Sesame Street premiered in 1969, when I was two years old. According to my mother, I watched it religiously and loved it. We didn't have a lot of choices for kids' TV back then. There was Sesame Street, and sometime later The Electric Company and Zoom. No Noggin', no Nick Jr., no Cartoon Network. Somehow, we muddled through with PBS. And apparently, it's damaged us.
Today, in the New York Times, this article: Warnings On Sesame Street - "The original episodes are apparently no longer suitable for today's toddlers." In fact, you can get the original episodes on DVD, and they come with a warning: “These early ‘Sesame Street’ episodes are intended for grown-ups, and may not suit the needs of today’s preschool child.”
You'll have to read the whole article to see all the reasons why these early shows are now totally unsuitable for our precious 21st century toddlers. But among the complaints are that Oscar is an untreated depressive, Cookie Monster's diet is horrific, and Big Bird was having some sort of acid flashbacks because he could see Snuffy, when no one else could.
Also, there was this:
"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."
Good grief, how did those of us who watched this train-wreck as small children ever survive? Are we damaged goods now? Don't even get me started on those violent Warner Bros. cartoons. I can't even tell you the number of anvils I dropped on my brother's head over the years. (Oh come on, like he wasn't asking for it.) I think I may need some therapy now. Or possibly a few Bloody Marys.