Share It Maybe (2012 meme) review…

Share It Maybe (2012 meme) review after the break…

Share It Maybe (2012 meme) review…

There was a time on this blog where I wrote in all lower-case letters and my opinions were not as diplomatic as they attempt to be nowadays. Certainly, some contemporary topics have made me regret not regressing back to that style of writing – The movie called “Hobo With a Shotgun” being one of those times. Now, sadly, there is another topic tempting me as well.

I’m no stranger to reality – We all have to adjust to the modern era. Some people are amazing adept at modernizing while others prefer a more luddite-styled pace. Heck, even I have a cellular telephone. Someday, I might even buy a digital camera.

What both shocks and saddens me, though, is that the children’s television program “Sesame Street” seems to believe that staying hip with today’s children is to resemble some sort of G-rated “Weird Al” Yankovic (or, for the luddites, A non-political version of Mark Russell) by taking contemporary songs and replacing them with vaguely amusing G-rated lyrics (part of the humor is that the lyrics are G-rated). Chief amongst the puppets to engage in this ever-frequent amount of behavior is the character Cookie Monster, never known of being shy or polite when a plate of chocolate chip cookies are placed in front of him.

“Share It Maybe” is the Sesame Street parody of a song called “Call Me Maybe” which, itself, has become a popular song (I refuse to use the “V” word anymore but that’s a topic for another post). The parody is sung by Cookie Monster while stealthily attempting to steal cookies from the confines of a modern office building.

I don’t get it. Honestly. I’m not writing that to portray myself as purposely old or out-of-touch… I am old and out-of-touch because I do not understand why this is so popular. My best guess as to why this parody is popular is because:

  • The source song that the parody is based on is popular;
  • The source song is in some way sexually suggestive and the parody is most decidedly not (therefore, deriving some of the humor in that the parody must exhibit significant creativity in order to make a sexually suggestive song sound like a non-sexually suggestive song);
  • This is another case of a children’s performer (a “muppet” in this instance) performing an activity that one would not normally see them perform.

The song and the setting is not remarkable and Cookie Monster’s voice is not the easiest to listen to while it’s belting out a song. Cookie Monster’s one legitimate music hit, “C is for Cookie,” was a much slower and simpler song that at least could be understood. During the faster portions of the song, I wasn’t quite sure what Cookie Monster was saying nor was I particularly caring at that point.

I get it; The Sesame Street characters have to evolve to match the banality of today’s children in order to stay relevant. Just as the children of today are saturated in the “Me First” culture of Internet overexposure, so too must their childhood idols reflect those same attitudes. The character of Cookie Monster has grown to be quite the Internet attention whoer lately and I’m not exactly sure who approved that strategy or why. To be fair, this is not the first time that Cookie Monster has parodied popular material – Masterpiece Theater was parodied to great effect as “Monsterpiece Theater” but that wasn’t necessarily a song but a series of skits built around an educational lesson.

Yet Sesame Street runs into intellectual trouble with such efforts; The company behind Sesame Street is constantly claiming that it’s core demographic is getting younger which is it’s main excuse for it’s significant revisions (The inclusion of Elmo as well as other gender and racial-centric characters) yet it continues to parody songs that such a demographic might not appreciate (Because we all know that the toddler-set really wants to see Cookie Monster host an episode of the late-night comedy show “Saturday Night Live”) or even understand.

I don’t hate Cookie Monster, I don’t hate the muppets, I don’t hate Sesame Street – I just don’t understand what everyone is excited about over this effort. If I had to change anything about this effort (other then not to initiate it), I wouldn’t put Cookie Monster as the singer but a character that one might understand a little more clearly.

“Share It Maybe” is only marginally cute because it features a puppet singing G-rated lyrics to a contemporary popular song. Beyond that, there’s nothing there. It’s a cliche to even ask but it’s appropriate in this case, WWJD… No, not “What Would Jesus Do?” But “What Would Jim Do?” Yes, Muppets can be silly and irrelevant (some of their best skits, musical or otherwise, are as such) but there’s a fine line between silliness and shallowness. The combination of a bad voice choice, media distribution and a song that’s honestly not that catchy (Really… What am I missing that everyone else is raving about?) marginalizes this effort to the archives of long-term irrelevance. In ten years time, this effort won’t even have the kitsch value of something like “Sesame Street Disco.”

Share It Maybe? I don’t think so.

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