Monday, March 2, 2015

How To Write A Peppa Pig Episode

We watch a lot of Peppa Pig in the Cranky Pumpkin household. It's a cute British cartoon and my toddler Pippa adores it. This creates a lot of tongue-twister situations, e.g. "Pippa wants to watch Peppa." (Just try and say that three times fast while changing a toddler's diaper.) The similarity between "Pippa" and Peppa" also generates a fair amount of confusion. Pippa often says something that could be her name, Pippa, but then again, it could be the name of her favorite British cartoon pig, Peppa, and then I don't know what the hell is going on. Does my toddler want to watch an episode of Peppa? Is she trying to tell me something about herself? Or is she having an existential crisis?  

Pippa has watched so much Peppa, the cartoon now registers in my ear as white noise. I can sit on the couch, with Pippa on my lap, and happily read a book - even a difficult book with lots of big words and tricky grammar. But some part of my brain must be interested in the show, because I have memorized all the damn episodes.

I'm not bragging. Anyone can memorize the Peppa Pig canon, because there are only a dozen or so themes that keep getting repeated. Once you know the themes, then you can write a Peppa Pig episode yourself. Just pick two or three, mush them together, and bazinga, you have a hit show on your hands. In case you are looking to script your own episode, here are the themes:
  • Daddy Pig's big tummy
  • vehicular trouble (choose at least one: car; boat; or train)
  • Mr. Dinosaur issues
  • Muddy puddles
  • Peppa getting frustrated that she lacks a natural talent like whistling
  • Madame Gazelle performing mind experiments on the children
  • the school roof needs fixing
  • tortoise in a tree
  • Mummy Pig has some amazing secret talent like playing the violin or archery
  • Grandpa Pig's hobbies - the more eccentric and expensive, the better - I can't decide which is more ridiculous, the million dollar telescope in his attic or Gertrude the miniature locomotive
  • Miss Rabbit's jobs
  • Pirates! Alas, this is just Danny Dog playing. No pirates are yet to plunder and pillage the school.
  • George is a genius. 
  • Daddy Pig is an expert at _____ (diving, accordion, jumping in muddle puddles, etc.)
  • Daddy Pig claims to be an expert but is not, in fact, an expert (e.g. French and basic carpentry)
  • Pedro Pony is lame and needs to stop calling everything "super"
  • I am really lame and should probably watch the news once in awhile