So, it may be the understatement of the year to say that I am an opinionated person. Actually, I believe that everyone has just as many opinions as I do, but they don’t have my burning need to share and my incredible passion for being right (or, if necessary “appearing to be right”). But, no matter – I am a man with a point of view, and my focus has recently come to rest upon the children’s television programming that my son, Bronco, enjoys.

It can be, on some level, frightening to have a strong opinion about children’s programming. One of my friends recently called out her husband’s mental state in her Facebook status for admitting that he “really liked” an episode of Mickey Mouse that involved Goofy Baby. Other people chimed in to say that they began measuring themselves for straightjackets when they started to actively debate the question of “Cutest Wiggle.”

I have no such concerns about my faculties, but the other day I did find myself launching into a grumpy old man-style tirade about the “newer” episodes of Sesame Street that run on the Sprout network (I apologize if the following doesn’t make sense to those of you without kids – volunteer to babysit my kids and you will see what I mean).

First of all, the powers that be at Sesame Street changed the song. It was a perfectly good song that was instantly recognizable to generations of people, so naturally they changed it to be more modern. Although it is snappier, the song is now more difficult for my son to learn and sing. The show is for kids like him, so I don’t see why they revamped the song to make it more appealing to people like me…

…Along with the less kid-friendly song, the opening scenes are now a flash of different collage-like scenes, and although I do like the heavyset kid doing a shuffle toward the end, I preferred the older open with Big Bird running around with a pack of kids. Again, one of the reasons I like Sesame Street over other kids’ shows is that the scenes aren’t changing every couple of seconds (I’m looking at you, Bob the Builder) so I’m not sure why they would change the opening to be different than the show itself. Flash, hey it’s Elmo – flash – now it’s Zoe – flash…hate it…

…Maybe it’s just the batch of reruns that I’m seeing, but this newish guy Chris has apparently taken over the show. Whenever there is a “new” show on, it seems to open with Chris doing this or Chris doing that, and Chris mugging for the camera, and Chris, Chris, Chris. I get it – Chris is a shiny new toy that the show wants to use, but give me more Maria, Bob, Alan, and Gordon. Chris is fine, but I need him in smaller doses. I may or may not have deleted episodes off of my DVR when I saw that they opened with yet another storyline based on Chris…

…Speaking of character usage, I want more Oscar the Grouch, more Cookie Monster, more Count von Count, and much less Baby Bear – ideally, no Baby Bear at all. Telly I could take or leave, but I don’t see why Harry Monster couldn’t fill that role.

I am sad to see that Grover, who when I was growing up was my favorite character (or at least tied with Cookie Monster), is now relegated to doing tourism segments, with the occasional turn as an ineffective superhero. I think he needs a new agent…

…My son, as required by law, is bananas about Elmo. To Bronco, the show Sesame Street is simply “Elmo.” If he’s bored with Chris yammering on in some episode, Bronco will demand that I fast-forward to the Elmo’s World part. What strikes me is that Elmo isn’t really involved much in the action of the segment. Instead, he’s like a little red Johnny Carson (if Johnny Carson failed to use pronouns). Elmo opens the show by chatting up Dorothy the fish (Ed McMahon) a bit, then throws it to Mr. Noodle for some hijinks (Mr. Noodle is fine, but I preferred his late brother, Mr. Noodle). When Mr. Noodle is done, there is a segment where kids show us how to do things, followed by a generally unwatchable cartoon. If your child somehow manages to stay interested past the cartoon (or, more likely, if you gleefully fast-forward past the cartoon), Elmo wraps things up with a song. Because Elmo sings, maybe Dean Martin is a better comparison than Johnny Carson, but I’d have to see Elmo with a drink and cigarette to be sure…

…I know that by writing about this, I may come off like one of those people who spend too much time complaining when Facebook does their weekly format change. My wife is generally less grumpy and more accepting of change than me, so I asked her what she thought of the new Sesame Street. She thought about it for a minute, pursed her lips, and said, “They really need to get rid of that elephant character.”