Update: New Lofi comic for 10/8/12!
PBS is great. Sesame Street is particularly great. As the parent of the young child, I can’t even explain the profound impact that show has had on my daughter and her development. She learned numbers, letters, social concepts like sharing, courtesy, apologizing, honesty, etc. all while being engaged and entertained. Of course my wife and I proactively taught her those subjects and concepts as well, but just think about how much more relatable they were and how much more easily a 2 year old could understand them when we were able to say “You have to share. Remember how Elmo felt when his friend didn’t share?” Sesame Street is not just a TV show. It’s an institution and an invaluable national resource.
I know Sesame Street, and particularly Big Bird, are the topics being thrown around the media right now, but I can say with 100% certainly that PBS produces the highest quality children’s programming available and THE ONLY children’s programming that consistently entertains and educates my exceptionally bright child. I’ll give you two examples out of the dozens that come to mind. Curious George is focused on problem solving through experimentation and doing. After she watched an episode, she often disappears into her room or our craft area and emerges 30 minutes later with a contraption based on whichever episode she just watched. “Look! I built an automatic kitty feeder just like George!”
Her favorite show right now is Word Girl. It’s about a superhero that uses her vocabulary to defeat villains. In addition to having above average writing for a kids’ show, it is also voice acted by some of the top comedians in the country (Maria Bamford, Patton Oswalt, Brian Posehn, Chris Parnell, etc.) Last week, after watching an episode of Word Girl, she ran into the kitchen, grabbed a pencil and some paper and started writing a play. She wrote pages of lines for each character, assigned my wife and I parts and we sat down as a family and had a table read before bedtime. It was, in a word, adorbs. But more so, she was exercising her creativity because she was inspired by what she had seen on PBS.
Watching these shows makes her brain move in new directions instead of just keeping it subdued for 30 minutes while we cook dinner. Anyone that looks at the minuscule government subsidy that PBS gets and doesn’t see the value (or doesn’t even understand how much it is) probably didn’t watch enough PBS.
- In Jim Henson’s early Sesame Street sketches, Big Bird was a giant chicken and Oscar the Grouch was pink [Concept Art]
- Sesame Street: A Celebration of 40 years of Life on the Street
- Big Bird Joins Daniel Craig on ‘SNL’
COMMENTERS: Any particular memories of Sesame Street as a child or a parent?
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