Stephany Aulenback takes you down the street that has a name. Child-friendly excerpt:
In a funny article for The New York Times Magazine, Virginia Heffernan explains why the earliest Sesame Street
television episodes are unsuitable for toddlers today according,
apparently, to the current executive producer of the show, Carol-Lynn
Parente. Heffernan mentions the following warning (written on the DVD
case and repeated by a cartoon character at the beginning of the first
DVD itself): "These early ‘Sesame Street’ episodes are intended for
grown-ups, and may not suit the needs of today’s preschool child."
I was taken aback by that warning, too, until we actually sat down and watched the shows. Luke found them incredibly boring.
Tongue in cheek, Heffernan explains first that the subject matter is
too gritty, that it promotes bad habits and bad behaviours, and then
that it’s too pastoral. The piece is written in such a way as to
indicate that, while Heffernan herself believes otherwise, the current
producer of Sesame Street actually does believe the early shows were
rife with unsuitable material. But Carol-Lynn Parente is quoted
verbatim only twice. It’d be interesting to read a proper, serious
interview with her on this question.
I would almost say that today’s Sesame Street is more unsuitable. Too damn hyper, loud, obnoxious, all the focus on Elmo, none of the wonder, give me Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood any day of the week… and get off my lawn, you kids today!