Peppa Pig’s reputation precedes her. Way back when, while I was still in my mummy’s tummy, the questionably ‘loveable, cheeky little piggy’ (well, IMDB can’t always be right), was one of the select few characters I was all too prepared to meet at the gates of babyhood.
From the outset, however, I was vaguely aware that Peppa is not to everyone’s liking. During my long days on the inside, I remember hearing about various posts and news articles bemoaning the fact that what IMDB chooses to describe as ‘loveable’ and ‘cheeky’ can, in fact – for want of a better phrase – be a bit of a spoilt brat. Enough people clearly share these feelings as ‘Peppa Pig to blame for children’s behaviour’, or some variant, makes the headlines every so often – the latest offering blaming a toy replica of Ms Pig for teaching a child to swear. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for bad behaviour, but when it’s accepted – even encouraged by parents, it kind of defeats the purpose.
Yet my issues with the world-wide phenomenon – a world-wide phenomenon which is, in my opinion, ridiculously overrated – extend further than the mere behaviour of the main character. Let me explain:
- She doesn’t even look like a pig
This annoyance comes courtesy of my daddy, who refuses point blank to watch a show where the main character, who is supposed to be a pig, doesn’t look like a pig. Aside from the snout, I kind of see where he’s coming from.
- The theme tune is virtually non-existent
It’s a shame, really, that Peppa decides to use the otherwise catchy tune to just introduce her family. We hear enough of her annoying voice in the five-minute episode as it is; we really do not need her to talk over the theme tune, too. Such a waste.
- And yeah, five minute episodes?
I’m not expecting a half an hour show, but really, five minutes is a bit stingy. (I know I may be young, but my attention span can really last longer than a mere fi – ooh, milk.) It feels like as soon as they’ve got to the meat of the issue, they’re all suddenly rolling around on the floor, laughing.
- Each episode ends with them rolling around on the floor, laughing
I don’t mind a happy ending, sometimes. But really, the things that make them fall on the floor laughing at the end of every episode are just not funny enough to warrant them rolling around on the floor, laughing. Every bloody time. I thought pigs were supposed to be intelligent? Not to mention the fact that it gives an unrealistic view of everyday family life. It’s not funny that ‘George doesn’t want to eat his salad but eats the chocolate cake in one go – it’s perfectly understandable. Having them roll around on the floor laughing at things like this just teaches parents (somewhat incorrectly, I should add), that favouring junk food over vegetables (ew) is funny because it should not be the norm.
- Speaking of George, why is his name not alliterative?
This may be the grammar geek in me (I get it from my mummy, apparently), but why is George the only character to have a non-alliterative name? There are enough boys names beginning with P they could have used to ensure consistency. Paul Pig? Peter Pig? Percy Pig? Jeez.
- The male characters are flawed
I’m all for equal-potties and all that, but I wouldn’t exactly call myself a feminist. Nevertheless, I can’t help feeling that some of the male characters are not the best role models. Daddy Pig, all too often, refuses to admit he can’t do something, thereby landing the family in trouble. Captain Daddy Dog … sailed around the world … by himself … for fun? Mid, life and crisis spring to mind. Yet perhaps most deserving of my wrath is Grandpa Pig, who not only seems to prioritise his garden over every other thing in his life – including his family – but is rude to said family in the process. Take the time he point-blank refuses to let Granny Pig put gnomes and wishing wells in their garden, ultimately pawning them off to Peppa and George behind her back (of course the episode ends with them all rolling around on the floor, laughing). Or the time he tells Peppa her perfume smells like pond water, actually saying “pooey”, before turning his nose up at the “strong smell of lavender” as Granny Pig walks towards him. As you can see, full of compliments. He is eager to help George find a scent that he might like, however. As I said, I’m really not a feminist but if the hoof fits …
- There is no way out!
Perhaps the worst thing about it is that there is absolutely nothing I can do about it. With the excessive paraphernalia that has sprouted as a result of the popular pig – including an actual theme park – it would be at best pointless of me to try to except my parents not to make me watch the hit show and at worst, cruel. Ultimately, parents love talking to each other about it, not to mention the ease of present-buying it enables as the stuff is just everywhere. If I didn’t watch it, what would my mummy buy me for my birthday? What would she do when her friends talked about it to their children, in turn expecting her to know what they’re on about? I can’t really blame her for not wanting to be the black (Suzy) sheep of her friends, so I suppose I’ll just have to trade her head in the sand for her body … on the floor … laughing.