“Rosita’s Abuela”, another in the Hispanic-themed episodes this season, was very good. It’s great they’re doing more storylines with Rosita’s Mexican heritage instead of letting that piece of backstory go to waste.
“Baby Bear’s New Sitter” was a repeat storyline from season 39. It’s the only time we’ll see Gabi this seen, and quite possibly the last we’ll see of her on the show, so it has some significance in that respect.
“Grandparent’s Celebration” was entertaining and clearly based on the “Twins Day” episode from season 41. I really liked Baby Bear’s grandfather, constantly confused about modern technology as any senior citizen. And I’ve really started to appreciate the little “Odd Couple” relationship they’ve been giving Alan and Chris, which seems only natural as they’re the most used adult characters currently. The opening song was catchy as well, but I say that about most of the songs these days, which is a good sign.
“The Princess Story” was alright, not spectacular by any means. It’s nice to see Zoe some more, and the whole girl group as a whole. It was your typical “characters make up a story” plot we’ve seen before. I did get a chuckle at the prince declaring himself “overly gallant.”
“Judy and the Beast” wasn’t too great if you ask me, a tad heavy on songs, some better than others (that lobster one is definitely on the bottom) and a storyline they’ve done to death lately. It’s also weird that they had Leslie do the Judy character in the same story as Abby. No other female performers were available that day?
Finally, we have “Baby Bear Hates Wee Tee Ball,” which they’re airing out of order. I thought it was a very nice story and a great message with it. Abby and Cookie’s appearances didn’t seem to add much, but they were nice to see (Cookie was funny as the norm). Again, the songs were also very good too. I love how Bill Sherman is using his music director duties and his Broadway experience to give the songs a very 42nd Street-sound to them. They’re really getting better and better each season.
We got the final new “Elmo the Musical” of the season - “Mountain Climber the Musical” - and it was very good. The songs were great as usual (I love the “You’re the Top” spoof that closes the segment) and it starts out with a typically terrible Muppet joke (Elmo tries imagining a mountain, and instead makes a molehill. Get it?). A recent CBS Morning Report feature showed they’re taping more segments for the next season (with Ryan Dillon as Elmo), so I’m looking forward to more great songs and segments.
The last two new “Cookie’s Crumby Pictures” segments of the season aired: “Lord of the Crumbs” and “Life of Whoopie Pie.” They were both very funny and I liked how Cookie was the “tiger” in the Life of Pi spoof, instead of the title character as I had assumed. There’s some more of these on the way for season 45 in the fall (as well as some much-needed new Super Grover 2.0 sketches), so there’s something else to look forward to. Among the new Word of the Day pieces, my favorite had to be the “unique” talk with Usher and Bert, who was hysterically dull as usual.
We got a decent number of cartoon/film segments, including a version of “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star,” a catchy song about counting kangaroos, and (one I really enjoyed) a cute song about the importance of water.
There were also a few very classic-feeling sketches. One involving Cookie trying to play checkers with Abby, while avoiding eating the pieces, which was almost like a Cookie/Prairie Dawn sketch. Man, I miss her. Another one was a Grover bit about force. Not only was it clever, but it also had the return of Frazzle! And it was clear they intended to use him, as the other monsters in the segment were designed to resemble him as well. Finally, there was a bit about the letter H starring Cookie and Oscar. We’re seeing a lot of Cookie this season for sure, but it’s great they’re using Oscar in more sketches this season. Hopefully, that trend continues with others like Big Bird or Ernie and Bert, who’ve been pretty MIA for most of this season (except for a storyline they’ll star in later in February).
So, that was that chunk. Catch you later this month when we’ll be going over the next ones, which will include some more sport-themed episodes thanks to the Olymipics. See you next time on the street!
The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, firstname.lastname@example.org