Mellon Collie and the Infinite Dadness: PEPPA PIG

There are many excuses I could give for not having updated this blog in over a year, but the most reasonable excuse of all is the fact that I now have a kid and I am happily getting whatever remains of my lifeforce sucked out of me little by little, day by day. Please feel free to send your congratulations, sympathies, or money orders to mark.meeks@gmail.com.

My daughter is now two years old and she is a marvel of a human being. She’s the reason we get up every morning and she’s the reason we can’t wait until it’s time to go to bed every night. I know that you’re not supposed to show your kid television these days, but also: shut up, you sanctimonious pile of shit and go parent your own fucking kids.

My daughter adores Peppa Pig. She has Peppa Pig books and Peppa Pig toys. Peppa Pig sticker albums and Peppa Pig clothes. She can call out even the show’s most inconsequential characters by name. She is maybe starting to speak some with a British accent because of this show. I hated this show when it started to appear in our home. I have since come to love it.

This is Peppa Pig. She is the lead player in this program, and is an anti-hero in the vein of a Don Draper or Tony Soprano. She is a self-obsessed megalomaniac who is always on the lookout for the easiest way to win at anything. She (like everyone on the show) has an unyielding urge to jump up and down in every muddy puddle that presents itself. She never stops talking and she is probably the worst thing about her own show.

Peppa has a little brother named George. George can only say the word “Dinosaur”. He also cries a lot, but this is actually good and realistic writing. I have a two-year old and they really do cry a lot. George and Peppa go on adventures where they learn important lessons like how their Dad is too out of shape to exercise and how you can teach a parrot to say nasty things to your grandparents.

George and Peppa’s parents are only known as Mummy Pig and Daddy Pig. Here they are in sexy beach clothes. Mummy Pig and Daddy Pig are fairly realistic approximations of human, non-pig parents, because Mummy Pig is a generally very competent parent and Daddy Pig thinks he knows everything but is always falling down and trying to find ways to be lazy. Daddy Pig is a sucker.

Peppa and her family live in a town full of other families of animals, but it seems as though every other animal family is actually a different species of animal from every other family. The Mum and the Dad and the kids are always the same species within each family, though. I don’t know what kind of a statement the show is trying to make with this. There are cases where there are other families of pigs, but they are either out of town relatives or they are, like, the Grandma and Grandpa pig. Daddy Pig does not have parents (or they are dead?) but he does have a brother. I do not know where these animal people are finding partners, and I find the whole thing to be extremely problematic and distressing. I have argued about this at length with my wife, who is sure that there are just other animal people in town that we’re not privy to seeing. I dunno! Seems far fetched!

This show makes some (intentional?) statements about class divisions through its running joke that one poor rabbit lady basically has like fifty jobs. I don’t know what’s funny about that. Everybody else has a big and nice house and seems to just be able to get by with one job. Ms Rabbit works at like twenty different stores, flies a helicopter, is a nurse, and also a flight attendant. Give this poor woman a break. Everyone else in this town should be ashamed of themselves.

At one point there’s an episode where you realize that there’s more than one rabbit lady, and you think “Oh, well at least all of those jobs must be split between two rabbit ladies”. Then you find out that they’re sisters and one of them is a stay-at-home Mum, The underclass Ms Rabbit has to deliver her sister’s baby, probably for minimum wage or something.

I realize now that I could write a lot about Peppa Pig, which has me feeling that my brain has been very addled by parenting, or maybe that it’s a great show. I could talk about how all of the animal people have a speech tick where they make their respective animal sounds before speaking and while they do so, their eyes go kind of slack and lifeless, like the actual animal inside of them is staging a tiny rebellion against the walking-upright and human-acting manner in which they’re forced to live out their lives… but I will save that for another day.

In conclusion, Peppa Pig is a very nice and occasionally very funny show for kids and parents to enjoy. I am only a feeling a little bit (entirely) sick of the five seasons that live on Netflix that I have seen no less than twenty times each.

[SPOILERS AHEAD]

I must mention, though… The series finale where they reveal that all of Peppa’s adventures were actually just synapses firing for the last time in the dying brain of a mortally wounded Tim Robbins was a bold narrative choice, but may have missed the mark in terms of age-appropriate storytelling.

Just my opinion.

Author: markmeeks

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