Shane Keating - So, here we are, at the very end of the season. It’s been fun going over the show week by week, so let’s take a look the last six episodes of the season.
"Jack’s Big Jump" and "Three Cheers for Us" were both repeats from previous seasons, so there’s nothing new to say about them really.
"The Pogo Games" was another good Telly episode, with appearances by Baby Bear and Gina. The coach character didn’t do much for me, however, despite how well Tyler Bunch played him. They could’ve easily made the story about Telly losing pride during the game without him. Just his presence in the story felt off to me.
"The Wedding Planner" was quite humorous, as all the Elmo vs. Rocco episodes are. It even got quite touching at the end, especially the song Zoe and Elmo sang as they carried the rocks down the aisle. Leave it to the Muppets to make something so silly as two rocks getting married and make it an actually sweet moment. Also, Herry Monster made a cameo, so hooray! Bob was there as well, and I wish they gave him a line or two at least. He comes in only a couple times a season it appears and he doesn’t even get to speak; what a shame.
"Lights! Camera! Bert!" was the episode I was looking most forward too, after the Jerry Nelson tribute, and it did not disappoint. It brilliantly built upon one of the standard Ernie and Bert sketch premises and made it feel like an extended sketch, while also telling a story too. Steve and Eric’s chemistry is almost as good as Jim and Frank’s and they shine in this episode. Sadly, this is the last street story featuring Kevin as Elmo (actually doing Elmo in-studio). I am getting a tad tired of the whole “repeating the same song throughout the episode” system they’ve been employing lately (though Bert’s reprise at the end was catchy).
And then we have our season finale, "Every Plant There Ever Was." Some of the stories lately have kind-of situated themselves to one specific location of the street (this one, the garden) and it feels off in a way. Still, this episode was nice with an odd cast combination (Luis, Chris, Zoe and Stinky), a funny accountant joke and an “Oklahoma” reference that made me laugh. What an age we live in where Stinky gets two street stories about him in one season, especially when he’s more of a secondary character.
We got some more animated and film inserts, mostly letter and number ones (including a remake of the 1993 “Jump” song), but there was a particularly cute cartoon of a mouse growing a strawberry. As usual, there some more new Word of the Day scenes. The one with Forest Whitaker was a highlight, as it featured the Count surprisingly (performed by Matt Vogel). Since they usually sent Vogel to LA for these among the other Muppeteers, maybe the Count will appear in more next season. There was another new “Murray Has a Little Lamb” tune-in as well, visiting African Dance school. I like it more when the Murray bumpers have a plot to them and I hope they make more like these for future episodes.
There was a few new Muppet inserts as well, each feeling very “old-school.” One involved Abby showing Cookie Monster subtraction with cookies; you can pretty much infer where the bit goes from there. Another great bit had guest Tyler Perry teach Elmo about different kinds of math. It’s one of the last Kevin as Elmo bits we’ll be seeing, so it’s special in that regard. My favorite one involved Grover and Rosita talking about triangles and the sigh of Grover in triangle form is wonderful. I also love how they’ve been bringing back the classic brick wall for these bits; it’s been a staple of the show since the beginning.
My favorite bit from this section has to be Pentatonix’s Sesame Street number song medley. They made some really great song choices to classic favorites (“Five People in My Family”) to not as well known ones (“Three”). What’s also great is that half of the songs were pulled from the old “Numbers!” album and that all the songs (save for Pinball Number Count) were all written by Jeff Moss. It was just a great bit all around and the group has phenomenal singing chops.
So, that about does it for this season. It was very good overall, with great new stories, songs and a new cast member. Everything had a very classic feeling to it. I’ll see you soon to go over the season as a whole as we get ready for their announcements for the big 45th anniversary season during the summer. See you soon!
The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, firstname.lastname@example.org