Shane Keating returns for the second collection of Sesame Street episodes for its historic 45th season!
EPISODE #4506: FIFTEEN’S QUINCEANERA – Zoe, Abby, Telly and Mando help a number 15 have the quinceanera she’s always dreamed of.
This story felt a tad similar to the “Enthusiastic Penelope” one, in the sense that the new character is a nigh nuisance to the others until their issue is solved. Telly was pretty good as his usual, worry-wort self and the new song “Quince” was pretty good too. It was good to see Maria and Luis too, even if they didn’t stick around for long.
Viola Davis appeared with Elmo in a new Word of the Day bit on the word “fiesta.” Other than that, there were two other new inserts – a nicely produced film segment about cousins in America and Chile and a cute animated segment about 15 rocks.
The episode also introduced the second, and sadly last, new “Elmo the Musical” segment of the season – Tomato the Musical. I enjoyed it, though I felt it was a tad too song heavy; there was barely any time between each one without much story to it. If anything, I would’ve taken out the “Bounce” song. The “Mamma Mia” number at the end makes up for it though; that’s probably my favorite song of the season so far (genius move making it an ABBA sound-alike).
EPISODE #4507: A BICYCLE BUILT BY TWO – Telly and Luis build a bicycle that Little Chicken can ride on.
This was a pretty cute street story. Stephanie D’Abruzzo’s performance of Little Chicken was good; I loved the touch of her tapping the beak when the others correctly guess her actions. Alan’s befuddlement whenever Telly borrowed something of his was pretty funny too.
Only a small handful of new stuff debuted in this episode. First, Claire Danes and Cookie Monster explained what a “diagram” is. A diagram of a cookie was used and I’m sure you can guess what happened from there. Then, there was a new stop-motion piece involving a Recycle Bot. It was a pretty well done, cute bit and there’s another edition of it presumably coming later in the season.
Another new Super Grover 2.0 bit debuted, where he helps a duckling cross the stream to a party without getting her new shoes wet. Grover gets a lot of good lines in this one (“Do not be daffy, duck.”) and Stephanie’s overly cutesy performance of the duckling was very funny. More of these segments next season would be greatly appreciated.
EPISODE #4508: ERNIE’S DANCE VIDEO – Ernie tries to get the whole world to dance with him with a viral dance video Bert wants no part in.
This story felt short too, like a lot of the others this season. I don’t know if that was a deliberate move by the producers to fit more inserts in, or to work better for the half-hour versions, but the street stories are really meant to be the anchor of sorts of the show and they’re over so quickly. I did enjoy this one though. I thought Billy Barkhurst’s Ernie improved over his performance in “Bert’s Training Wheels” and it’s great to see two stories starring Bert and Ernie this season.
Not much new material in this episode. A couple of new animated inserts – one about dancing (which had a very early 90s feel to it) and another about counting 20 masks. The Word of the Day bit with Aziz Ansari and Grover was good. Two funny people in the same bit is an instant recipe for success.
The biggest new segment was the latest edition of Cookie’s Crumby Pictures – The Cookie of Oz. This debuted on YouTube months ago and finally made it to air. It’s always great to see Cookie Monster in drag and it was a very well done spoof. I kind of prefer the spoofs of the more classic movies as opposed to the current ones, however.
EPISODE #4509: IF ME HAD THAT WAND – Cookie Monster schemes to get Abby’s wand to make some cookie magic of his own.
I will give this story props for being a tad more developed that most of the ones we’ve seen so far this season. It’s kind of a shame they didn’t much more with the concept of “Cookie tries stealing Abby’s wand” than a few silly disguises. Some conflict between Cookie and Abby might have been welcome. I did enjoy the songs in the episode, as usual. The Broadway-style ones are always a treat for me as a musical theater fan.
Ice Cube appeared in a new Word of the Day, with a neat puppet of him as a literal ice cube. Murray traveled to another new school – magic school! Explaining the tricks might ruin them for some people, but I guess kids will enjoy seeing how they work and how they can do it themselves.
The only other segment of note was the newest Crumby Picture – “Furry Potter and the Goblet of Fur.” While not as clever as the other spoofs, this was a pretty entertaining bit nonetheless. There’s a lot of Sesame in jokes during the segment, so keep your eye out for those.
So, that covers the second “wave” of sorts of episodes in the season. Stay tuned for more later!
The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, firstname.lastname@example.org