Sometimes we all need a little Mr. Rogers

As a kid, I definitely favored Sesame Street over Mr. Rogers. Don’t forget that Captain Kangaroo was part of that time too. I found Mr. Rogers’s old school like something out of another era. As you can see I was always looking to the future. As an adult, I have always applauded how he connected in the world particularly after seeing the documentary on him last year. His understanding of big hard emotional issues at a granule level especially for someone under 8.

We saw “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” this weekend and I highly recommend going. The movie is based on an article written by Tom Junod for Esquire magazine in 1998. Junod was an angry man and deservedly so still recovering from a painful childhood. Mr. Rogers let him into his life to write an article for the “hero” edition of the magazine. The article is aptly titled “Can You Say….Hero”?

I could relate to Junod’s anger and what Mr. Rogers was subtly saying to him throughout the film. I cried a few times. I am a sucker for a good cry at the movies. Yet the timing of this film is perfect. The film makes you want to be more emotionally in touch with the world around you. It is about decency and zero panderings. It is about connecting with other people and relationships. It is about getting back to something many have lost with social media and the constant onslaught of media. It is about remembering that we can return to a place of calm with the hope that we can be respectful, empathetic and embrace our fellow neighbors. Something to think about as we approach 2020.

Comments (Archived):

  1. awaldstein

    We saw as well. So well done.Was quite touched and highly recommend the movie.Fan of the director. She has a great ability to help you suspend disbelief.

  2. jsrand

    Saw it as well. Perfect movie for the Trump era.

  3. Barbara


  4. Melody

    Joanna, You should check out the podcast on Mr. Rogers called “Finding Fred” for more Mr. Rogers nostalgia

  5. pointsnfigures

    I was too old for Sesame Street. I remember the very first show-but my younger sisters were more interested. I liked Mr. Rogers but outgrew that too.I wonder what he would say about social media. I wonder if he would have been on Twitter or Facebook. I wonder what the mobs would have done to him.

    1. awaldstein

      i as well was not a watcher.the movie touched me.go see it and let me know if it finds a place in you.curious,

  6. Jessie Arora

    I felt the exact same way about favoring Sesame Street over Mr. Rogers. However, I loved the documentary and will go see this film too. My son loves Daniel Tiger (based off Mr. Rogers) and I’m so glad he’s being exposed to these important values in such an engaging way. Mr. Rogers’s legacy lives on.

  7. jason wright

    The Atlantic, December, page 78.