Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Electric Company

Electric Company

Spring 2012 Television
Ages: 6 - 9 yrs.
Producer: Sesame Workshop
Rating: TV Y

Three years ago, PBS and Sesame Workshop resurrected 1970s favorite The Electric Company to present it to a new generation of kids. Those, like myself, who are nostalgic about coming home from school and watching the original, will appreciate the revival. The new high-voltage version urges kids to "Feel the power!" That positive message is just part of what makes the show so good.

The cast is diverse and the setting is urban. Each half-hour episode starts with five words. The meaning of each word is explained and viewers know to be on the lookout for those words through the show as it unfolds. Each episode also tells a story, with characters facing problems, getting angry and sometimes getting in trouble for simple scenarios (such as a birthday party not going as planned). They must solve the problems and resolve the issues, all while learning lessons about language, math and social scenarios. Animated segments, songs, grammar lessons and other treats are packed into the episodes.

Even though The Electric Company is targeted at kids ages 6 to 9, its appeal extends beyond that range. That said, it's just right for elementary-aged kids, who will surely laugh and learn as they watch.

Ann Oldenburg   ©2012 Parents' Choice
Ann Oldenburg, lecturer and interim director of the journalism program at Georgetown University, writes about television, food, workplace issues and other pop culture topics. A University of Florida Gator with a degree in journalism, she began her career at The Washington Post and spent more than two decades with USA TODAY. She and her husband have three sons and live in McLean, Virginia.

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