Sesame Street 'Not Meant for Kids'

If you've already purchased the Sesame Street: Old School, Volumes 1 & 2, you may have noticed something strange: they come with strange warnings:

“These early ‘Sesame Street’ episodes are intended for grown-ups, and may not suit the needs of today’s preschool child.”

The hell? How were my needs as a preschool child any different from today's kids? Virginia Heffernan, author of the excellent The Medium blog at the NYT, is also concerned. Her post on Adults-Only Sesame Street is truly awesome.

Here's a sample:

At a recent all-ages home screening, a hush fell over the room. “What did they do to us?” asked one Gen-X mother of two, finally. The show rolled, and the sweet trauma came flooding back. What they did to us was hard-core. Man, was that scene rough. The masonry on the dingy brownstone at 123 Sesame Street, where the closeted Ernie and Bert shared a dismal basement apartment, was deteriorating. Cookie Monster was on a fast track to diabetes. Oscar’s depression was untreated. Prozacky Elmo didn’t exist.

In other words, Sesame Street is another victim of a society that treats children like ultra-breakable ming vases, denying them the opportunity to actually experience the world. I can tell you one thing: my kids will only watch the early episodes. I freaking hate Elmo.


The Cookie Monster. Parents beware: he can get a little blue.