Can We Meet Big Bird?

bert and ernieWow. You know you’ve arrived when PBS decides to do a  20 part series on baby boomers. Called “Life (Part 2),” the series will take an in-depth look at baby boomers as we make our transition from Act I to Act II.

Okay, some of us maybe are skipping Act II and going straight to Act III (the one where you die) but let’s not get morbid about this thing.

According to executive producer Naomi S. Boak, “This show is designed to inspire boomers’ own self exploration of how they can make a fresh start at any age… of how they can live 20 or 30 more years of vigor, engagement and impact, defying ageist stereotypes while still having a clear-eyed view of the challenges that come with this new territory.”

That sounds an awful lot like the slogan on our masthead above, only we managed to say it with 7 words: Your whole life’s in front of you.

The host for the series will be New York Times journalist Robert Lipsyte and he will do roundtable discussions with various guests. Now that I have you on the edge of your seat, get a load of the guest list. We’ve got Martha Stewart, because she is so relevant to baby boomers (or at least those of us who have done time for securities fraud).  Former Governor Mike Huckabee….will he sing or just talk? David Hyde Pierce and Joy Behar? You’re losing me fast. You say Phil Donahue will also be a guest? Now you’ve really peaked my interest. Seriously, is this the best and brightest of potential baby boomer commentators to be found out there?

Since I am a stereotypical self-centered boomer, I guessElmo I will have no choice but to perch on my sofa each week as the series explores such topics as:

  • How to overcome ageism and experience a financially secure second act;
  • How to balance financial needs with those of their grown children and aging parents?
  • What are the secrets to relationships that last through the decades and what are the challenges facing newly single baby boomers when they start to date again?
  • Can plastic surgery and eliminating the “boomer belly” renew their feelings of confidence and sexuality?
  • How can boomers, who pride themselves on their youthfulness, cope with their body changes and the aches and pains of aging?
  • How can they keep their brains in peak condition and distinguish between forgetfulness and early Alzheimer’s?

Somehow, I’m not feeling so uplifted by the potential of these topics. Maybe Martha could get us backstage to meet Elmo and Big Bird? Maybe Bert and Ernie could be the hosts of the show…that I would watch every week.

Jay Harrison is a graphic designer and writer whose work can be seen at DesignConcept. He's written a mystery novel, which therefore makes him a pre-published author.

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