The New Yorker:
A few months ago, upon returning home from work, I hung my jacket in the closet, slipped a sweater off its hanger, put it on, and felt a small surge of pleasure. This happy feeling, I realized suddenly, had something to do with “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood”: I’d reënacted part of a ritual I’d seen there dozens of times, and it had tapped into a deep well of childhood contentment. Millions know that feeling—it’s the reason that so many are responding to Morgan Neville’s new documentary, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?,” about Fred Rogers and his long-running children’s show, with gratitude and a sense of temporary salvation. Many childhood memories make us nostalgic, but the “Mister Rogers” emotion is something different. It involves a cardigan-wearing man teaching us, respecting us, and expressing care for us in ways that people on other shows rarely achieved or even attempted. How Fred Rogers did this, and what it means, is at the heart of Neville’s movie.
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