Sesame Workshop is behind this Apple TV+ series featuring personality-filled muppets on a mission to help others. High-energy Cody is the leader of the gang of Helpsters, who hang out at a storefront where they do their work. Customers come in with a range of problems and, as the Helpsters tunefully note, “Everything starts with a plan.”
Celebrity guests serve as customers and include actors Alan Cummings and Amber Tamlyn; comedian Aparna Nancherla; and musical artists Jason Mraz, Talib Kweli, and Norah Jones, among others. In one storyline, an explorer needs suggestions for what to pack for a mountain hike. Things to consider: The weather, first aid kits, water, snacks, and the right kind of bag to carry the necessary supplies. In another segment, customers want to organize a race to see which of them is the fastest. They brainstorm everything from finding a location to determining the route to providing water to the runners and awarding prizes to the winners.
Like Sesame Street, this program includes puppets, graphics, live-action field segments, and clever scripts to promote social and emotional learning and build school-readiness skills. Positive, colorful, tuneful, and educational, Helpsters will encourage young viewers to think through situations and, when they encounter barriers, use logic and research to find the next step in a workable plan. And, just as the Helpsters do when they succeed at a task, your kids can give you “high fives and handshakes ‘cause what a difference a plan makes.”
Gina Catanzarite ©2020 Parents’ Choice
Gina Catanzarite is an award-winning television producer, writer, teacher, mom and media consultant in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She began her career in 1987 and counts 14 Emmy® awards, 37 Emmy® nominations, a Matrix award, 3 Golden Quill awards, 2 Pennsylvania Broadcaster’s Association Awards, 8 Telly Awards, and a screenwriting grant from the Theatre Association of Pennsylvania, among her professional honors.