Arthur PBS comes to a close after 25 years


Photo by AP

The characters from Arthur.

Mimi Osborne and Kirstin Palasz

   “Everyday when you’re walking down the street, everybody that you meet has an original point of view.” If you recognize these iconic opening lyrics, then you probably grew up watching the PBS TV show Arthur and you may be sad to hear that the show has come to an end. The show navigated the life of Arthur, an eight-year-old aardvark, and his experiences with friendship, school, and family life. Alongside his best friends Binkie, Buster, Francine, Muffy and younger sister D.W, Arthur entertained viewers for 25 years. 

   The first episode introduced viewers to the main characters: Binkie, a bulldog bully, Buster, a foodie rabbit, Francine, a tomboy monkey, and Muffy, a spoiled monkey. All of these characters, though vastly different in personality, make up a close-knit group of friends. Each episode consists of two different stories, for example, the first was called Arthur’s Eyes; Francine’s Bad Hair Day

   Looking forward two and a half decades, the last episode Blabbermouth; All Grown Up paid tribute to the character’s futures. The final part depicted all the characters in the future, showing the audience what jobs the beloved characters grew into: Binky is a news reporter, Buster is a teacher, Francine works for a footwear company, Muffy takes a job in public office, and Arthur becomes a comic book writer. Ted Golota, Mathematics Teacher at LFA and dad,  feels that the casted jobs were not entirely accurate as Muffy “should have been a mortician.” The show comes full circle when Arthur shows his friends his first comic book, Arthur’s Eyes, which tells the story of their friendship. 

   Golota started watching Arthur because, “it was one of the few channels that had cartoons on, and my mom really liked PBS and so when I would come from school I would turn on PBS and Arthur was usually on.” He recalls that it provided him with, “a sense of tranquility and peace and wholesomeness.” Furthermore, Golota reflects on the show’s legacy by saying, “from what I remember, there was a lot of talk on how to deal with traumatic situations—whether it was bullying or bad teachers or homework and whatnot.” Overall, he thinks that the impact from the show has been overwhelmingly positive. 

   Similarly, Kerry Cedergren, a Science Teacher at LFA and mom, started watching the show because “it was always something to do after school.” As a mother, Cedergren never had to worry about “a racey episode or swear-words because it was just wholesome.” She also feels that, “there were a lot of topics that viewers could learn a lot from.” Finally, when asked if she feels future generations will watch the show, she said, “I hope so. The messages are still there and the experience is still there, so why not continue to watch it?”

   The legacy of Arthur will be seen for generations to come—the series won nine major awards including six Emmys. The storyline is based on the books by Marc Brown and the heart-warming, poignant stories have taught children many life lessons. Arthur Read has become a childhood icon for generations and, though his story has come to an end, his legacy will live on.