Growing up, I think I was a little resentful of the baby boom childhood nostalgia being foisted on us. Leave it to Beaver, Kuklah Fran and Ollie, Howdy Doody... never did it for me. So I found myself feeling a little sheepish ordering the Electric Company on DVD and trying to convince myself it was for my children.
I love this show. I am stunned at how vivdly I can recall these episodes when I see them. Sesame Street gets a lot of credit for educating my generation, in part because of its longevity and overall decency. However, I think I learned a lot more watching the Electric Company. It's probably where I learned to spell. That's nothing for the producers to feel proud about since I'm a lousy speller, but I was pretty good back in those first few grades, when mastering concepts like the 'silent E' got you pretty far.
I was surprised at how flashy, trippy, and rapid-fire the show was. I don't know exactly where I stand on the argument that TV has caused an epidemic of ADHD. Viewing hours as a prime cause seems an over-simplific stance. I think there are probably far more complex variables to take into account. I'm sure too much of the wrong kind of stimulation can trigger it in susceptible individuals. Conversely, a moderate amount of good, educational TV can also be benificial. I watched a lot of TV as a kid. That TV was on a lot more than my parents would admit to, and I bet this is true for many people my age. And I'm a working, functioning member of society. On the other hand, I don't have the greatest attention span. So, maybe... I don't remember where I was going with this.
I do agree with some of reviewers who have pointed out that both the episode selection and the bonus features suggest that they were marketing this DVD package more for nostalgic parents than for children. That's understandable from a business point of view. But I do wish, instead of a collection of episodes from each season, that they just chose a sampling of bits and sketches from each season that would represent a balance of the more educational, more entertaining, and more memorable bits. That would make it a little easier for me to pretend I was buying this for my children and not myself.
But it is what it is, and on the whole it's good, worth the price.