There’s a new level of peculiarity that comes with Bluey appreciation: you’re at a BBQ with other parents and all of you – ALL OF YOU – are talking about a kids’ show. Not in the “oh it’s just so educational” or “it actually has a good theme song” kind of way, no, you are talking about Bluey because YOU love it. You all admit to watching it without your children there. One of you even confesses to sending a message to your elderly neighbour, just to let her know about it.
Bluey is a 6 year old Blue Heeler and the animated show follows her daily play with her younger sister Bingo and her Dad, Bandit. Her mother, Chilli, often appears just to say that she is heading off to work, to play hockey, or to go for a run. The family live in a Queenslander surrounded by the sounds and sights of the tropics.
What makes Bluey so amazing?
- It’s funny for everyone. While your child is laughing because Bluey has given up on Fruit Salad after dreaming she was a fruitbat, you’re in hysterics at Chilli’s line delivered for every parent everywhere: “7 o’clock!? That was a big sleep!”.
- The music is beautiful. The music makes every moment of every episode.
- Bluey’s relationship with her dad, is relatable and speaks to the generation of the parents watching. Toffee apples: “Old school, nice!” A reference to Indiana Jones – a game where Bandit rolls a Yoga ball down the hallway and the kids jump out of the way – “Raiders.” In ‘Keepy Uppy’ the neighbour’s dad runs to hit a balloon back over the fence, “I’ve done me hammy!” Bluey also builds a link between what we had as children – a world without screens – and what we want for our children, but in reality have to work quite hard to provide in this world of ‘video’ games and TV shows on demand. It reminds us of making up games to play inside when it’s a bad weather day (Taxi), begging our parents for change to play the claw machine in the local pub (The Claw), and guessing what your sibling or friend is saying underwater(The Pool).
- A respectful family unit enjoying creative and wholesome play, is what makes Bluey a lesson in good parenting. Not everyone is a natural parent. Many of us struggle with what to say and do at those pivotal moments in our kid’s development: when they are disappointed, angry, not sharing, or how to speak up when play gets too rough for them. And games – trying to think of games to play is a bloody difficult task for some of us. Every episode of Bluey shows us the trials of parenting, and how we can act towards our children when our actions and words come from a place of love. Bandit and Chilli are not infallible, but they do their best.
- It certainly is refreshing to watch a show where the father is the main carer of his kids. He is there for the getting ready for bed routine, and for the dawn walk to the monkey bars, but still he is always trying to catch a glimpse of the cricket scores on TV whilst wrestling his two daughters. He’s nearly always carrying a basket of washing. Friends often watch a whole episode of Bluey for the first time without realizing that Bluey and Bingo are both girls. Bandit rarely addresses them as “girls” and his terms of endearment are words like ‘squirt’, ‘buster’, ‘mate’, and ‘pint size’.
- The best thing about Bluey is the touch of magic that is sprinkled into each episode. The second best thing is my two year old daughter’s facial expression when she is watching that magic unfold. I thought she was a comic genius when one day, out of nowhere, she stuck two bobby pins under her top lip, clapped her hands and yelled “I’m a walrus!” Later, I realized that Bluey does this in the Takeaway episode – a moment that literally last TWO SECONDS. Enough time for my transfixed daughter to take it in, and replicate.
Whilst I love every single 7 minute episode of Bluey created, I am eagerly awaiting Season 2, or a Bluey movie. For the moment, when my daughter demands an episode for the 700th time (usually Markets), I have an arsenal of play ideas at my disposal. “I have a balloon we could blow up – how about a game of Keepy Uppy?” “No,” she says, “How about… Shadowlands?”