The Official Season 20 Discussion Thread

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Re: The Official Season 20 Discussion Thread

Post by Snowth Poogle on Sun Oct 23, 2016 11:36 pm

A Lotta Moms wrote:
To be honest, I'd nearly forgotten that Marina was blind while watching Tardy Tumbler.  That's how three-dimensional her character has become.
As I've said before, "The Tardy Tumbler" really did Marina a service, because, admittedly, she still wasn't quite so three-dimensional yet, we mostly saw that she didn't like to be fussed over because she was blind, which is all well and good, but "Tardy Tumbler" gave her some human complexity in that her disability created a challenge for her that she didn't want others to know scared her.  
A Lotta Moms wrote:Another thing about Carl that I find both irritating and irresponsible in way of how he's depicted - everyone's expected to walk on eggshells around him and be extra-special-super-understanding, but not once is he expected to make even the slightest effort to understand those around him and work on his own behavior to better fit in.  There is no mutual give-and-take.
Unforunately, that's how the situation is in real life, in some cases. I guess a lot of it depends on just what type of environment the person lives in for much of their life, but some of them do seem to be regarded in that sort of aspect. But even then, once again, going back to Marina again, that's something that was kind of already covered when Prunella obsessed over trying to be "extra considerate" to her blindness.  
A Lotta Moms wrote:Consider his relatively blunt response when he's asked if he's ever seen a Bionic Bunny episode: "I saw one, and it was boring."  No one acted even the slightest bit taken aback, no one argued with him (despite all being diehard fans), and they all just stood there with stupid, plastic smiles of unconditional acceptance on their faces.  Not at all realistic, especially with how unforgiving kids can be.  Granted, everyone occasionally says something that's a little too blunt and inconsiderate, but it usually doesn't just fly without some opposition.
True. I remember hanging out with some other guys as a teen once, and mentioning that I don't like FAMILY GUY, and the others were taken aback by it . . . but, their response was in jest and in the spirit of fun, and nothing more was said about it. So, I mean, the least we could have gotten for a more realistic response was one of them (perhaps Buster) replied, in a somewhat comical manner, "'Boring'?!"

Interestingly enough, SESAME STREET recently added a new autistic Muppet named Julia, but so far, her inclusion has been within the confines of web-exclusive material, such as this online storybook that establishes how Elmo and Julia have been long-time friends, and Abby Cadabby also befriends her, while learning about how she likes to do things slightly differently than Elmo does:
http://autism.sesamestreet.org/storybook-we-are-amazing/

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Re: The Official Season 20 Discussion Thread

Post by fudgy brown sludge on Tue Nov 08, 2016 1:18 pm

The truth is that I have aspergers as well and I am nothing like this Carl, so I am glad that some here do not assume I'm a retard.
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Re: The Official Season 20 Discussion Thread

Post by WatteauMasterDetective on Thu Nov 10, 2016 9:44 am

Nah. We won't assume people with Aspergers are retards. The problem with Carl for me is how the writers are going about their way to portray his condition, which makes it easier for people (like the majority of us XD) to start teasing him.
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Re: The Official Season 20 Discussion Thread

Post by ZeGermanArthurFan on Thu Nov 10, 2016 9:47 am

I have Aspergers as well, and I'm nothing like Carl...
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Re: The Official Season 20 Discussion Thread

Post by CMSAB11 on Thu Nov 10, 2016 10:42 am

The general consensus here seems to be that Carl is not a good representation of Autism and Asperger's. Personally, I think that if the writers want to make him a better character, they should develop his personality more outside of his disorder. It seems that in every episode he appears in, the plot always has to focus on his disorder. It makes him very annoying. As Lotta mentioned, he can also be callous and a jerk, and this does not give positive representation to the Autism/Asperger's community.

Overall, if they want to keep him as a character, they should develop him like they did all the other characters. Hell, Ladonna has been on the show for a shorter length of time than he's been, and she is a much more rounded character. Otherwise, they should retire him. The bottom line is that I would not want him representing me if I had Autism or Asperger's with his flat character and robotic personality. It's natural to be offended by such a broad, exaggerated generalization of the community. No
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Re: The Official Season 20 Discussion Thread

Post by fudgy brown sludge on Thu Nov 10, 2016 11:25 am

I have tried to make sense of him and have looked at footage and pictures of him and pictures of pictures of him but I cannot understand. this i suspect is since a movie of a person is not a person but in truth a motion capture of a person.
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Re: The Official Season 20 Discussion Thread

Post by Snowth Poogle on Thu Nov 10, 2016 12:40 pm

I was rewatching "Cereal" yesterday, and something caught my attention that I missed during the first airing: Buster explicitly refers to Arthur as an aardvark. Is this the first time in the history of the animated series that Arthur has actually been directly refered to as what kind of animal he is? There was the subtle nod to it in "Arthur's Spelling Trubble" with the A-A-R-D-V-A-R-K rap, similar to Francine being a monkey in "D.W. Tricks the Tooth Fairy" when Arthur squeezes a stuffed monkey that says in Francine's voice, "I'm the best athlete in the whole school!" I'm pretty sure there's been a few rare occasions where Buster has been refered to as a bunneh, and George as a moose, but I can't recall any such occasion in the series where Arthur is actually called an aardvark.

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Re: The Official Season 20 Discussion Thread

Post by Kerry9Story on Mon Nov 14, 2016 9:49 am

my dumbass used think hes bear or some shit but hes not i guess.
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Re: The Official Season 20 Discussion Thread

Post by Snowth Poogle on Mon Nov 14, 2016 6:20 pm

I finally got a chance to see the season opener today, and I will say that Season 20 certainly had a very strong kick-off with a pair of really enjoyable episodes.

"Buster's Second Chance" was really funny, and it put an interesting spin of the whole IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE scenario - it's not so much that the world was different because he didn't exist, it's that Elwood City was different because he was different. The biggest difference being Arthur actually being a Tough Customer because he and Buster never properly met or became friends. In hindsight, it seems like an exaggeration, considering Arthur does have other friends - Francine, Brain, Muffy, et al, but the whole point of the story was that Buster didn't need to be anyone other than who he is. This also seems to hint that Buster is smarter than we think (maybe even smarter than he thinks), he just . . . thinks differently, I guess? Funny how the Love Ducks found their way back into the picture - probably because Teletubbies recently made a comeback, so that's good timing, lol. And Moms is right, the girl sitting on the bus in front of Buster does look a lot like Callie, which reminds me, I so need to pick back up on the continuing saga of SILVER HILLS. I also like this teacher:


"Arthur and the Whole Truth" was a good one as well, it sort of rehashed "To Tibble the Truth" with Arthur wanting Buster to be more honest to the point that Arthur felt Buster was going out of his way to be mean, and taking things too personally, but at least everything was resolved in the end. And I have to say, the animation in this one hardly looked like Flash at all - particularly the teaser, the animation looked flawless . . . right up until Arthur took off his glasses and got into bed - then his eyes were too far apart, and his head suddenly grew to massive proportions. Kind of harsh of Ratburn to give Arthur a C- on his project, it wasn't that bad for something a third grader would do. And heh, Arthur has a color-blind uncle . . . so do I, lol.

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Re: The Official Season 20 Discussion Thread

Post by Kerry9Story on Tue Nov 15, 2016 1:05 pm

well now theyre tryin make shit better an shits lil better now.
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New Arthur Movie and Double Episodes

Post by PrettyCoolStairs on Sun Jan 15, 2017 7:37 pm

We've already heard about "D.W. and the Beastly Birthday Party", supposedly coming out in May/June, but the next special/movie has been announced with today's news from PBS. As part of the PBS' Family Night on Fridays, "Arthur and the Haunted Treehouse" is expected to be featured, presumably in October/Halloween? Here's the reference: http://www.pbs.org/about/blogs/news/pbs-and-stations-launch-247-pbs-kids-channel-expanding-access-to-the-1-childrens-educational-media-brand-on-tv-and-digital-platforms/

Also, beginning Monday, double episodes will air on the new PBS Kids Channel at 8/7c AM, 9/8c PM, and repeating at 5/4c AM, daily! The new channel will be carried on local stations' subchannels in many markets (possibly on some cable/satellite providers), but the channel will also stream live on pbskids.org and on the PBS Kids app. Several Season 1 eps are scheduled to air this week -- some of which haven't aired in 5 years or so!

From what I understand, the 8 o'clock hour in the morning is highly sought after in the world of little kids TV, so having Arthur on during this time seems like a pretty big move on PBS' part with regard to the status of the show.
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Re: The Official Season 20 Discussion Thread

Post by Roabe on Sun Jan 15, 2017 8:18 pm

From the PBS Pressroom .docx file here...

Arthur: D.W. and the Beastly Birthday **NEW** - June 2-4, 2017
In this all-new Arthur movie event, D.W.’s fifth birthday doesn’t go the way she’d always imagined it would and she decides to escape to the magical island of Ukubonga. Meanwhile, Arthur has skipped her birthday party to go on a school trip to the planetarium – but instead of transporting him into outer space, it transports him 4 years in the future!

Arthur & the Haunted Treehouse **NEW** - October 2017
This Halloween is sure to be the spookiest ever for Arthur and his friends. While trick-or-treating, Francine meets an elderly woman with a very mysterious past, while Binky finds himself at Mr. Ratburn’s amazing haunted house (that’s scarier than math class!). And as for Arthur, Buster and Ladonna? Their tree house sleepover seems to be haunted...but by what?
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Re: The Official Season 20 Discussion Thread

Post by Mr. Eight-Three-One on Tue Jan 17, 2017 6:14 pm

Yes, you are correct about the season 1 episodes on the PBS Kids channel. As I look at the schedule, it seems they're actually doing a pair of episodes under the same format each weekday -- first a modern episode, then a classic episode! This is really awesome because the classic episodes have had next to no airtime over the past several years and this is a great way to finally bring them back to a new generation that still has the fortune of being able to see the show while it's still in production. They just aired "Arthur's Tooth/D.W. Gets Lost" today and I actually recorded it from my local subchannel. Here's a screenshot.



Seems they're at the tail end of season 1 right now, and they're soon to move to season 2. Of course the channel is a subchannel on most PBS stations so sadly it has the misfortune of being low-bitrate 480i, meaning it's probably not even going to be on par with the quality of most 360p YouTube uploads, but it's still cool to see that this is happening.
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Re: The Official Season 20 Discussion Thread

Post by MatthewHecht on Thu Jan 19, 2017 2:01 pm

I remember Arthur used to come on at 8/7c in the morning.
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Re: The Official Season 20 Discussion Thread

Post by PrettyCoolStairs on Thu Jan 19, 2017 4:56 pm

Yeah the video quality is crap. I mean, it is from 1996, but wow. It looks terrible on an HD TV. My station's PBS KIDS subchannel is broadcasting the 16:9 feed within their 4:3 frame, so most "new" shows have black bars on top and bottom. But when traditional 4:3 episodes air, it seems their system zooms in to fill the entire 4:3 space with programming. Certainly glad to see no more window boxing on these old episodes- even if it is awful quality to begin with lol

BTW, I kinda forgot how much a brat Francine is in the first episodes. Shocked
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Re: The Official Season 20 Discussion Thread

Post by Snowth Poogle on Thu Jan 19, 2017 6:08 pm

PrettyCoolStairs wrote:My station's PBS KIDS subchannel is broadcasting the 16:9 feed within their 4:3 frame, so most "new" shows have black bars on top and bottom. But when traditional 4:3 episodes air, it seems their system zooms in to fill the entire 4:3 space with programming. Certainly glad to see no more window boxing on these old episodes- even if it is awful quality to begin with lol
Mine still is pillarboxing old episodes; in fact, everything is squished into a 4:3 display, so I have to adjust my TV's format to "full" instead of "zoom" to de-squish everything.

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Re: The Official Season 20 Discussion Thread

Post by MagicToolBox on Thu Jan 19, 2017 10:24 pm

In my market, the station is in HD since the subchannel converted to HD about a year ago. Prior to then, any episodes of Arthur from S16 onwards were windowboxed, and episodes from S15 and earlier were played in pillarboxed 4:3, including the stuff before and after the episodes (funding credits, "Which Arthur Character Are You?") that appears in 16:9 HD on the main channels.

However, the station doesn't change when I try to stretch or zoom the picture even when the current show is 4:3. I'm guessing all the masters for every show airing on the channel are technically 16:9 with the black bars for 4:3 shows hardcoded in, since all the PBS Kids promos that are now part of the masters are now in HD, even for the older shows like Clifford.


Anyway, after seeing this discussion about Season 1's quality, I tried to tune in to my station for the 9:30 PM Arthur... only to discover my station independently replaces that time slot with Cyberchase (and they never put the green circular PBS Kids logo in the lower-left corner)! My guide still showed Arthur, but PBS Kids' site shows that my station made a few small changes on some of the double-runs:

- The 8:00 AM Arthur hour is the only one of the three Arthur hours that remains the same.
- The 9:30 PM Arthur B (B meaning the "second" episode, usually from older seasons) is replaced with Cyberchase B.
- 5:00 AM still has Arthur A (newer seasons), but 5:30 replaces Arthur B with Bob the Builder (same episode previously played at 1:00 PM, giving us two BTB's instead of one).
- Also, The 7:30 PM airing of Wild Kratts B is replaced with Cyberchase A. So each Cyberchase plays twice a day instead of just once (A at 6:30 AM and 7:30 PM, B at 7:00 AM and 9:30 PM)

So my local area decided to reduce the number of daily Arthur airings from six to four, with the newer episode played three times and the older one played only once at 8:30 AM.


Last edited by MagicToolBox on Fri Jan 20, 2017 9:15 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: The Official Season 20 Discussion Thread

Post by Kerry9Story on Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:54 pm

shit comes out ima see it.
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Re: The Official Season 20 Discussion Thread

Post by Mr. Eight-Three-One on Fri Jan 20, 2017 6:19 pm

The thing about the old Arthur episodes is that, yeah the quality sucks on the subchannel, but...it's also hard to remember sometimes the early episode masters also look bad to begin with. They're 480i as far as I know, not even 480p. I have a few recordings of the very early seasons saved on my computer, from my main PBS station feed in full 1080i. Even with heavy upscaling and a high bitrate, it STILL doesn't look that good. Here's some screenshots I have. Most of these are straight from the transport streams, so this is EXACTLY as it would appear on TV, only quality loss is the conversion to JPEG. Warning: Incoming GIGANTIC pictures.

Spoiler:

Arthur's First Sleepover (Season 1)


Lost! (Season 2; this one is MP4 compressed so it suffers a bit of quality loss)


Clarissa is Cracked (Season 3)


The Election (Season 5; this is where it actually starts to look good, as far as I know. I have no Season 4 screenshots, sadly)

KNCT fiddled quite a bit with my subchannel. First they put the channel in 4:3 mode (as in, 16:9 shows were letterboxed and 4:3 shows filled the screen), but they somehow forgot to switch the aspect ratio flag to 4:3, so everything was completely stretched out and ugly-looking. The screenshot I shared was when they were still doing this, but I ratio-corrected it before taking a screenshot with VLC. Then they came to their senses and changed the feed to anamorphic 16:9, but then the KNCT station bug partly covered up the PBS Kids logo so finally they moved their own bug to the right side of the screen instead of the left. Sadly, due to being anamorphic widescreen, this also means I get slightly less quality out of my Season 1 recordings too since they have to allocate some of the picture to the pillarboxing. Oh well, it's better than nothing.

To explain a bit on why the quality is so bad -- it's a bit of a necessary evil. Over-the-air stations only have so much bandwidth, and they can put up as many subchannels as they want, but only as long as it fits within that bandwidth. Because their main channel is the main attraction, most of their bandwidth goes to that one so it gets a high bit rate, where the subchannels are lower priority so they are often squeezed in with much lower bit rates. It also doesn't help that American TV stations have only a limited range of resolutions -- the next step up from 480i is 720p, which is an insane jump.

On a final note, it's also worth mentioning that the PBS Kids web site runs a live stream of the PBS Kids subchannel too, in much, much MUCH better quality, I believe in full HD. Probably 1080p, if not that, then 720p. Go to the "Video" button on the main page and click the "Live TV" button on the far left just below the player. It looks amazing.
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Re: The Official Season 20 Discussion Thread

Post by Snowth Poogle on Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:19 pm

Well, I experienced something strange tonight: when I tuned into PBS Kids for the double-dose of ARTHUR at 9:00 and 9:30, there apparently was a technical difficulty, as they broadcasting the sound from the main PBS channel instead - so, even though I was seeing ARTHUR, I apparently was hearing MERCY STREET.

Too bad, tonight's modern episode was one of my favorites: "Opposites Distract; Just the Ticket"; and the classic episode was one I can't even remember the last time I saw it: "Buster Baxter, Cat Saver; Play it Again, D.W."

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Re: The Official Season 20 Discussion Thread

Post by PrettyCoolStairs on Fri Feb 03, 2017 10:04 pm

Tonight's double episodes featured a Season 2 original, "Night Fright", and a Season 17 recycled plot, "All Thumbs". Basically the lesson (of both) is to not be ashamed of habits that might seem baby-ish to others (Binky's night light in S2 and Buster's thumb-sucking in S17). Not sure if this unfortunate match-up has ever happened before with previous double-dose episodes, but maybe they'll show "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" from Season 15 next, when Binky is afraid to hold his mother's hand in public. Rolling Eyes
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Re: The Official Season 20 Discussion Thread

Post by PrettyCoolStairs on Thu Feb 09, 2017 8:34 am

Is it just a coincidence that "The Blizzard/The Rat Who Came to Dinner" is playing on the PBS Kids channel today and there's a huge snowstorm in the Northeast, closing down schools in cities like Boston and New York City? I only say this because these tv schedules are determined months in advance. Also, this episode is from Season 4 and is randomly placed in the schedule between episodes from Season 2 and Season 17, both of which are airing in sequential order. It makes this Season 4 episode stick out like a sore thumb. I'd say it's perfect timing from PBS! cheers
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Re: The Official Season 20 Discussion Thread

Post by Snowth Poogle on Thu Feb 09, 2017 12:35 pm

What snow storm? It's been jumping up twenty degrees above average every week since Christmas. It's really a drag too, having to keep switching back and forth between t-shirts and sweaters on a weekly basis - either it's winter, or spring, which is it?

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Re: The Official Season 20 Discussion Thread

Post by MatthewHecht on Thu Feb 09, 2017 10:51 pm

Snowth Poogle wrote:What snow storm? It's been jumping up twenty degrees above average every week since Christmas. It's really a drag too, having to keep switching back and forth between t-shirts and sweaters on a weekly basis - either it's winter, or spring, which is it?
Same here.
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Re: The Official Season 20 Discussion Thread

Post by PrettyCoolStairs on Thu Feb 09, 2017 11:03 pm

No kidding. I'm nowhere near the nor'easter, but it sounds like NYC was in the 60s just yesterday, then today: snow, and lots of it.
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