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The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

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The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

'Sesame Street' partners with Exceptional Minds School For Autism initiative

Posted: 22 Apr 2014 09:30 PM PDT

The school, which is based in California, focuses on job creation for autistic individuals in the US.

Exceptional Minds, the first vocational school for young autistic professionals in digital fields, is partnering with the non-profit organisation behind Sesame Street for an initiative spreading autism awareness.

The school, located in California, will be working to develop, implement and disseminate resources for Sesame Workshop's "See Amazing In All Children" campaign. According to Exceptional Minds spokesperson Dee McVicker, the partnership will be open ended.

"The possibilities are far reaching," McVicker told TheWrap. "Exceptional Minds is a working studio, so we do post-production work, digital animation, storyboards, that sort of thing. So, yes, we could help out in any of those areas with the campaign or perhaps on the children's show itself.

"Matt Asner is the regional Los Angeles chair for Autism Speaks, and his father, actor Ed Asner, is on our advisory board at Exceptional Minds. We all saw a natural partnership forming between the three of us," she added.

The school, which will graduate its first nine students in June, focuses on job creation for autistic individuals.

"We are excited to be partnering with Exceptional Minds to utilise the creativity of these artistic young adults to help us create resources for this initiative. This is truly a demonstration highlighting the talents of all children," Dr Jeanette Betancourt, Sesame Workshop's senior vice president for Community and Family Engagement, said in a statement.

According to research and advocacy group Autism Speaks – which is also working with Sesame Workshop – 40% of autism sufferers have exceptional visual, musical, and academic skills. But the majority are disproportionately underemployed or unemployed.

"We can't think of a more worthy and trusting organisation than Sesame Workshop to be working with as our students navigate this new and expanded world for anyone with autism," Exceptional Minds founding board member Ron Burns said. — Reuters

Too much, too little

Posted: 22 Apr 2014 09:00 AM PDT

Some TV shows are really good but get so little love, while others – ahem, American Idol – should be cancelled already.



Dean Pelton (Jim Rash), Pierce Hawthorn (Chevy Chase), Jeff Winger (Joel McHale), Brita Perry (Gillian Jacobs), Abed Nadir (Danny Pudi), Troy Barnes (Donald Glover), Shirley Bennett (Yvette Nicole Brown), Annie Edison (Alison Brie) – don't know who they are? Then you're missing out on one of the funniest sitcoms on TV today. The current Season 5 isn't the best, we admit, but the journey getting here has been filled with bellyaching guffaws. Ouch, we feel a stitch coming.


Here's a show with a lot of twisted conversations and an equal amount of action. Set an extra place at the dinner table for us – and pass us the fava beans and Chianti.


We need a good, sappy family drama now and then. For us – OK, more Indra than Mumtaj – Parenthood fulfils most of the must-watch criteria: sweet love, heatwarming stories, sibling drama, very little teenage angst (yay!), family dinners, and some romance here and there. 


Who knew a Vice President could be so unforgettable? Julia Louis-Dreyfus as US VP Selina Meyer has managed to sustain our laughter throughout her two terms – and win two Emmys along the way. As for her White House team, as incompetent as they are, they're fantastic entertainment.


American Idol

After 50,000 episodes – well, it sure feels like it! – this reality TV singing competition should know when to take a bow already.


They sing, they dance, they sometimes even act. So, what? They're William KcKinley High School teenagers – so many teens! – and they're annoying. The show is crippled by the fact that it revolves around Ohio teenagers, and Ohio teachers who behave like teens. We're sure real life Ohio kids aren't so bad. We hope.

Grey's Anatomy

Does the world revolve around Dr Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) and her colleagues at the Seattle Grace Hospital? Not so much.


Season 1 was interesting. Gabriel Macht is ever so captivating and so sharply dressed, too – drool! But even he can't lift this series from mediocrity. The drama between Michael Ross (Patrick J Adams) and Rachel Zane (Meghan Markle) is just killing the show, one longing look at a time. Ugh.

Meanwhile, here are five TV characters who are either overlooked or overhyped.


Dean Winchester

The angst this beautiful man goes through in Supernatural is so heart wrenching – why don't more people care? Dean's (Jensen Ackles) tears are so wrought with meaning – OK, maybe we're going a bit overboard here – but one look at his troubled character and you'll be hooked.

Diane Lockhart

Why are there so few scenes with Diane (Christine Baranski) in The Good Wife? And for that matter, no Emmy win either despite five nominations?? She's the Superwoman of the show – she has her own firm, she can handle anything and anyone thrown in her way, and she always got it together. No meltdowns, no screaming, no nonsense. All Diane has to do is perch on her office settee with her expensive clothes and accessories, and she's able to solve all her problems.


Damon Salvatore & Elena Gilbert

They make for two gorgeous bloodsuckers but, boy, are these immortal creatures from The Vampire Diaries dull, dull, dull. To be fair, Damon wasn't boring until he hooked up with Elena. Now his one-liners are meh.

Scarlett O'Connor

Can one person really have so much drama? We know country music is filled with sad songs but Scarlett (Clare Bowen) of Nashville makes us want to gauge our eyes out. Actually, we want to gauge her eyes out.

> Mumtaj Begum has been promoted to an associate Spudnik while Ann Marie Chandy recuperates from binge-watching fatigue.
Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

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