By Taylor L Smith
Bluey first premiered in Australia in October of 2018. Since then, the animated series featuring the little blue heeler, as well as the rest of her family has skyrocketed in popularity. However, it is not just children who watch the show, as adults and older teenagers find themselves tuning in for a few episodes of this series at a time.
Why do they like it? Why does a show that is made for preschoolers have such a captivated audience of people who are outside of the targeted age range for the show? There are actually several reasons for this, however, to get the answers, we must go back to a turbulent time.
The year 2020, as all jokes have suggested, was a year that nobody saw coming. People were stuck in their homes for over a year with not much to do except use streaming services. With a need for some comfort, many people would start watching children’s television shows. In my opinion, this is likely how the Bluey craze actually started. But this does not mean that this is where it ended.
Bluey is loved for so many reasons and one of the biggest reasons is because the show is not afraid to talk about difficult things. Different forms of children’s media tend to forget that parents will often watch the shows their children enjoy alongside them. After all, the most memorable and beloved episodes of many series are often the ones that display things that are difficult to talk about.
However, Bluey doesn’t just talk about heavy issues in one or two episodes, there are a handful. For example, Sleepytime was the first episode that talked about heavy issues. Through a series of beautiful imagery ‘Bingo’, Bluey’s younger sister, has to deal with the realities of growing up and no longer being a baby.
There is also the episode ‘Baby Race’, where Bluey’s Mom, Chilli is desperately trying so hard to be a good mother that she ends up accidentally ignoring the needs of her child. It takes another mom with more experience to tell her she is doing a good job for her to start finally giving her child the attention she needs which leads to her taking her first steps.
Another episode I loved was ‘Rug Island’. When Bluey and Bingo receive a pack of new markers after being told that their dad cannot play with them. They decided to play the game Rug Island. This is where they take their bedroom rug outside, and the markers become basic items such as food, kindling, and tools. At this point, their dad, Bandit, decides to take time out of his remarkably busy and hectic morning to play the game with his daughters by pretending to wash up on the island. At the end of the episode when he must leave, Bingo gives him a package wrapped in a fern leaf and he leaves the island.
When away from the island Chilli looks over to him and asks the question. “What did she give to you?”
Upon opening the package Bandit reveals a couple of markers and with a smile on his face just responds with “Everything”.
Finally, there is an episode that quite possibly had the biggest response as it hinted at and discussed an issue that numerous people go through, yet many people are terrified to talk about. The episode ‘Onesies’ is the first episode where we see the Heeler children’s aunt and Chilli’s older sister, Brandi.
Upon her arrival, we can sense the tension between her and Chilli as she gives the kids their onesie gifts. However, Bluey wants the Cheetah onesie that is unfortunately too small for her. As the episode goes on, Bluey at one point asks her mom why they haven’t seen their Aunt Brandi in so long. Chilli uses the onesies to describe the issue in a way Bluey can understand it.
As Chilli explains the issue to Bluey during the voiceover, we see Brandi playing with Bingo. When Bingo runs off, we are left with an image of Brandi reaching out with tears in her eyes. As she rolls over, the voiceover from Chilli simply says that it just isn’t meant to be.
Bluey is a show that allows us to absorb the magic of childhood once again, as well as allowing us to have a better understanding of not just the children but ourselves as well. These are only some of the most hard-hitting episodes that Bluey has to offer, and I am excitedly waiting for more.