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Thursday, 8 March 2012

Meg and Mog - even people from Wigan can be evil

Today I'm going to review an episode of Meg and Mog, who started life in a series of 1970s children's book written by Helen Nicholl, and illustrated by Jan Pienkowski (the person responsible for Meg having half a head). The pair were brought to life in a show that first aired in 2003, and I believe you can still catch reruns of it on various sky channels.

I have two overwhelming memories of the Meg and Mog series. Firstly, being herded up to the library once a week with my class, and being forced to choose a book and read it. Everyone obviously fought over the books with the biggest pictures and the least words, and since I was quite bulky as a kid I must have won those fights quite often. Hence I ended up reading a hell of a lot of Meg and Mog books. Secondly, in one story Meg throws a dinner party, and Mog is served "Welsh Rabbit". It was only in recent years that I discovered that this wasn't an actual dish, but a parody of Welsh Rarebit. I'm still not entirely sure what Welsh Rarebit is, but I think it has something to do with being square shaped.

As far as I can tell, the animated show remained pretty true to the original books, with the same stories and illustration style. By 'illustration style', I mean possibly drawn by someone who gave up halfway through and went for a cup of tea. For example -

Where the hell is the rest of her head?

Anyway. Today I am going to look at episode one - "Meg, Mog and Owl", which I assume was based on the first book in the series. As you might have gathered already, the stories center around a hapless witch and her familiars, getting into all kinds of hilarious and non-evil scrapes. I don't think there is one where Meg gets burnt at the stake by the witchfinder general, but don't quote me on that.

Here we go!

We start off with some pretty awesome, scary-without-being-too-scary-for-the-kiddywinks theme music, and then cut to Meg in bed. DOWNRIGHT PORN! In all seriousness, Meg looks like she's having a terrible dream. One can only speculate on what she's dreaming about, but my money's on that she's reliving the accident in which she lost half her fucking head.

Owl wakes her up by being as camp as humanly possible. If this owl ever got into a fight with Hedwig, Hedwig would tear him to pieces.

Notice that in silhouette, Meg has a full head.

Immediately Meg is cast as non-threatening by being northern. I like this logic - anything supernatural, make it from Leeds, Wigan or similar. That way they'll only be interested in spells about whippets and flat caps.

Mog is asleep downstairs, looking like he's covered in bloody spiders or something. Speaking of which, there's a spider in my bathroom. But it's one of those stupid fat spiders so I'm not too bothered, and anyway I can't reach it.

Meg 'accidentally' steps on Mog's tail, at which Mog wakes up and calls her a fucking whore (I'm paraphrasing).

This breakfast she makes is truly disgusting. Three eggs, bread, cocoa, 'some jam' (an as yet unspecified amount of jam), milk, and a kipper. By the time we get to the kipper, Mog is jizzing so much, the excitement can only be conveyed with a fanfare. Look at the kipper's cold, lifeless eyes staring out at you while a fanfare plays.

Meg puts all these ingredients into her cauldron. Fine, you might think, she's just going to magic up an entire meal, right? Wrong. All she does is make some kind of horrible porridge sludge containing kippers AND cocoa AND jam. Ugh. I'd rather have had the Welsh Rabbit. Owl comes and sits on Mog's head, which made me laugh.

A dead bird springs out of the cuckoo clock, and it's time for them to head off. Owl is going to stay behind and try on Meg's underwear.

Long intestine - it's the only way to travel these days -

Meg meets up with all her identical and equally non-threatening friends - Bess, Jess, Tess and Cress. Cress, the Scottish witch, just makes me think of THIS whenever I hear her voice -

Back to the plot. The witches land on top of the smallest hill in the world, and proceed to light a fire underneath the cauldron. And when I say 'they', I mean 'Meg does everything on her bloody own'.

Then they throw various Pogs into the cauldron and recite some Dr Seuss. The end result is...wait...what? the end result is that all the other witches are dead? Really? really really? Oh wait no, they're all just mice. That's fine then.

Hang the fuck on. Meg is really pleased about this, as if she did it on purpose. This is confirmed when she declares she isn't even going to change them back. WTF? I know they just stood there while she lit the fire, but really...what? How did they incur her wrath to this degree? She can't really be evil, she's from Wigan! My entire belief system has been shattered.

Then it ends. No surprise twist, just Meg turning her friends into mice. so I guess the moral of this story is that even witches from Wigan can't be trusted.

I am traumatised. I need to go for a cigarette now.


  1. OMG this really reminded me of a long-forgotten show...remember Bod?


    Basically he was a little bald chinese guy who wore a dress and did the same things with the same people every episode. :-D

  2. http://youtu.be/CFVq7vPtWno

    Weird fusion of cult children's chracters.