Doggone good viewing
Bluey is a family cartoon with a sense of humour and wholesome points that has proven to appeal to an audience beyond small children and their parents.
The show depicts a family of four anthropomorphic dogs, Bandit, Chilli, and their daughters, Bluey and Bingo. It shows them going about their busy daily lives, balancing work with family time and facing challenges associated with parenting.
What is also really impressive about Bluey is the positive way in which it depicts fatherhood. After generations of TV dads such as Homer Simpson, the inclusion of a father who is involved in his daughters’ lives is welcome. The creativity with which Bandit approaches the challenges of raising two children is infectious.
The show’s intended audience is by no means confined to children, either, and there are plenty of great jokes in the script that are clearly aimed at the older onlookers. Some of the best examples take their cues from Australian cultural cringe (the visit to a Bunnings-esque hardware store one episode particularly caught Insights off guard).
By no means is the show’s tone purely limited to humour either, with episodes such as Baby Race bringing deeper resonance.
Of course, no show is perfect, and Bluey found itself mired in some controversy when some lines of dialogue were found by some viewers to be racially insensitive. It should be noted, however, that the ABC took quick action to correct this, and that current episodes do not contain the lines in question.
If comments on social media and in reviews (not to mention the burgeoning merchandise empire) are anything to go by, Bluey has clearly resonated with a wider international audience, and has proven to be a successful export for Australian TV. Anyone yet to catch it could do worse during a rainy weekend.
Bluey is streaming now on ABC iView.