While my TikTok For You page is absolutely nowhere near normal — at least with reruns of Family Guy, Topher memes, and that one guy who thinks he’s the definition of the feminine gaze — the one thing I can count on is Bluey.
Over break, I was exposed to mass amounts of the lovable Blue Heeler and her family, and it’s safe to say that Bluey and her adventures have completely taken over my life. Bluey, for those who don’t know, is an Australian kid’s show available on Disney+ that has recently blown up all over social media. Alongside six-year-old Bluey is her younger sister Bingo, her dad Bandit, and her mother Chilli. The show also features Bluey and Bingo’s friends and family who are all different breeds of dogs. Altogether, Bluey focuses on the power of imagination and playing games while also highlighting the strength of good parenting.
And yes, I will be the first to admit that it is incredibly embarrassing to be watching a children’s show at 18 years old – especially when you watched all 130 episodes in three days – but once you watch your first episode of Bluey, you’ll understand. Be warned: massive spoilers are ahead. My personal favorite episode is Episode 43 of Season 1, “Camping,” in which the Heelers go on a family camping trip, and Bluey meets a new friend. The plot twist is that this friend doesn’t speak any English.
While many of us have had the privilege of acquainting ourselves with international students or other people whose first language isn’t English, interactions between two six-year olds who barely know their own language is unprecedented in children’s shows. Within the episode, Bluey learns to overcome the language barrier with her new friend, Jean Luc, through other forms of communication. After devising a master plan through pictures with mud on a rock, the pair fight a wild pig and create memories within the nearby forest. But as with all good things, their time together must come to an end, and Jean Luc must go back to France. While Bluey doesn’t fully understand the concept of people in her life suddenly entering and leaving, her mother explains it best — all the while her sister Bingo is “having a bush wee.”
Bluey: Why did Jean Luc have to go?
Chilli: Their holiday was over, honey.
Bluey: But I want to keep playing with him! He was my friend!
Chilli: Well, look, sometimes special people come into our lives, stay for a bit, and then they have to go.
Bluey: But that’s sad!
Chilli: It is, but the part where they were here was happy, wasn’t it?
Bluey: Yeah, we caught a wild pig together!
Chilli: Maybe that makes it all worth it.
Are you done wiping the stream of tears off your face? Yes? Good.
Of course, watching the actual episode makes Chilli’s words hit a little more, but even in that 15-second exchange between the Heeler breed and her daughter, it is evident that the power of Bluey extends beyond any age range. As such, the concepts found in other Bluey episodes are similar to “Camping” — learning perseverance, how to resolve conflict through communication, how to be patient, and overall, how to simply grow up as a kind and caring human being (or dog). In “Camping,” Bluey learns that some people just aren’t meant to stay in her life forever, but she shouldn’t be sad about it and should instead cherish those memories until they meet again. I’m not sure about you guys, but when I was six years old, I had no concept of the divergence of people in my life, and especially no concept of holding onto my memories instead of being sad I’m not creating new ones.
It’s safe to say that Bluey has sufficiently taken over my life, it has done so in ways that could only be considered positive. While it’s ironic that the Heeler family promotes playing games rather than watching TV or being on a tablet, the lessons they teach through their show are unlike any other kid’s show on Disney+. Each episode has me tearing up, and, not to make my parents feel bad, but it feels as though I’m reteaching myself lessons about friendship and family all over again.
So I implore you to watch Bluey, not only for the surprisingly wholesome and endearing life lessons in each episode but also for the cute little Australian accents. While it may not teach you anything new, it could give you a new perspective on things you once thought you understood. Just be prepared and bring a box of tissues with you when you do.
Art by Michelle Deng of the UCSD Guardian