An Underrated Icon Shines in Snoopy Presents: One-of-a-Kind MarciePhoto Courtesy of Apple TV+ TV Reviews The Snoopy Show
Peanuts Comics’ Peppermint Patty, despite being a tertiary character and often uncritical to the bigger plots within the Peanuts universe, has been the subject of highly contested debate for some time now. Her gender and sexuality, although irrelevant to children’s media and its young viewers, are a bit bemusing: Peppermint Patty is officially recognized as a girl in canon, but her androgynous fashion choices, low voice, and mystifying relationship with Marcie are all fodder for the bigger questions at hand.
Despite the uncertainty, one thing that all fans of Peanuts can agree on would be Patty’s bossiness, especially when it comes to her friendship (I use this term loosely) with Marcie. The mere fact that Marcie refers to Patty as “sir” on a regular basis instead of her friend’s actual name is telling enough. If Peppermint Patty is somewhat of a background character in the world of Snoopy and friends, Marcie is even more so a wallflower; one whom, despite being around since July 1971, we hardly know anything about other than the fact that she wears glasses and trails Patty around like a dog to do her bidding. (Marcie wasn’t even given a name until October of 1971, first introduced as Patty’s nameless friend from camp.)
52 years after her inception, Apple TV+ is finally shining a spotlight on Peppermint Patty’s BFF/frenemy/personal assistant. After this summer’s earlier release of The Snoopy Show’s knockout third season, Snoopy Presents: One-of-a-Kind Marcie brings this underrated character to the forefront. It follows Marcie, the (overly) kind, introverted wallflower and companion to Peppermint Patty, as she navigates an unexpected challenge thrown her way in school: being elected class president. How does she manage to share her ideas when she’s never been granted a platform before? The special poses this very question, exploring ideas of introversion, anxiety, and confidence throughout its runtime.
At first, I was unsure of how Apple TV+ could turn a character that Peanuts fans knew virtually nothing about into a forty minute-long special captivating enough for people to stick with it all the way through. Yet it was a pleasant surprise when forty minutes had passed feeling like fifteen. Marcie quickly became one of my new favorite Peanuts characters, and although no one will ever beat Snoopy for the top spot, she is delightfully endearing. She’s introduced to us as little more than Peppermint Patty’s caddy, but when she is elected class president out of the blue, she finally seems to be getting the attention she deserves.
The only problem is? She doesn’t want it. The perpetual spotlight shining upon her wire-rimmed glasses is the last thing she ever wanted or expected for herself; it doesn’t matter that she has excellent ideas that make sense for the greater good of her classmates, or that she is finally being treated better as little more than a shrinking violet. Marcie would rather retreat back to her comfortable spot in Peppermint Patty’s shadow, but no one will let her because she’s doing too much good, with the others selfish in not wanting to let that go.
Speaking of her BFF: It’s refreshing to see Marcie have a semi-symbiotic relationship with Peppermint Patty, who is (seemingly) for once supportive of her friend, and not trying to make it all about herself. Although in past iterations Marcie may have seemed like a pushover, One-of-a-Kind Marcie is here to show that she’s not and never has been! If Peppermint Patty asks her to do something she doesn’t want to, she’ll make it known, and there’s no peer pressure to do otherwise. It’s a good lesson to young viewers that you’re allowed to hold your own, even with your friends; sometimes it can be scary to stand up to them, but good friends should always be willing to listen.
Peppermint Patty is also the one who prompts Marcie to go out for class president initially. Although she respects Marcie’s decision not to, it’s clear she doesn’t agree. After all, before she is elected, Marcie is shown to constantly have the best ideas for improvement in class, and she almost always has the right answer. A scene shared with Charlie Brown demonstrates Marcie’s difficulty with speaking up, but it doesn’t shame her for doing so.
Anxiety is something a lot of people feel shameful about, especially if you’ve never grappled with it before and don’t know how to deal. The episode centering around Marcie is different from other episodes about individual Peanuts characters because she’s unique; she’s an introvert, but she’s comfortable in her status as one. Peppermint Patty is an extrovert, and loudly outspoken, but Marcie doesn’t feel like she should change herself just because she isn’t like everyone else.
Some things are worth challenging yourself for and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. It may seem initially extreme to someone like Marcie, being bestowed all this power and attention upon being elected class president. But as the story progresses, Marcie begins to realize it’s not only beneficial for her peers to share these ideas but beneficial for herself, as well. Learning skills like the ones Marcie accumulates and then puts to use through the duration of the special at a younger age is important, too, as they can be utilized as the years go by, especially for this special’s target audience.
The special does an excellent job of normalizing anxiety and shyness, particularly for its younger audience who may be struggling with problems of their own. However, it’s very careful to not encourage viewers to stay stuck in their ways, especially if they have great ideas they should bring to the forefront—or even if they don’t. One-of-a-Kind Marcie is the perfect thing to watch with all audiences, regardless of age or child status—but obviously, it’s great for families to watch with their kids so they know they are supported and loved just as they are.
Everyone is welcome here, and everyone is safe here, and that’s what’s so great about the everlasting magic of Snoopy and his Peanuts gang.
Snoopy Presents: One-of-a-Kind Marcie premieres on Apple TV+ Friday, August 18th.
Gillian Bennett is a writer and editor who has been featured in Strike Magazine, Her Campus, and now Paste Magazine. She enjoys watching copious reruns of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and fantasizing about living in London. You can find more of her neverending inner monologue and online diary on her Twitter or her blog.
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