My two almost-three-year-olds are watching Sesame Street. They don't usually watch this particular program, as unlike apparently all other people from my generation, I have no fond feelings for Sesame Street from my youth. I was a weirdo, I guess.
So, it turns out, not only was I not "into" this ubiquitous program as a kid, I don't get it as an adult. It changes so fast...they'll start a plot in the beginning with a five minute skit, then drop it completely for 45 minutes of random programming, then return. Like my kids will remember? Or care? And, they have adult celebrities on all the time, explaining things or being guests. Here's the thing: my toddlers DON'T CARE about Sarah Jessica Parker. She's just a lady. So why bother?
Obviously, for the parent. My mom told me that part of the concept for Sesame Street was to play to kid's short attention span. But in the 30 years since they came up with that plan, haven't we learned that we're fostering the short-attention-span syndrome?
And then there is Cookie Monster. I'm not the world's most politically correct person (really, really) but I thought they were going to change Cookie Monster into something else? If that was going to happen, it hasn't--at least not on my PBS station. Maybe public outcry was against it? Whatever. I don't need something else teaching my kids that cookies are the best food out there. Really. I think they should've changed it. Blast me if you will.
All of this is just to say I think its easy to sucked into a pattern, and then just stay there. Like this is the way it has to be. And, at the same time, lose the sense of who your audience is. My kids don't care about celebrities. Only I might be impressed...but I'm not the target. By the same token, I can't be writing a YA book that's really for an adult or a younger kid. Doesn't work. At least, in my opinion.
I had another thought about how played out urban fantasy is and why that stinks for me, but I'll shelve that for another day.