Sunday, May 25, 2008

Big Bird? Really?

picture by Matt Furie

Sorry, kids, nannies, parents, older siblings, and anyone who may watch the occasional Sesame Street episode with their little friend (8months-and up). After watching daily tivo-ed episodes, at times more than one a day, while nannying, I have taken a different understanding to it than when I was a kid. We all know its purpose is to to help educate young kids on things such as the alphabet, numbers, sharing, etc. There are the "monsters," the foam and furry characters, who are the life of the show and are named such to help kids not be afraid of the idea of monsters. Really, what it all comes down to is an educational, kid friendly, SNL skit. I laugh while enjoying altered stories about the three little bears and goldilocks and understand why Elmo is a favorite among many. Without examining those who are in between, I will get to it and say that Big Bird is way at the bottom.

Writing about these characters is kind of hard, when they are pretty much gender neutral, at least Big Bird and Elmo.
Anyway here are the reasons I can't get into Big Bird:

Too tall for its body and so always has bad posture
Eyes display a passive personality
Is so huge but not huge in character
Is rarely funny, rarely
Isn't ironic or close to it
Usually is a complement to another used with another character and not alone
Has a hard time being creative
Has a bland voice

I don't mean to hate on Big Bird, but I can't help questioning these characters and their influence on kids. Bert is another flop. I'm sure these less interesting beings on Sesame Street are to help guide kids through picking friends and provide social awareness. I imagine little kids are less interested in Big Bird, as I am, but can't ignore him because of his huge yellow appearance. Sesame Street has been around forever and they make changes when their audience disproves or loses interest, but I'd be interested in learning more about the concept behind Big Bird.

When I said I'm sorry in the beginning, I meant it about enduring Big Bird not the show, because I do love me a good Sesame Street episode.

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