1 The Muppet Mindset: Sesame Street Season 40 Overview - Week 2

Nov 24, 2009

Sesame Street Season 40 Overview - Week 2

NEWS UPDATE - November 24, 2009
The Muppets (it is unknown which ones) are set to appear on tonight's finale episode of Dancing With the Stars on ABC. Be sure to check it out at 9:00pm/8:00pm central time!

Today on The Muppet Mindset we welcome our good friend Shane Keating (Oscarfan on Muppet Central Forum) who gives us his overview of this week's past Sesame Street Season 40 episodes.


Reviewer’s Note:
For future reference to readers, the only station I am able to record on plays the new episode from the day before, so any show shown on a Friday will be covered in the following week’s review. So, episode #4195 will not be covered his week.



EPISODE 4187 – ABBY MAKES THE SEASONS CHANGE


STREET SCENE

Elmo finds a sled in his closet, but learns from Chris that he cannot use it until Winter (and it’s currently Spring). Elmo wishes it was Winter now and Abby appears, having heard his plea. He tries a weather spell, but makes it Summer and Fall instead. This causes problems for the other people on the street, including Telly and Baby Bear (who begin a game of checkers when it gets too hot for tag, then having their checkers board be blown away in the fall wind) and Mr. Johnson (whose meals get ruined by the weather from outside Hooper’s). Abby and Elmo realize that the seasons must come in their own time and change the weather back. Chris adjusts Elmo’s sled so that it now has wheels and can be pulled by Chris.

Hidden Gem: As some of you may know, a “hidden gem” is said to be placed in each episode this season as a throwback to the classic days.  In this episode, an image from the classic “Ladybugs’ Picnic” cartoon is seen attached to Mr. Johnson’s menu.

HIGHLIGHTS
 
  • Adrian Grenier, Elmo and the Season-Bot 3000 explain the word “season”  
  • An animated insert taken from Sesame Street English with Cookie Monster singing about the letter U sound in “umbrella”. 
  • Abby’s Flying Fairy School: The Cinderella Challenge (those of you who own the 40 years DVD will have probably already seen this one) 
  • Leslie Feist’s “1234” parody from last season. 
  • Murray Has a Little Lamb: Ice Skating School, edited to remove the guessing game portion and putting a new, short intro that leads Murray and Ovejita straight to the school. 
  • Murray plays “Sounds of the Street” with the viewer, hearing a bird, a car and a tap-dancing octopus.
  •  Abby, Zoe and Rosita’s song, “Guess the Season”.

    CONCLUDING THOUGHTS
    The episode plot today was great. It was a nice treat seeing Mr. Johnson in the street scene for a change. And Chris’ reactions to the various season changes were perfect. I enjoyed the Flying Fairy School segment and seeing Fiest’s song again. My favorite part from the show was the “Guess the Season” song. If you have the 40 years DVD, I suggest you play this song; it’s very catchy (although the small Zoe puppet in it is so horrid looking).

    EPISODE 4192 – Y, A QUEST? Y NOT


    STREET SCENE

    Telly shows Abby and Elmo a book called “How to Be a Knight for a Day” (Get it?). They all dress up in armor, sing a knight song (that will be sung every three minutes, Your browser may not support display of this image. mind you) and decide to go on a quest. They find a sobbing letter Y, who feels he’s unimportant. They realize their quest is to find things that start with Y to help him. At Gina’s waiting room, they look for animals who’s names start with “Y” but find a chicken, a penguin and what they call a “hairy cow” (which is actually a yak). After having no luck at the Laundromat and at Hooper’s, the yak comes to Alan for his lunch and they learn his actual animal name. The Y rejoices and so do the knights.

    Hidden Gem: A newspaper article with Jim Henson’s picture can be seen in the Laundromat window.

    HIGHLIGHTS


    • Tiki Barber’s quest for a definition of the word “quest”, asking Oscar, Grover (who mistakes it for the West) and Cookie Monster. 
    • Norah Jones’ “Don’t Know Y” song. 
    • Abby’s Flying Fairy School: The Pinocchio Process (a repeat from #4188)  
    • Ernie’s song about his toes from season 36.  
    • A song by a group of Hispanic people about counting 20 drying clothes.  
    • Murray Has a Little Lamb – Gardening School  
    • A new Marshal Grover sketch about front and back featuring Frank Oz as Grover!

      CONCLUSION
      Today’s street scene was nice. I loved them calling the yak a “hairy cow”, seeing Gina as a veterinarian again and the reference to Jim. This is just my opinion, but I really hated seeing the “Don’t Know Y” song again. I mean, it’s not a bad song, but it was shown more often than it should.

      EPISODE 4193 – BEARS TRY TO HIBERNATE


      STREET SCENE

      Your browser may not support display of this image.It’s winter and there’s a porridge shortage on Sesame Street! This means that the Bear family (who thrives on porridge) must hibernate until Spring, when porridge will be abundant. Telly will have to wait for Baby Bear to wake up in five months before they can play again. However, the Four Bears are unable to get to sleep. They call the “Bears Helping Bears” program and Max Bear, hibernation-expert, is sent over. He becomes their hibernation consultant and convinces them to head outside to sleep, as their home is too warm and cozy to hibernate in. They try finding a hallow tree or cave, but find neither on the street. Max then has them get in touch wit their “inner bear”, which tells them to dig a den in the ground. Chris and Telly find them and Chris gives them a last meal of cereal before they sleep. They like the cereal and decide to live on that until the porridge is back and give their den to Max who has forgotten about hibernation preparations for himself).

      Hidden Gem: Chris’ newspaper headline reads “Clash Unabashed By Red Smash”, referring to Kevin Clash and the popularity of Elmo.

      Your browser may not support display of this image.HIGHLIGHTS

      • A commercial starring the Anything Muppets for “Super K Cereal”
      • Abby’s Flying Fairy School: Gene the Genie (repeat)
      • Bert and Ernie’s Great Adventures – Ernie looses his Rubber Duckie down a gopher hole and brings Bert along to get him back.
      • A doo-wop song from a season 31 street story about napping by Lulu, Telly and other monsters. (An odd choice for an insert if you ask me, since it’s actually an edited street scene)
      CONCLUSION
      This street story was great. Baby Bear/Telly stories are always nice to see. I especially liked the Bear’s digital clock alarm being set for “April”. Max Bear was an odd character (he kind of reminded me of Howard from It’s a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie.) When I first heard about this episode at the 40th anniversary event in New Jersey in January, I couldn’t wait for it, and I wasn’t disappointed. The napping song seemed like an odd choice for a segment, since it wasn’t really made to be one.

      EPISODE 4194 – STINKY’S BIRTHDAY FLOWER


      STREET SCENE

      Zoe and Elmo hear Stinky moaning and groaning, until he sprouts his annual birthday flower. They decide to bring him a present on his birthday. Elmo gets him a drum, which he can’t use the drumsticks for. Zoe gets him a tutu, which he can’t dance to use. Cookie Monster brings him a plate of cookies, which aren’t plant food and Rosita brings him a guitar, which he can’t play either. Big Bird gets him some balloons, but when he ties them to his pot, he begins flying away. Chris saves him and explains to them that Stinky would rather have something he likes, not what they like. They all get together and bring him what plants need, water, sun and love.

      Hidden Gem: Caroll Spinney makes a brief cameo inside Hooper’s Store.

      HIGHLIGHTSYour browser may not support display of this image.

      • Maggie Gyllenhaal demonstrates the word “surprise”
      • Another Sesame Street English cartoon, this one with Elmo about the letter B.
      • “Pre-School Musical” parody from last season
      • Murray Has a Little Lamb: Music School
      • Bert’s version of “In My Book”
      CONCLUSION
      What a nice treat to see Stinky return. This was a great street story. While Zoe looked a little better in this story than her earlier appearance this week, the small puppet still looks really bad. Plus, it’s always nice to Cookie Monster in a street story.

      So, all in all, this week (or 4/5 of it) was great. If the rest of the season is this good, I can’t wait for it. I’m not that keen on the “block” format by Murray, but I said the same thing about season 38’s format (which I now love and wish they would still use), so I’m sure I’ll get used to it. Here’s hoping the rest of the season’s this great and I’ll see you next week!












      The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier

      2 comments:

      1. I think next time, I'll send the pictures seperately.

        ReplyDelete
      2. My sons and their cousin can't stand Abby's Flying Fairy School. When the segment comes on they immediately lose interest and even become annoyed and move as far from the TV as possible. It's fine with me for them to be away from the TV, but that portion of the show is definitely not educational. I hope they will get rid of these potentially brain damaging characters, or at least shorten their appearances on the show by a whole lot.

        ReplyDelete