Hey, you guuuuyss!! The Electric Company is back!
I don’t remember much about watching the Electric Company when I was growing up, but I do remember that it was much hipper and with an older focus as compared to Sesame Street, and this new version is no different. The opening song is peppy and rhyming raps are used frequently in the place of more sedate juvenile nursery rhymes. This is a talented cast — the singing and dancing is second-to-none.
In the first episode, Keith realizes that he has “the wordball power,” which means he can think of a letter or a word, and then he gets the “wordball” that he throw up against something and it materializes. So he takes the pledge to join the electric company to find out what his special skill might be — to add to those that his friends already have: hearing words, seeing words, and rearranging them to make new words.
We also meet the Pranksters (villains), when Christine pops in to steal Keith’s power to create pictures that he visualizes.
This episode “Skills” focuses on
- introducing the characters
- the letter “s” and the blend “st”
- the silent e’s affect on vowels
I think that this show will interest pre-readers and early readers from ages 4 or 5 on up. It is targeted to kids 6 to 9. The pictures, presentations and graphics are definitely something that will appeal to kids of all ages. In fact, the research that helped drive the revival of this show revealed that 27% of public school fourth-graders score below basic levels on reading, with those in low-income families being especially at risk. So, that said, I can see how this show will definitely appeal to older students as well, especially when experienced in conjunction with the activities found at the website, pbskidsgo.org/electriccompany.
After we watched it together, my four-year-old son asked “Can we watch it again tomorrow?” and my ten-year-old daughter was pretty interested as well. I asked her if she’d want to watch the show when it came on, and she said, “Well, it’s better than some of Kyle’s shows. I probably wouldn’t pick it myself, but if he was watching it, I’d probably watch it too.”
Check out the site now for a special sneak peek, and check your local PBS listings for the regular schedule, beginning January 23, kicking off with a special two-hour sneak peek marathon this Monday January 19.
Managing Editor Jennifer Donovan also blogs at Snapshot about life with her tween daughter and preschool son.