Harri Cham – Year 10 Student
Editor’s Note: This well written and highly entertaining social commentary by GCSE English student Harri Cham explores the subliminal world of Peppa Pig, now reported to be a £1bn global phenomenon. CPD
The classic kids show about a family of pigs and the struggles of modern society is the TV equivalent of venting all of your depression to your seven Twitter followers. It’s just what we all need right now.
The world is a dark, foggy mess. We are going blind. Trump, Boris, and the constant threat of total thermonuclear annihilation loom overhead, along with divisive issues like Brexit and politics. We need glasses, and we need a break.
God, Peppa Pig is like your phone torch at 3am when you need the toilet.
Peppa Pig is a ‘children’s’ show which masquerades itself as aimed at young kids, pretending to be about a happy family of pigs and their lives. The truth is far deeper. It has silently hovered around since 2004, always being popular but never to the extent of Pokémon in the 90s. Peppa Pig has an audience of young children who can’t appreciate the deep story and vast intellect of the writers. The parents often ignore it, never taking a second to get to know the show.
As a result of this, the truth about this show often goes overlooked. It is an incredible show with amazing writing. It is full of plot twists, cliff-hangers, and metaphors for modern society, the vast expanse of space, and how we are all going to die in the end.
Peppa Pig is like your phone torch at 3am when you need the toilet.
If you have taken the time to binge watch every existing episode of Peppa Pig, you will understand. The readers who know the show will remember episode 234 of Peppa Pig when Peppa has to pick fruits at the supermarket as part of fruits day. This is clearly a metaphor for how in the modern world we are constantly pressured to buy things, including things such as drugs, alcohol, and other ‘recreational’ items. It perfectly represents the hellhole of modern society, to the atoms and quarks at the lowest level. It isn’t pushed in our face like most ‘deep’ shows. It is subliminal, visible to only the sharpest reader.
What a show Peppa Pig is.
This is the real magic of Peppa Pig – the hidden messages. In a recent episode, Peppa refuses to play with the rabbits. This is a hidden message – a dig at how we pick and choose friends based on their appearance. It is clearly a statement against racism. You see the disastrous outcome, the rabbits get upset. This is only the starting point however, and Peppa was luckily stopped before the bullying went too far. This moment showed many fans the error of their ways, and taught many not to prejudge. This isn’t a rare occurrence in the show, however. It happens every single episode.
What a show Peppa Pig is. When you watch it, you think of how terrible, how absolutely abysmal it could have been. Peppa Pig could have gone the way of a late night show, where its ‘messages’ and ‘comedy’ are waved in front of your face, similar the majority of political satire. It could have been an aggressively over the top statement, showing the world its message. The beauty of Peppa Pig however, is the way it sneaks these messages in. You take them in: learning their message; applying those principles to your day to day life; unknowingly understanding. Only when you take the time to appreciate the show, can you truly see the power of its writing. It could have gone like one of those terrible kids’ shows: everything is dragged out; slowed down; force-fed like baby food.
This is the real magic of Peppa Pig – the hidden messages.
But it doesn’t make these slip ups. It gets everything just right, a perfect balance. It is the perfect speed for you to be able to enjoy it. It doesn’t feel like an over-the-top show, it is free of aggressive confrontations, and on the odd occasion there is, they are resolved with a happy ending. It has some of the most applicable societal commentaries ever written, but yet doesn’t show it on the surface. It is the show that we all should be watching. It is putting on glasses for the first time.
Harri Cham (10EMP)