“I’m going to write a blog post about Peppa Pig. How should I even start?,” I asked B while we were out on an errand today.
“Don’t gild the lily. Just say it’s the most awesome show ever made.”
Go ahead and put your hyperbole goggles on ’cause imma bout to spray you with the spittle of truth:
Peppa Pig is the most awesome show ever made.
Cee first started watching Peppa Pig right around the same time that we moved over the summer. Naturally, B and I would watch it with her because we have been told my many people claiming to be experts that if your child watches TV unaccompanied before they turn 18, they will a., grow a tail, b., be at higher risk of experiencing teenage pregnancy, c., kill ants on the playground with a magnifying glass, and d., be doomed to an adulthood of general malaise and possible Walmart employment. What we found when we started watching Peppa with Cee was that it is possibly the best television program to be piped into the living rooms of America since Roots.
Peppa Pig is a British children’s programme (so cultured already) that airs on Nick Jr. It chronicles the life of a four-year-old pig named Peppa and her family, which includes two-year-old brother George, Mummy Pig, Daddy Pig, Granny Pig, and Grandpa Pig. The first thing that you notice when you watch it is that unlike shows like Bob the Builder that originated in the UK but are adapted to American audiences, Peppa Pig remained unchanged after its trip across the pond. Not only does Peppa and her cohorts retain their British accents, but they also use the British terms for everyday items. “Elevator” remains “lift”, “bandage” remains “plaster cast”, “carnivals” are “funfairs,” and “trucks” are “lorries.” It turns out that small American children understand just fine what Peppa is talking about and that they are able to stomach things that are not immediately familiar to them.
I know. Shocker.
The added bonus to your American toddler watching British TV is that s/he starts speaking with a fake accent. Trust me on this one: it is way cuter when a two year old does it than when Madonna does it.
Another thing that we really like about Peppa is that it instills fairly good behavior in C. We can instruct her to say thank-you until we’re blue in the face, but in the grand tradition of television characters raising our children, it’s Peppa who has gotten C to say thank-you. How do we know that Peppa gets the credit? Why, because she says thank you with a British accent, of course.
Every parent has that show that they will admit to watching even when their kids aren’t around. For some, it’s Yo Gabba Gabba with its myriad guest stars and fun music. For others, it’s Adventure Time, which is quirky and offbeat. (For absolutely no parent or sane adult in the entire world, it’s Dora the Explorer.) But for me, it’s Peppa Pig. What is it about Peppa that speaks to me? I think it has something to do with the relative simplicity of the show. It hearkens back to a pared-down, imaginative childhood that is hard to come by in these days where kids get iPads on their first birthdays and are more heavily-scheduled than many adults. Peppa’s favorite thing to do in the entire world is jump up and down in muddle puddles. That’s it. The simple activity of going outside and getting dirty makes her happier than anything else. Similarly, her little brother George is transfixed with his trusty companion Mr. Dinosaur (or, as he says it, Mr. Dine-saw.)
There’s a certain degree of sibling rivalry between Peppa and George that I find refreshing. Have you ever seen these kids shows where siblings actually get along? Who are they trying to kid? But at the end of the day, Peppa and her brother clearly love each other a lot. I’ll take Realistic for $1000, Alex. The fact is that kids roll their eyes at each other. There’s complexity in any relationship, but it all comes down to love. I kind of adore that.
Do you have a show you like to watch when you’re kids aren’t around? Am I the only person who has deep thoughts about an animated pig family? Feel free to let me know/ suggest a therapist in the comments.