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‘Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street’ review: A heartwarming reminder

Can you tell me how to get…

Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street is an engaging documentary about the formative days of the iconic children’s television show. Since so much has already been said about the history of Sesame Street, the film focuses on chronicling its earliest days. There is an obvious charm and sense of nostalgia to it all, but is there more to it? 

As expected, there is a mix of behind the scenes footage and modern day interviews. Most watching will already have strong feelings for Sesame Street, but even those that are not as familiar will be able to get a sense of the show thanks to these clips. They serve the dual purpose of helping audiences look back will also imparting knowledge. 

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Due to this, Street Gang feels more like a tribute than an actual attempt to bring forth any new knowledge. While there are some great never seen before outtakes and enlightening interviews, it is the ideals behind the show that really stick out. It was a series that was as much about love and togetherness as it was about alphabets and numbers.

Which is not to say the documentary does not take a deep dive into Sesame Street. On the contrary, director Marilyn Agrelo covers topics that are rarely talked about. This includes a discussion into the recasting of Gordon in a particularly interesting segment. Moments like these add the legacy of the television show. 

It is in these recollections and stories that the greatness of Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street truly stands out. It is not a documentary that is trying to explain how important Sesame Street is. Watching the show or listening to people tell stories about how it affected their lives (it helped my mom learn English when she first came to this country) will do that. Instead, it serves as a reminder of what the show means.

Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street premieres on HBO Max December 13 

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