Not-So-Special Special

Well, I watched “Elmo’s Play Date” last night and immediately regretted spreading the word about it. It turned out to be a gigantic disappointment. 

At least, as a middle-aged woman with no kids, it was a giant disappointment to me. But perhaps I’m being too uncharitable. Perhaps the intended purpose of the special was to distract young children for a half an hour. If so, it sounds like it was a roaring success. 

My main disappointment is that the promotional materials released beforehand seemed to promise so much more than the special actually delivered. It seemed like they were going to talk to more Sesame Street characters, Muppet and human alike. For example, Zoe and Prairie Dawn featured prominently in the promotion, but I don’t remember them in the special at all. It looked as though Peter Linz recorded new material as Ernie, but his role in the special was limited to being part of the chorus for “Sing” at the end, where he appeared alongside Bert. Which totally makes sense from a Watsonian point of view, but how on Earth did the Doylist logistics work out?!?

I don’t know this for a fact, but it appears to me that the special was originally supposed to be an hour long but got severely pared down, perhaps so it could re-air today in Sesame‘s usual time slot. If so, then I’m afraid we got the uninteresting half. It’s a shame. Why bother going to the trouble to enlist the help of the supremely talented and lovable human beings Anne Hathaway and Lin-Manuel Miranda and then not give them anything interesting to do?

It almost appears that they just asked a three-year-old what he or she would like to see and then just based the entire special around that (e.g., “I want to sing ‘Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes’ with Catwoman!”). It’s a cute idea that had a lot of potential but ultimately left a lot to be desired. 

I apologize if anyone watched it specifically because I mentioned it. If I could, I would cheerfully refund you a half an hour of your time. 

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