Monday, April 27, 2009
I picked this book up because I have the type of curiosity that makes me watch the making-of sections of all the DVDs we own. I have watched all 12 hours of extras in the Lord of the Rings Extended editions. Yes, I am a geek, but I can kick your butt in Trivial Pursuit (as long as I don't have to answer any sports questions).
I have heard writing described as weaving a tapestry. This was a book that you could see the weaving being done. The author gives half-chapter biographies of all the people involved in creating Sesame Street, starting from way before they met. Eventually all the threads converge and you have a public television show. It was an enjoyable read, and I learned some things, but a lot of those things I didn't really want to know. For example, the politics and bickering involved in making a television show; I knew it was there, didn't appreciate so many pages explaining it in detail. The liberal policies of mid-60s intellectuals wasn't all that high on my interest list either.
What you hope for in a book like this are amusing anecdotes and a new insight into people you already knew. There were some of both, but since the real story was the development, the book gave a cursory look at the actual production of the show.
And I now feel really old because this year is Sesame Street's 40th anniversary.
Street Gang: The Complete History of Sesame Street. Michael Justin Davis. Viking. 2009