cadabby has a new, hip community garden; Oscar the Grouch now has a fancy underground tunnel connecting his recycling and compost bins throughout the city (think garbage-subway?). And my least favorite change: The episodes will be cut from an hour to 30 minutes.
But some of the changes aren’t necessarily bad–modernizing with the times is a good thing for kids, so they feel the show’s world mimics the one they actually live in. Carmen Osbahr echoed this sentiment in the New York Times, who has been the puppeteer for Rosita for 26 years, stating:
“Everything has been changing around here.It is more like things look now. When Sesame Street was created, it was kind of more like New York Bronx. Now, Oscar has a recycling can. That is amazing.”
While there will be fewer celebrity parody segments, some new appearances will include Gwen Stefani, Pharrell Williams singing “B Is for Book,” Ne-Yo singing “You’ve Got a Body So Move It,” and a parody of “Orange Is the New Snack,” which is about bringing healthy snacks to preschool. Apparently, this season’s curriculum has a deeper focus on kindness, which can only be a positive change.
Executive Producer Carol-Lynn Parente sums it up beautifully: “It’s not about the cookies or the cards. It’s the thought that counts.”
For old time’s sake (and because I just saw “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” for the second time), rewatch this hilarious parody aptly titled “Star S’Mores.”