While the little ones are at home, quarantined because of that virus going around, I’d thought I’d try to reach a worldwide audience. And yes, let’s talk television that is commendable and at the top of the ratings for watch mojo. Rebecca from Watch Mojo, by the way, is the coolest person in the world. Thank you for guiding my decisions for a while, the top ten lists and all.
Sesame Street has lots of iterations around the world, and has done some incredible work tackling issues ranging from grief to incarceration, autism to disability other than blindness, blindness of course, and so many other hard to unpack issues. They approach these issues in a kid friendly way, and always has there been a sympathetic ear at Sesame Street when it came to the things we Sesame Street watchers always felt uncomfortable about. Of course, Sesame Street varies from country to country, and there is a very cool version of it in Nigeria, Sesame Square. If anyone knows what a square is, it’s the same sort of concept as the town hall or plaza, but the use of this word in the Nigerian title is very appropriate given the architecture of Nigerian markets and stuff.
My favorite Sesame street characters so far are Big Bird and Cookie Monster, and then I can totally relate to Oscar the Grouch. He’s such a grouch of course, and he had a song that was entitled, I Love Trash. So appropriate, because he is pictured in a garbage can.
I find the Canadian sesame workshop titles are almost like the American ones, but what Sesame Workshop has done is create shows that customize themselves from country to country, doing topics specific for that country. One of the more recent things Sesame has done is create an Arabic version for the children of Syrian refugee parents. And boy do they tackle subjects like wartime crises with grace. While I don’t speak Arabic, Persian, or many other languages, remember I can only speak so many languages, Sesame Street is a great way to learn and not only learn numbers and letters, but learn how to empathize with others. The only thing I’m concerned about is the Autism Speaks community. The group purports to help screen for autism, but the negative messages are not good. However, I can’t blame Sesame workshop for aligning with Autism Speaks because their group is too loud and doesn’t have any autistics on their board. Autism Self Advocacy Network had to break partnership with Sesame over this, but it wasn’t necessarily their fault, it was Autism Speaks. LEt me be clear: children’s TV should be presenting positive messages about autism, not negative narratives like what we see in Autism Speaks.
Sesame workshop has also tackled a lot of hot button AMerican issues like homelessness, incarceration, death, disability, HIV/AIDS and blood safety, and many other subjects that kick in the social sphere of each country. I’m glad the workshop is continuing the good wwork it does, and for those who don’t know, it can b heard in a lot of different languages. Sesame Street and Sesame Square being good examples, well, why not? If you’re a classic Sesame Street fan, just watch the show.