Sesame Street Week: Day 7 – Season 40 Episode Recap, Week 1

D’Snowth (Muppet Central Forum) – What a monumental week this has been; while Season 40 of Sesame Street didn’t kick off with a special, as was speculated, we did get a nice start with an episode focused mainly on Big Bird, which is a nice change of pace. Sesame Workshop had the right idea to start Season 40 on the exact day the show kicked off 40 years ago really made the new season even more special to begin with.
At this time, I will be sharing with you a summary of this week’s (November 10 – 13) new episodes, as well as my personal thoughts and insights to them as well.

To start off, this year, another change to begin with is the opening and closing credits – while similar to previous two seasons, this year, however, features our favorite characters grooving in front of animated chalk drawings. But now, onto the actual episodes…

Episode 4187 – “Frankly, it’s Becoming a Habitat” (November 10, 2009)

Word On the Street: Murray Monster shares with us the word on the street, which is “habitat”; Murray, along with the viewers at home, learn that a habitat is where animals live, and that different animals live in different habitats. The word “habitat” is featured heavily in today’s episode.

Street Scene: The scene opens up with Big Bird waiting for a daily lunch of cream of birdseed soup – Big Bird’s idea of the perfect treat for such a cold day, when out of nowhere, Freddy Flapman (Lin-Manuel Miranda) of Flatchert Real Estate, a bird real estate agent tries to convince Big Bird he should migrate to a warmer climate. Using his “patented real estate agent magic”, Mr. Flapman takes Big Bird on a virtual tour of three different warmer climates he might like to migrate to, including a beach where birds like pelicans and sea gulls live, a swamp where birds like owls and ducks live, and even a rainforest where all kinds of birds and animals live, enticing Big Bird with descriptions of each habitat in the form of a rap. Having no luck with the beach and swamp, Mr. Flapman is overjoyed when Big Bird decides he’d like to live in the rainforest, since it’s so colorful, and there’s all kinds of different new animals to meet, but after Big Bird has packed, and realizes that moving away will mean moving away from all his friends, he decides he doesn’t want to move after all, and that Sesame Street IS his habitat, and Mr. Flapman realizes he has no sale. After the final decision, the residents of Sesame Street throw Big Bird a “home coming” celebration.

Celebrity Segment: Cameron Diaz is in the woods, and meets with a raccoon, a duck, and a moose to discuss habitats with viewers; Cameron is surprised that they know so much about habitats, until they explain to her that the woods are their habitats.

Murray Intermezzo: Murray tells us that the letter of the day is the letter H, and the kids in the neighborhood help him show things that begin with the letter H such as a hula-hoop, hair, a hug, and hands.

Insert (Film): Two kinds demonstrate things that begin with H in their clubhouse such as home, hands, handle (on a watering can), hide, hook (for a) hat, help, hose, healthy and happy.

Murray Intermezzo: Murray tells us that the number of the day is the number 40 – the first time in the show’s history the number of the day was anything other than 1-20 – and demonstrates by showing us 40 candles on a birthday cake and 40 nurses.

Insert (Animated): Traction Jackson and three of his friends do a hip-hop tune about the number 40, by counting by tens with their fingers.

Abby’s Flying Fairy School: A new series of CGI segments by Rickey Boyd depicts Abby’s life at her fairy school, along with her two friends Gone Again (who’s so shy, he constantly turns invisible, hence the name “Gone Again”) and Blogg, a shorter fairy who carries a wand, though Blogg‘s wand is stolen when they play with their unicorn gerbil, Niblet. The fairies chase Niblet around though-out their classroom, until Niblet slips into a drawing on the wall that the fairies can’t get into. Gone Again draws a door into the picture, which leads them inside the picture; once there, they resume their chase, only to have Niblet foil them at every turn, first by drawing a river between them. Abby draws a pumpkin with sails so they can sail across the river, but once they’re on board, Niblet redraws the river into mountains, so the fairies change their pumpkin boat to a pumpkin wagon, only to get caught in a deep valley Niblet drew. Once out of the drawing, Niblet hides inside a little dollhouse, and locks all the doors, until the fairies come up with a rhyme for door (“Zja Zja Gabor”) to open them, only to find Niblets is still hiding; this saddens the fairies to at the thought of never seeing their class unicorn gerbil again, which makes Niblet feel sorry for them, so he comes out of hiding, and gives Blogg his wand back, as well as Gone Again some confidence.

Bert and Ernie’s Great Adventures: Today, Bert and Ernie are Duck Detectives, where they meet the distressed Miss Lambshank, who’s friend, Maltese “Malty” Duck for some reason won’t quack; curious about it themselves, Ernie and Bert agree to meet with Malty, dressed as Miss Lambshank’s cousins, who try to lead Malty to water after Rubber Ducky dictates to Ernie that ducks only quack when they’re in water (a little error, but who cares?) Bert accidentally falls into a pond, and although Malty saves him, he still won’t quack. Bert and Ernie continue their investigation by following Malty through the city at night, where not only do they discover that Miss Lambshank is following them, but they learn that Malty isn’t a Maltese duck at all, but rather a whistling, black-bellied duck, a breed that doesn’t quack; he never told Miss Lambshank, because he was afraid it would end their friendship, but she assures him that she’s still be his friend irregardless if he can quack or not.

Murray Intermezzo: Murray announces Elmo’s World is next, but first, leads us into the next Celebrity Segment.

Celebrity Segment: First Lady Michelle Obama is in the community garden in the back of the arbor with Elmo, Big Bird and some kids, where they plant the seeds of various vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, and carrots; Mrs. Obama explains to the kids that the seeds will grow into the vegetables, and that vegetables are not only healthy for you, they taste good too.

Murray Intermezzo: Murray leads us into Elmo’s World

Elmo’s World: Today’s EW segment was about frogs… admittedly, I started to fast-forward through my DVR, figuring nothing special here to see… until I caught a glimpse of Kermit the Frog, and quickly rewound the recording to see Kermit perched on a leather easy chair, talking about how this is his kind of pad.

Closing: Murray reminds us that Sesame Street was brought to us today by the letter H, and by the number 40.

Overall Review: Great kick-off for a very special season of Sesame Street! Admittedly, there were a few things I didn’t care for – the new Zoe puppet that we all dreaded was going to be used is, indeed, in use, and it’s hideous. I also didn’t care too much for Murray’s transitions, especially when we could’ve had classic characters like Cookie Monster and Count doing their signature Letter and Number of the Day segments like they have been for the past six seasons or so; but other than that, it was great to see a street scene revolve around Big Bird, with a few references to Follow That Bird, as well as giving new life to the running gag of Big Bird never getting someone’s name right (in this case, Mr. Flapman), and of course, Kermit the Frog’s cameo in Elmo’s World today was priceless. Overall, I give the Season 40 premiere four-and-a-half out of five stars.
Episode 4188 – “Cowmonster Pair” (November 11, 2009)

Word On the Street: Murray Monster shares with us the word on the street, which is “pair”; Murray, along with the viewers at home, learn that a pair are two similar things that go together, such as shoes, eyes, socks, and hands, and that “pair” will be featured through out today’s episode.

Street Scene: While enjoying breakfast in Hooper’s Store, Elmo, Telly and Chris encounter Little Bo Peep, who has announced that she no longer looks after sheep because they’re so small and easy to lose, and that she’s now herding cows, only to discover she just lost her new cow. Telly has an idea to help her find her cow, and has him and Elmo dress up as “The Cowmonster Pair”, who along with Luis offering clues in the form of Tex/Mex ditties will help Little Bo Peep find her cow. Telly and Elmo decide that in order to find the cow, they have to look for animal tracks, which they find along the sidewalk; assuming it’s the cow, Telly tosses his lasso, only to find he captured Super Chicken, and learns that the tracks are of a chicken’s claw with three long toes. Needing to find rounder tracks, The Cowmonster Pair find rounder tracks leading into Oscar’s trashcan; once again, Telly tosses his lasso, but captures a raccoon instead. Needing to find larger tracks that are shaped like two half moons, The Cowmonster Pair find the tracks they’re looking for leading inside 123; so Telly tosses his lasso, but nabs a Canadian moose who got lost on his way to a frozen tundra. On the verge of giving up (even Luis suggests it in song), Elmo realizes that cows are much smaller than moose, so the tracks they need to look for have to look like those of the moose, but smaller; they follow various animal tracks through the arbor, and find the cow’s tracks, but are puzzled when they just stop, with no sign of the cow in sight, until Bo Peep notices a rope dangling from the sky. Telly pulls the rope, and the cow comes tumbling down, thus Bo Peep and her cow have been reunited thanks to The Cowmonster Pair.

Celebrity Segment: A now-brunette Sarah Jessica Parker and Elmo talk about pairs, demonstrating it to viewers with a pair of shoes, a pair of mittens, and a pair of ice skates, but when Elmo decides he wants to be a pair, Sarah Jessica tells him that the two of them together are a pair.

Murray Intermezzo: Murray tells us that the letter of the day is the letter E, and dresses up with odd things on his face to demonstrate – ears, elephant trunk, and earrings.

Insert (Animated): Cookie Monster and a trio of elephants demonstrate the letter E in a funky little tune.

Murray Intermezzo: Murray leads us into Abby’s Flying Fairy School.

Abby’s Flying Fairy School: It’s Puppet Day at the flying fairy school, and Abby, Gone Again, and Blogg are about to put on a puppet play, but Blogg wants his puppet to be a real boy; using his wand to cast a spell, he accidentally turns himself into a puppet, and learns he has to go through “The Pinocchio Process” to become a real boy again. The process contains three steps – 1. Hop with a cricket, 2. Do the ‘Dance of Joy’ with a donkey, and 3. Swim with a whale. The fairy kids go out into a meadow to look for a cricket, and when they finally do, Blogg is unable to hop with it by himself, and must be helped by his friends pulling his strings; once that is finished, Blogg’s legs and feet are back to normal. Next, the kids travel to a farm, but the donkey they find is less than happy, and starts charging after Blogg; with the help of the class pet Spot, Abby and Gone Again realize that the donkey has no hay to eat, which is making him angry, so Gone Again conjures up some hay for the donkey. This makes it happy, and with the help of his friends, Blogg does the Dance of Joy with the donkey, and finds his arms and hands are back to normal. Now all that is left is for Blogg to swim with a whale, but once under water, he has a confession to make – he doesn’t know how to swim. With the help of his friends, Blogg learns to swim with the whale, and is back to normal completely, and the kids are back in school again, ready for their puppet play… but instead of using their hands to work the strings, they make the puppets move themselves with magic.

Insert (Muppet): Ernie’s Ding-a-long song from Season 37.

Murray Intermezzo: Murray tells us that the number of the day is the number 2, and the neighborhood kids help him demonstrate by showing 2 dogs, 2 hats, and 2 balls that bounce 2 times.

Insert (Animated): The stop-motion adventures of Salty and Peppier – French-accented salt and pepper shakers, respectively, who go in search of what they can find 2 of; they later travel to a lake with a swan, and soon realize there’s another swan, thus they find 2 swans.

Murray Had a Little Lamb: Irish Step Dancing School from Season 39.

Insert (Muppet): Here it is folks, the highly anticipated Mad Men parody sketch.

Insert (Animated): The stop-motion cavemen with their previously aired bit about accidents and forgiveness.

Murray Intermezzo: Murray announces it’s time for Elmo’s World.

Elmo’s World: Farms. Old stuff. Nothing to report.

Closing: Murray reminds us that Sesame Street was brought to us today by the letter E, and by the number 2.

Overall Review: I give today’s episode an even four stars… despite of the continuous Elmo overkill, I actually enjoyed today’s street screen, it just had that familiar fun and educational Sesame vibe to it that we all love; and it was great to hear Frank Oz again, even though the E&B sketch was relatively older, but it’s still nice to know he still does occasional work for SST. And I loved the irony of today’s Abby’s Flying Fairy School segment about puppets, as the characters are pretty much designed to look like Muppets… Rickey Boyd does a good job. Other than that though, the current over-exposure of Murray with him being the unofficial host of the show this season is already starting to get old, but we can’t complain too much, as Joey Mazzarino is head writer this season, so he’ll probably want Murray to get more exposure… but really, Cookie could still do the Letter of the Day, Count the Number of the Day, and nobody does near and far quite like Grover; speaking of which, I’m not really liking how a lot of the inserts with Muppet characters are animated this season… today’s animated insert with Cookie? Forget about it! So to paraphrase what I just said – nice street scene, great to hear Frank again, the inserts could use a little work, and less Murray please.
Episode 4189 – “Baby Bear is Afraid of Bees” (November 12, 2009)

Word On the Street: Murray Monster shares with us the word on the street, which is “pollinate”; kids and adults in the neighborhood explain that “pollinate” is when bees take the pollen from one flower, spreading it to other flowers to continue to help the flowers bloom and grow.

Street Scene: Abby Cadabby and Chris watch Baby Bear complete his latest masterpiece – a picture of the flowers in the garden, though Baby Bear suddenly freaks out when he sees a bee has made its way over to the flowers, and begins a pollination process; Abby and Chris explain to Baby Bear that bees are not to be feared, and give him the age-old, yet not always necessarily true rule that “if you don’t bother them, they won’t bother you”. Baby Bear admits he wishes he wasn’t afraid of bees, so Abby decides to cast a spell on Baby Bear to grant his wish, but accidentally turns Baby Bear and Chris into bees… and doesn’t know how to change them back on her own. Abby tries to contact her mommy on her cellular wand, but can’t get through as she doesn’t have all of her bars, and her network isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Abby heads off to get a better signal, when a bossy worker bee hassles Baby Bear and Chris about slacking off their duties, and tries to put them to work, pollinating flowers, though both Baby Bear and Chris try to explain to him that they’re not really bees, though the worker bee thinks they’re making up excuses to get out of work. Baby Bear learns two things at this point… 1. Bees help flowers, plants, fruits and vegetables grow through pollination, and 2. Chris is allergic to pollen. Upon seeing this, the worker bee decides these “newbees” need to be put to some lighter work, and while Abby is frustrated with her “friends and fairies” calling plan, the worker bee takes Baby Bear and Chris inside a beehive, where they are instructed to produce wax to add on to the hexagons in their honeycomb, and while Chris continues to try to explain they are not really bees, Baby Bear learns that bees make the wax to not only make their honeycomb, but the wax that is used in such things as candles, soaps, and even one of his favorite things – crayons. Still seeing that the newbees aren’t working, the worker bee tries to put them to one last job – making honey. Baby Bear then learns that bees are the ones behind one of his basic food groups, and realizes how important bees really are to the world, and now has a new appreciation for them. Finally grasping the message, the worker bee helps Baby Bear and Chris out of the hive, where they find Abby now has the spell to change them back to their original selves; when all is said and done, Baby Bear decides something is missing from his new masterpiece, and draws a bee next to the flowers he drew, in honor of his new friends – the bees.

Celebrity Segment: Nancy O’Dell is baffled that her new flower friend has no idea what pollination is, until worker bee comes along, and retrieves her pollen, and has him explain to her and the viewers that when he takes the pollen from one flower, he spreads it around to other flowers to continue to help them grow and create more new flowers as well.

Murray Intermezzo: Murray tells us that the letter of the day is the letter F, and goes in search of things that begin with F, such as flashlight, finger, and foot.

Insert (Film): Alphaboy – F (Fanning Father’s Feet with Funky Feathers).

Murray Intermezzo: Murray leads us into Abby’s Flying Fairy School.

Abby’s Flying Fairy School: It’s Recycling Day at school, and the fairies each bring in something that can be recycled – Gone Again brings in assorted metal cans, which can be recycled into a bird house (not sure how safe that would be for the birds, in my opinion), Blogg brings in his collection of belly button lint, which he recycles into a belly button lint doll; lastly, Abby brings in various plastic and glass bottles, one of which is so dusty, she’s not sure what it was used for. Abby tries to rub off the dust, only to discover it’s actually a genie’s bottle, belonging to Gene the Genie, who’s so happy to be out of his cramped bottle, he decides he’s going on a 1001 days’ vacation in Las Vegas, but before he goes, he explains his bottle hates to be empty, and it ends up sucking up Miss Sparklenose. While Gene desperately tries to flee for his vacation, the fairy kids tell him he needs to grant them three wishes, which he reluctantly complies – the first wish it to get Miss Sparklenose out of the bottle, but when that wish is granted, Niblet ends up inside the bottle instead. Thinking about their next wish carefully, Gone Again wishes that not one of them are inside the bottle, to which Gene misinterprets and sends all of them inside the bottle; needing to think extra carefully about their last wish, Spot helps the fairies realize they need to wish for all of them to be out of the bottle, and none of them in, which Gene grants. However, the bottle still hates to be empty, and ends up sucking in Miss Sparklenose again. Gene once again explains that the bottle hates to be empty, and that somebody needs to live in it to make it happy; the fairies suggest he live in it since it’s his bottle, but he refuses saying that it’s so small that he can’t live comfortably inside. With fairy magic, the fairies recycle all of the bottles in the room to create a newer, fancier, and even bigger bottle for Gene that he would be happy to call home, and for whenever he wants to come and go as he pleases, the bottle is also equipped with sliding glass doors.

Insert (Film): Big Bird narrates as none, some, more, and all of the dancers are dancing from Season 27.

Murray Intermezzo: Murray tells us that the number of the day is the number 6, and demonstrates by counting a boy doing 6 jumping jacks, counting the 6 strings on a man’s guitar, and watching 6 kids count themselves off.

Insert (Film): Count sings “Six at Sea” from Season 35.

Murray Intermezzo: Murray leads us into Bert and Ernie’s Great Adventures.

Bert and Ernie’s Great Adventures: Bert and Ernie find themselves taking on an unusual babysitting job for a half-onion/half human fellow named “Mr. Boss”, who runs a nursery with some unusual babies, including a Bavarian mountain plant named Hans, a Mexican cactus named Onath, and a Brazilian flower named Tootsie – each flower has its own special needs: Hans gets bored easily, and in order to perk him back up, one must yodel; Onath gets cold easily, and must be kept warm at all times; and Tootsie may be watered, but never fed. Bert notes all the details, but Ernie is too distracted by the other plants in the nursery to listen, and when Mr. Boss leaves, Bert and Ernie have their work cut out for them – while Bert juggles yodeling for Hans, and bringing Onath warm clothing, Tootsie keeps complaining that she’s hungry, so Ernie feeds her whatever he can from all of Bert’s oatmeal cookies, to an entire bag of plant food. Knowing Mr. Boss isn’t going to be happy when he sees this, Ernie and Bert consult a plant book that Mr. Boss left them in case of an emergency, and it is here that Ernie reads that Tootsie is a samba plant, and in order for her to shrink back to her normal size, her caretakers must wear fruit hats, and dance the samba when with her, which Ernie and a reluctant Bert do, thus a satisfied Tootsie shrinks back to her normal size. After all is said and done, Tootsie still complains that she’s hungry, but learning from his mistake, Ernie refuses to feed her anymore, but gives her a big drink of water instead; when Mr. Boss returns and sees what a good job Bert and Ernie did of babysitting his babies, he decides he feels confident in leaving them in charge while he takes a three week vacation, much to the dismay of Ernie and Bert.

Murray Intermezzo: Murray decides to play a sound game, where the viewers at home help him name the various sounds he hears in the neighborhood from a barking dog, to a whirring helicopter, to a sneezing tiger that has allergies.

Insert (Film): An educational little ditty about bees.

Murray Intermezzo: Murray announces it’s time for Elmo’s World.

Elmo’s World: Skin. Old.

Closing: Murray reminds us that Sesame Street was brought to us today by the letter F, and by the number 6.

Overall Review: Again, the street scene was really nice, both fun and educational, just like a Sesame story should be, and I loved the jabs at how sophisticated technology can be anything but with Abby’s complications with the network her cell-wand’s on, and her “friends and fairies” plan. It would also appear to me that Baby Bear’s overall drawing skills have improved since his old “Hero Guy” days as well. Nice blend of relatively older segments as well, even though “Six at Sea” isn’t really that old to begin with, but it’s one of my favorite current bits. Abby’s Flying Fairy School and Bert and Ernie’s Great Adventures were both amusing in this episode as well… but the one thing that puzzled me the most was the use of Elmo’s World: Skin… that seemed out of place… I figured they would use either the previously aired Elmo’s World: Bugs, or even create a completely new segment focusing on bees. But then again, nobody cares about Elmo’s World anymore anyway, so there’s really no cause to complain there. I give today’s new episode another even four stars… right now, Murray’s preventing me from giving them a full five star rating.
Episode 4190 – “Wild Nature Survivor Guy” (November 13, 2009)

Word On the Street: Murray Monster shares with us the word on the street, which is “nature”, and Murray learns that everything around us that isn’t made by man is a part of nature.

Street Scene: While Leela picks tomatoes from her tomato plants for lunch at Hooper’s a helicopter suddenly circles overhead, and dropping from a rope is Wild Nature Survivor Guy (Jimmy Fallon), who has chosen this “wild” location in nature to practice surviving by his Wild Nature Survivor instincts, consisting of finding food, water, warmth and shelter in order to survive in the wilds of nature, despite Leela, Alan, Elmo, and Rosita constantly telling him that he isn’t really out in the wilds of nature, but rather in the middle of the city. Ignoring that, WNSG goes in search of food for nourishment, and once he sees Leela’s tomato plants, he pounces on them, gorging himself on a fresh tomato so as to provide him with nourishment for survival, much to the disgust of Leela, who takes her plants away from him, and Alan, who tries to tell him he has plenty of food in Hooper’s. Still insisting on surviving on his own, WNSG realizes that he won’t be able to survive for very long without water, and waits for it to rain, so he can consume rain water, only to discover that there’s no rain coming, though it did rain earlier that day; grabbing his canteen, WNSG collects drops of rain water from the leaf of a plant in the community garden, once again refusing Alan’s offer to fill his canteen with a pitcher of water from Hooper’s Store. As the sun begins to set, WNSG must find a way to keep warm, and finds a trail of feathers on the sidewalk, which he stuffs into his safari shirt, reasoning that feathers are one of the best ways nature keeps us warm, even pointing out that Alan’s coat vest is stuffed with feathers. WNSG follows the trail of feathers to a duck, and promptly attacks it, trying to stuff the duck into his shirt, which the duck wants no part of; shirt stuffed with feathers for warmth, WNSG sees night is about to fall, and needs to seek shelter, so gathering two branches that fell from a nearby tree, and finding Big Bird’s nest, WNSG decides that the nest will be the perfect spot to camp out for the night, while the branches provide a covering for him, despite Alan, Elmo, and Rosita explaining to him that someone already lives in the nest, namely Big Bird, who astounds WNSG by his massive size, claiming that a large wild bird like Big Bird is a wonder of nature. Others confused, WNSG explains, in song, that everything and even everyone is all a part of nature, before settling down in Big Bird’s nest for the night.

Celebrity Segment: Debra Messing points out that animals, such as a frog, plants, rocks, and even people are all apart of nature, and that nature is all around us.

Murray Intermezzo: Murray tells us that the letter of the day is the letter D, and wears various things to demonstrate, including a doll, a daisy, dots on his scarf, and dogs on his shirt.

Insert (Animated/Muppet): The silhouettes of Big Bird, Elmo, and Snuffy jam to the letter D on their D-shapes iPods.

Murray Intermezzo: Murray leads us into Abby’s Flying Fairy School.

Abby’s Flying Fairy School: It’s Dance Recital day at school, and while Abby and Blogg are practicing for the recital, Gone Again refuses to participate, reasoning that he doesn’t know how to dance. Miss Sparklenose conjures up something to help Gone Again learn how to dance, namely, Magical Sugar Plum Fairy Dancing Shoes; but before Gone Again can get the shoes on his feet, they start to dance by themselves, prompting Gone Again to chase after them. Gone Again chases the shoes all through out the classroom, growing more and more frustrated each time they slip away. Abby isn’t of much help either when she offers to put a spell on Gone Again to help him dance; each time at the last minute, Gone Again lunges for the shoes, and whatever Abby ends up zapping starts dancing, including a lunchbox, a chair, and an art easel. On the verge of giving up, the fairies consult with Spot to see what they should do about catching the shoes; Spot shows them that dancing isn’t in one’s shoes, it’s in one’s feet, and soon afterwards, Miss Sparklenose helps Gone Again realize that chasing the shoes around actually helped him create some dance moves of his own without realizing it, including a wiggle when Niblet ended up inside his shirt, a slip-and-slide, and a head shake when he got paint on his head – putting the moves together with music, Gone Again realizes he can dance after all, and the fairies are ready to put on their dance recital.

Insert (Street): Miles’ Forward and Backward Dance from Season 39.

Murray Intermezzo: Murray tells us that the number of the day is the number 5, and demonstrates by counting 5 backpacks, a man doing 5 pushups while standing on his hands, and watching 5 kids count themselves off.

Insert (Animated): 5 in space from Season 29.

Murray Had a Little Lamb: Karate School from Season 39.

Murray Intermezzo: Murray prepares to lead us into Elmo’s World, but before he does, he does a demonstration of outside and inside.

Celebrity Segment: Ziggy Marley, along with cameo appearances from other celebrity guests this season; sing “Set Your Piggies Free”, a catchy little tune about bare feet.

Murray Intermezzo: Murray announces it’s time for Elmo’s World.

Elmo’s World: Helping from Season 38.

Closing: Murray reminds us that Sesame Street was brought to us today by the letter D, and by the number 5.

Overall Review: Personally, for some reason, I felt today’s street scene was too fast-paced, and hard to keep up with… not to the extent that we didn’t know what was going on, but rather again, how quickly the story flow went. It just felt very rushed, but it was nice to see Big Bird make an appearance in the street scene, and nice to see Alan have a larger role today as well. I did like the Abby’s Flying Fairy School segment, as it reminded me of an episode of Wimzie’s House, in which Jonas refused to participate in the daycare’s play, fearing that he was a klutz, and would end up ruining the entire play for everybody. I really like Ziggy Marley, and I thought “Set Your Piggies Free” was a cute little number. Other than that… I didn’t really feel today’s episode measured up to previous new episodes… I’d give it three stars, but I think even that might be a little too generous.

In conclusion, while it’s wonderful that Sesame Street has made it this far, and is still going strong, Season 40, to me, looks to be rather hit-and-miss… there are some things that could use a little working, ala more of our favorite Muppets in their original Muppet form – again, Cookie could still do the Letter of the Day, Count the Number of the Day, let Grover do the lectures on things near and far, and outside and inside. With all due respect to Joey, I don’t think making Murray the unofficial host of the show works very well… it would make more sense to give a character with more seniority the hosting duties, but then again, I don’t work for the show, I’m just a fan of it. This has just been the first week, but the excitement for the rest of Season 40 continues to grow, so here’s to looking forward to the rest of what will certainly be a very memorable, and sentimental season of the greatest children’s show in the history of television.

7 thoughts on “Sesame Street Week: Day 7 – Season 40 Episode Recap, Week 1

  1. Ryan, first off: I LOVE this blog and think that you're doing a great job filling it with entertaining content written by yourself, as well as guest writers – it's SO rich!

    But here's my criticism: Your posts aren't very well formatted AT ALL, in that, unfortunately they seem to flow into each other. The individual headers (with dates and stuff) NEED to be bigger, while there should be gaps inbetween the posts. Sometimes there are bigger gaps inside the posts than from post to post, and that makes it REALLY hard to read.

    Though, todays post is missing gaps between each “Overall Review” and the next “Episode #”. It's really confusing at times.

    It might just be something that doesn't show up on your computer though. Try checking out the blog on other computers to be sure!

    I would greatly appreciate if you could go back into your old posts and fix that. It would make a world of a difference! Thank you.

  2. Plus, in a post like today's, it's really hard to read such a long text if you don't offer a few pictures inbetween. I know it sucks that that's what we're used to nowadays, but it's a fact: reading's easier on a computer screen for your eyes, if there are illustrations that you can rest them on every once in a while. 🙂

  3. To anonymous…

    I'm D'Snowth, the guy who wrote up the reviews for Ryan, and while they were formatted much differently in Microsoft Word before hand, I don't know why they came out looking the way they did on this post, assuming blogspot might have been a little “picky” in the copy/paste process… sometimes, if I copy/paste something from word to my MySpace blog, it doesn't come out as previously formatted.

    Just FYI. 🙂

  4. Thank you for all of the constructive criticism, Anonymous! I really do take it to heart. I've been trying to attempt some new formatting techniques into my recent posts. There's nothing I can do about the size and things–Blogger is VERY annoyingly restrictive on that.

    As for pictures in this article… there were none because I was away this weekend and one of my friends uploaded it for me.

    I'll be using some of the formatting suggestions in the near future and I'll start going back through the blog and attempting to make things easier to read and distinguish.

    Thanks for the comments and concerns!

  5. The new little Zoe will only appear in Season 40. It was an experiment and the general concensus was that original Zoe was just fine the way she was. I'm sure this will be a trivia question one day!

  6. I agree about the formatting, usually we have amazing pictures (often previously unseen) that I love! I knew immediately when I saw this article that you were obviously too busy, or away, or something to give it the usual flurish. I think you're doing a fantastic job of juggling school and blog and life, and if there's pictures I appreciate them, if you need a break from pictures, it's allowed now and then!

    Thanks to D'Snow for the review!

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