Right, do you want the good news or the bad news?
The good news, is that Isaac appears to have lost all interest in watching Little Baby Bum, and their stupid, abominable, nursery rhyme cartoons.
The bad news, is that this has been replaced by Peppa Pig.
Now, if you can get past the fact that Peppa herself is an obnoxious little shit, who deserves to be made into sausages post-haste, it’s actually quite an entertaining and amusing cartoon. True, my judgment might have been clouded by the fact Little Baby Bum is about as entertaining as the 24-hour dysentery I contracted last week, but nevertheless it’s distinctly watchable.
Daddy Pig, in particular, can be very funny at times, and a lot of the ‘jokes’ are clearly aimed at the adults being forced to watch the show with their kids. It’s like the creators want to give us something to enjoy too. For example, there’s the exchange between Daddy Pig and Daddy Wolf when they are talking about houses:
Daddy Wolf: “This house is strong. What’s your own house made out of, Daddy Pig?”
Daddy Pig: “Bricks, so don’t even think about it.”
So, if it’s watchable and funny, what’s the problem?
The problem, is that it is currently the only thing Isaac will watch, and although there appear to be around two hundred episodes to choose from, we keep watching the same ones over and over. I swear, if I have to watch Miss Rabbit’s hot air balloon get stuck in a tree one more time, I’m going to start hurting people.
It has got to the stage where, having watched so much Peppa Pig over Christmas, I started to notice things that I hadn’t picked up on previously. Little observations that, once spotted, started to eat away at me, and the only way to relieve the pressure is to share them and get them off my chest.
There are, in fact, numerous things that now concern me about Peppa Pig, but I shall try to restrict them to the ten most worrying.
1. I see Daddy Pig as a role model
As I have already alluded, Daddy Pig can be very funny at times, and I cannot be the only viewer who has warmed to him. But I now aspire to be him. I admire his clumsy, care-free way of stumbling through life, and the fact that he would clearly do anything for his family. He obviously has a good job (they must be paying for that detached house somehow, and Mummy Pig only seems to work occasionally), yet he manages to spend a lot of time with his family, and never seems stressed by his work.
He’s clearly not in very good shape (ok, let’s be honest, he’s fat as fuck), yet he is always jolly and willing to laugh at his own faults, and is never offended when his eldest child repeatedly points out his weight (in contrast, Ollie once told me I had a big belly, and I cried for three days). He’s also surprisingly agile when it comes to swimming pool diving boards, or breaking his own ‘muddy puddle jumping’ world record.
In short, he is the ham version of Homer Simpson (Ham-er Simpson?), and I love him for that. Daddy Pig is my new hero which, if I am honest, troubles me a little.
2. Miss Rabbit’s employment history
There is something seriously amiss here, and if I worked for the DWP or Inland Revenue, I would be red-flagging Miss Rabbit in a heartbeat. To my knowledge (and I have been keeping a note since deciding to write this entry), Miss Rabbit has been – amongst other things – a bus driver, helicopter pilot, ice cream seller, supermarket cashier, museum curator, train driver, hot air balloon pilot, face paint artist, dental assistant, ticket seller at Windy Castle, midwife, shoe shop assistant…. and there must be dozens more, as we’ve only watched a handful of the episodes.
On the basis none of the characters ever really age, I can only assume that the entire Peppa Pig back-catalogue occurs in the space of a year or two, which surely means Miss Rabbit hasn’t managed to keep a job down for more than a few weeks. How has she learned to fly a helicopter in just a few weeks?
I now treat Miss Rabbit with extreme suspicion, and I’m waiting for the episode where she is revealed as an undercover Government operative, or it turns out they’ve all been living in The Matrix.
3. Suzy sheep can be a real bitch at times
Ok, Peppa is hardly the model child, and I admire Madame Gazelle (the pre-school teacher) for not completely losing her shit and slapping her little piggy face sometimes, but Suzy is cunning and subtle with her spite, and that is altogether more disturbing.
A case in point, is during ‘talent day’ at the school, when the class are invited to come up and perform a different talent each. As each child gets up, Peppa realises that all of her skills (singing, skipping, playing a musical instrument…) are being taken by the other children, so all she has left in her locker is dancing. She confides in Suzy that this is what she plans to do, but when Suzy is called up as the penultimate child to perform, she steals Peppa’s idea and dances for the class, leaving Peppa with nothing to do.
Screw you, Suzy.
4. Ruined alliteration
As well as Suzy Sheep, Peppa’s friends include Candy Cat, Danny Dog, Zoe Zebra, Pedro Pony and Emily Elephant – to name but a few. Notice a pattern? All the families, it seems, have agreed between themselves, that their offspring should have alliterative names that match their species/surname.
At first, it looked as though Mr and Mrs Pig were going to conform to this agreement, naming their first-born Peppa (stupid name though – what’s wrong with Penny or Pippa?), but then, when Mrs Pig gave birth to a son a few years later, they named him George. Not Phillip, or Peter, or Paul. George.
The other residents of the town must have gone mental when they found out. Years of preparation down the toilet. An entirely alliterative society ruined by one moronic decision. I sincerely hope Daddy and Mummy Pig (much as love them) were ostracized for at least a few months following George’s birth.
If I lived there, I’d have been fucking livid.
5. Mr Potato
I don’t get it. I understand why talking animals can be cute, and why that would appeal to kids, but why a talking potato? Ok, in normal society, animals cannot talk (despite what some crackpot ‘pet whisperers’ might claim), but at least they are living, breathing creatures. Potatoes, the last time I checked, are not. They are ugly and uninteresting (but admittedly quite tasty) vegetables, and a great cartoon character they do not make.
What really troubles me, however, is Mr Potato’s size. Look at this picture:
He’s huge. If Peppa and her friends are to scale (although that does mean pigs and elephants are apparently now the same size), it means Mr Potato is the height of a bloody bungalow. And if a potato that size walked up to me in the street, with his creepy moustache and inexplicably balanced hat, I would damn near shit myself (ok, I’d probably shit myself if any potato walked up to me in the street, but you get the idea).
Then, there’s his accent. Where exactly is he supposed to be from?
6. Where’s Daddy Sheep?
Now, I’m all for promoting single parent families in children’s cartoons, particularly in modern society, but I would at least like to know what happened to Mr Sheep. Did he die? Did he wander too close to the local abattoir, only to feature on the menu of a Toby Carvery? Or is he alive, but the marriage has irrevocably broken down, and he’s now shacked up with another sheep? Does Mummy Sheep even know who he is, or is Suzy the product of a drunken party during her hedonistic Uni days? The questions are endless.
God damn it, I need to know.
7. Falling over laughing
Let’s get one thing straight. Never, in my (almost) 36 years of existence, have I found something so amusing that I have immediately thrown myself to the floor in hysterics. Yet, whenever a character in Peppa Pig finds something funny (and, believe me, it’s usually not that funny), they immediately crumple to the ground.
Even more alarming, is that everyone else then follows suit at exactly the same time.
Here’s an example (you can skip to 4:30 to save you having to watch the entire episode):
8. Why are all the houses on hills?
We never find out the name of the town or village where Peppa and her family live, strangely in harmony with virtually every other docile species known to man (interesting that there are no alligator, big cat, or venomous snake families in residence…), but it must be the hilliest place on earth. Look at the state of Peppa’s house:
It’s a logistical nightmare. Not only would you be knackered popping out for a pint of milk, or trying to walk home from the pub, but I for one would not feel comfortable doing that kind of hill start in the car each morning. You would either have to reverse up the hill at night, in which case applying the handbrake and getting out of the car would be terrifying, or alternatively you risk the world’s hardest hill start, backwards, the following morning. Either way, I’d need a change of underwear on the back seat, just in case.
The only advantage of this house that I can see, is that it’s fucking awesome for sledging.
9. George’s vocabulary
I know for a fact that George is two years old, as I have witnessed his second birthday party a few thousand times, and so I cannot help but be puzzled by his vocabulary. I am well aware that some children are slower talkers than others (Isaac, for example, will only currently say ‘Mama’, ‘more’ and, unsurprisingly, ‘Peppa’) but George appears to only know one word, ‘dinosaur’ (which he pronounces dine-saw).
To my mind, that’s quite a complicated word to say, when it’s the only one you know, and even more worrying, is the fact that he seems to use it in most conversations. This, as a parent, would drive me insane very quickly.
“What do you want for breakfast, George?”
“That’s not an answer though is it? Would you like some cereal?”
“Stop saying dinosaur.”
“I swear to the piggy Gods above, if you utter that word one more time, I will start removing your limbs.”
Ok, Daddy Pig and Mummy Pig don’t appear to be as bothered by his one word as I am, so it perhaps wouldn’t escalate that quickly, but it’s bound to wear them down sooner or later.
10. I’ve started to find Mummy Pig attractive
Ok, let’s get one thing clear, I don’t fancy Mummy Pig. I don’t lust after her and have risqué pictures of her on my wall (I’ve checked, they don’t make them). But I have started to appreciate her as a woman. She is kind, loving, funny and a perfect partner for Daddy Pig. She’s essentially the Marge to Daddy Pig’s Homer.
No one really finds Marge hot, do they? I mean, she’s no Wilma Flintstone or Lois Griffin, but she does have a quality. And it’s the same with Mummy Pig. I admire her, more than fancy her.
That said, in the ‘Swimming Pool’ episode, Mummy Pig comes out of the changing rooms in an orange bikini, and it might have been my sleep-deprived state at the time, but I did let out an audible ‘phwoar’.
So help me, I do like a woman with curves.
Maybe it’s best if I take a break from watching Peppa Pig for a while…