Mister Rogers' Neighborhood: Sharing and preparing
December 4, 2022 6:39 PM - Season 3, Episode 51 - Subscribe

Mister Rogers makes a paper crown for the royal baby. Henrietta Pussycat takes it home to wear. You can watch it (in the USA, at least) from Dec. 4 through about Dec. 17 at the Mister Rogers' Neighborhood website.

Mister Rogers makes a paper crown. He pretends to send a fancy crown to the Neighborhood of Make-Believe for the expected royal baby. In the Neighborhood of Make-Believe, Lady Aberlin places the crown on the castle and looks at gifts for the baby with Edgar. Without telling anyone, Henrietta takes the crown. She wears it, not realizing that it belongs to someone else. Lady Aberlin explains the crown is not hers and since Henrietta was only interested in dressing up, Lady Aberlin offers her some different costumes. Henrietta is happy when she dresses up as a nurse and pretends to care for a baby. Back at the house, Mister Rogers uses a handkerchief to make a pretend baby. In the kitchen, he draws a family on construction paper before Picture Picture shows a film about the letter B. Mister Rogers concludes by singing Many Ways to Say I Love You.

Screen shots and more info at The Neighborhood Archive.
posted by kristi (1 comment total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Henrietta Pussycat was just delightful in this episode.

I was delightfully surprised at the beginning when Mister Rogers put on a lab coat instead of one of his trusty sweaters. "This is called a lab coat. Most coats are to keep you warm. But this is to keep you clean."

And I liked him saying "I've thought about you this weekend." The sense of continuity, of an ongoing friendship, is just lovely.

"Look and Listen" is a new song for me. I like the way it resonates during the show, like at the end when he tries to make a baby out of a handkerchief after seeing how Lady Aberlin did it. And I like the message that you can ask someone to tell you or show you how to do something.

When it's time to transition to the Neighborhood of Make-Believe, he shows his control panel for the trolley! That's so cool, and so Mister Rogers - the way things work can be hidden sometimes, because we're pretending and focusing on what we want to look at, but the hidden controls are right there, and he's happy to show them to us.

I also really like him asking, "Are you ready to pretend with us?" It's one of my favorite things about this show, giving the viewers agency, asking them (us) if they're comfortable and ready.

In Make-Believe, we see Lady Aberlin in conversation with Edgar Cooke, and I just imagine how hard it would be not to start singing all your replies back to him. It's hard, talking normally when someone is singing everything they say! I really don't remember Edgar Cooke from watching these shows as a child, and I just think he's the best.

I was very curious about why Lady Aberlin was eating a cup custard. For that matter, I was curious about what a cup custard is. There is no cup custard page at Wikipedia. However, the Merriam-Webster site defines cup custard as "custard baked in and usually served in cup-shaped ceramic or glass cookware." A search at the Neighborhood Archive reveals that all the way back in Episode 38, from 1968, "[Sara Saturday] has been preparing cup custard - one of King Friday's favorite treats."

The scene with Lady Aberlin and Henrietta Pussycat was wonderful - Lady Aberlin not wanting to make Henrietta feel bad for having taken the crown, but wanting to help her feel happy with other ways to dress up. Seeing Henrietta feeling all proud and pleased to be a nurse is marvellous. (She really did not look happy at the prospect of being a bird.)

Back in Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, Johnny Costa's music for the Letter B movie is fantastic.

The closing song is still "Tomorrow" (Wikipedia says they used that until 1972). I actually prefer "It's Such a Good Feeling", with the "You'll have things you'll want to talk about / I will too."

And at the very end, they show the classic old PBS logo! Gosh. I haven't seen that for ages.

In case I don't get time to watch all the episodes this week, I might skip ahead to the Dance Rehearsal episode on Friday.
posted by kristi at 12:47 AM on December 6, 2022

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