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Recycling is topic on Sesame Street

Oscar the Grouch and his new digs, complete with recycling center. Source: Sesame Workshop

For over four decades, Sesame Street has helped children grow smarter, stronger and kinder by providing preschoolers with the gold-standard in quality educational programming. On January 16th 2016, Sesame Street will launch season 46 of the award-winning show on HBO with the boldest changes to the Street to date, including 30-minute episodes, new preschool-relevant themes, new show open and closing songs, an updated set, a new segment called “Smart Cookies,” and a new cast member, “Nina.” One other important topic is: Oscar’s can has been updated and moved to a more central location so he can add grouchy commentary to any situation. He’ll also be popping up in trash cans, recycling bins and composting receptacles across the street!

Some of you (especially those with toddlers) may have heard about the children’s television staple “Sesame Street” moving to cable TV’s HBO from PBS, but that’s not the only shift going on.

With the 46th season, which started Jan. 16, the muppet mainstay Oscar the Grouch adds a recycling bin to his standard garbage can home. Actually, the show’s producers, Sesame Workshop, said in a news release describing the new set, both the garbage can and the recycling bin are part of an “updated, reimagined and visually vibrant new set.

“Oscar’s can has been updated and moved to a more central location so he can add grouchy commentary to any situation. He’ll also be popping up in trash cans, recycling bins and composting receptacles across the street!”

(Check out the start of the first episode, embedded below, for a good idea of Oscar’s new home when he meets Grouch explorer “Mucko Polo,” played by Alan Cumming.)

While some commentators have complained that the move to HBO’s Family channel and an updated set betray its gritty roots — typical complaint: “G is for gentrification” — the producers say the changes reflect the New York of today vs. that of the city in 1969 when it began. And recycling is part of that new atmosphere.

And for those saying the move to HBO means most kids won’t get a chance to see their favorite characters, the deal between Sesame Workshop and the cable network includes a deal that allows PBS stations to air the new seasons for free nine months after they premiere.

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