On the heels of the (overblown) Katy Perry cleavage scandal, PBS is apparently developing an "adult" Sesame Street — for baby boomers. But twentysomethings are the ones who really need advice from Elmo & co.
The show will be called Next Avenue, and the president of Twin Cities Public Television says it will be "a virtual life coach for baby boomers." He adds, "It will also challenge them to see the opportunities life holds after 45." Isn't that what Activia commercials are for? Seriously, though, I get that baby boomers face unique challenges. But don't today's twentysomethings, with our much-vaunted immaturity, need our own Sesame Street even more? Some potential segments, should the folks at Twin Cities decide to consider it:
Big Bird Needs A Job
Big Bird graduates from bird college and needs steady employment. First he decides to be a lawyer, but then he learns that this requires several years of grueling training and massive debt. Then he wants to be a doctor, but this requires even more schooling and massive debt, plus you don't even get to bring people back to life (remember the Mr. Hooper episode, Big Bird?). Finally he decides to go to art school, where he inevitably changes from a lovable avian into a weird asshole who uses the word "gestural." Brought to you by the letters M, F, and A.
You Have A Landlord
You know when Sesame Street would do those odd bits that just explained parts of modern life (I seem to recall "We Live in a Suburb")? This would be like that, only the catchy, slightly warped song would be about landlords and how they will never give you back your deposit unless you pay a maid service to clean your apartment from top to bottom, and even then they will probably claim you never gave them a deposit or something. Probably this segment would have footage of real buildings and landlords, a la "We Live in a Suburb," but I'd also like to see a new puppet called Management Company who is just a big walking building that punches you and takes your money.
Too Many Credit Cards!
Oops, Elmo bought a bunch of, like, funny hats or something (what do Sesame Street characters buy?), but he didn't have the money to pay for them. So Big Bird shows him how to cut up his credit cards and throw them in Oscar the Grouch's trash can. But he still has to pay off his bills. Since Elmo has no job skills, he has to hang out on street corners and let people tickle him for cash. A cautionary tale.
Moving Back In With Your Parents
Bert and Ernie's beloved son Bernie moves back in with them after college. At first everything is going great, but then Bernie is both slovenly (eating cookies in bed) and judgmental (making fun of the fact that Ernie still loves rubber ducky at the age of 41). Then a New York Times reporter shows up to do a trend piece and everyone learns the word "generalization."
Counting Up Your Taxes
The Count hosts this one, obviously. Celebrity guest Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays a twentysomething. Different monetary amounts are represented by fish, to make things more concrete. The Count stuffs thirty fish into one envelope and ten into another, and then, to more accurately represent real life, finds a stray document in Joseph Gordon-Levitt's closet that causes him to have to unseal the envelopes and start all over again. At the end, Gordon-Levitt is left with one fish, which is then eaten by a seal. He vows to start keeping better records, but instead he just does a little dance.
In this segment Telly Monster lies awake worrying that he will never pay off his student loans, find a lasting relationship, or figure out what to do with his life. As the clock ticks past 3 AM (this could also be a valuable lesson in telling time), he begins to also worry about contracting a degenerative disease, about climate change, and about whether anyone in his life has ever truly loved him. Then at 4 AM, those funny aliens show up. He did not even think to worry about them! But luckily all they want is to have a party and teach him a new word: Zoloft.
Adult 'Sesame Street' [New York Post]