Early Sesame Street a Bit Scary for Modern Viewers

Living in the Trash CanEarly Sesame Street is a bit scary for modern viewers, modern viewers being unrealistic wimps. Virginia Heffernan writes in the NY Times:

Back then — as on the very first episode, which aired on PBS Nov. 10, 1969 — a pretty, lonely girl like Sally might find herself befriended by an older male stranger who held her hand and took her home. Granted, Gordon just wanted Sally to meet his wife and have some milk and cookies, but . . . well, he could have wanted anything. As it was, he fed her milk and cookies. The milk looks dangerously whole. . . .

The old “Sesame Street” is not for the faint of heart . . .

She says the street was dirty. Oscar the Grouch could be depressing. No one was really all that chipper, except maybe Ernie who also seemed a bit slow on the uptake.

The harshness of existence was a given, and no one was proposing that numbers and letters would lead you “out” of your inner city to Elysian suburbs. Instead, “Sesame Street” suggested that learning might merely make our days more bearable, more interesting, funnier. It encouraged us, above all, to be nice to our neighbors and to cultivate the safer pleasures that take the edge off — taking baths, eating cookies, reading.

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