Bluey is the most chaotic children’s cartoon out there, and it’s just what the world needs right now. If you don’t have kids in your life or are drunk and scrolling through Disney+, Bluey is an Australian cartoon about a family of humanized dogs with mom, dad and two children: Bingo and Bluey. Now I know what you must be asking yourself: “What makes it different from Peppa Pigand oh my friend, let me detail all the ways Bluey is far superior.
For starters, Peppa leads a pretty ordinary life (it’s true, she’s basic) when it comes to TV characters, but it doesn’t feel real. Yes, I know she’s a fictional and not “really real” TV character, but that’s beside the point. None of the situations in Peppa Pig actually go down like that in real life. We don’t see the parents’ point of view, we don’t see any reasoning or point of view or real decisions or dialogues – these are all pre-made scenarios of generic preschool moral standards on sharing sandwiches and not eating of pencils. Enter Bluey.
Bluey often plays by the way of leading her sister and/or the friends she plays with… which is probably the most realistic thing they can include, speaking like someone who grew up with older sisters. And the show won’t code actions as “right” and “wrong,” morally speaking, but instead takes realistic, fully relatable characters and puts them in realistic situations, and says, “Go ahead, kids, I’ll be finished here on my phone.”
Adding to the realistic play model of children in Bluey are the games kids play: more often than not, we see Bluey playing service industry jobs, which are one, relatable, and two, so specific — especially when they engage mom and/or dad in it. It’s the kids who mimic the situations they encounter in life but from a position of power, like in “Hotel”, where Bluey and Bingo turn the house into a hotel with themselves serving as staff and forcing their father to be the guest, or in the episode where Bluey plays “Edna the receptionist” in the office of a Bingo doctor or a taxi driver.
It’s nice to see a real dynamic not only in the social interactions between children, but also in the way adults act. The adults in Bluey are just as unbalanced as children, but in the most relevant way. Dad often rolls his eyes and is exhausted from the kids’ shenanigans, which is probably the most unhinged and brilliantly realistic thing I’ve seen on a TV show since The large comfortable sofa. Mom and dad don’t spare the smirk and sarcasm when they talk to each other because that’s how adults talk to each other.
It’s apparent from many situations that Bluey’s parents are very clearly millennials, which says a lot about the writers of the show. Bluey and his friends are flossing at a busker’s performance at the farmer’s market? This scenario practically spells “Millennials wrote this.” Bluey is going to be the show that next (and future) generations will show why their childhoods were super weird. And yet, it’s absolutely delightful in the way it celebrates the weirdness that is the combination of kids, real life, and family dynamics.
Bluey has it all: a passive-aggressive mom towards dad, an overbearing older sister who thinks she knows it all, kids playing weird games, fortnite dances, furs and Aussie culture. Bluey is everything I didn’t know I needed in a TV show designed for 2-5 year olds. 10/10, I would gorge myself on another 127 episodes to overcome my childhood trauma.
Bluey is available to stream on Disney+.