Why is ‘Bluey’ on the mind of college students?

Some reading this article may have never heard of “Bluey,” an animated show first released on ABC Kids Australia in 2018. The show centers around a family of dogs, but mainly the children Bluey and Bingo. 

As most preschoolers’ shows go, it is meant to teach young kids life lessons and social skills in hopes of setting their moral compass. However, between 2021 and 2022, adults began to watch the show.

Haley Alvarez-Lauto | Senior Graphic Artist

If you open any social media app, you will likely see people ranging from college students to thirty-year-olds resonating with the Bluey gang. 

Why might college students be propelling the show’s viewership?

“Bluey” did not go into the public eye until the last few years. It likely began to spark interest when it was put on Disney+ in 2020. Disney+ was a relatively new streaming service, and “Bluey” was new for most people outside of Australia. So, when people began to find the show and as more seasons came out, audiences continued to watch. 

Clips of the show started getting uploaded to TikTok, coinciding with the idea of college students finding the show since TikTok’s main age range tends to be Gen-Z to young millennials. 

What makes this show stand out enough to attract an adult audience versus others like “Dora the Explorer” or “Sesame Street?” I chalk it up to three big reasons. 

One reason is likely due to the show’s animation. The dogs in “Bluey” are in the shape of a box. It won’t be winning any awards on character design, but what makes it stand out are those moments where the artists highlight the character, the background or the setting. 

Season one, episode six, “The Weekend,” includes a detailed close-up of the youngest daughter of the Heeler family — Bingo. Season two, episode 26, “SleepyTime,” centers around Bingo and a dream she is having. This episode is incredibly popular because of its stunning animation. We see Bingo in outer space riding comets. 

While the show mainly centers around childlike stories, more mature topics are built within some of the episodes. Season three, episode  41, “The Decider,” follows a golden retriever named Lucky. Lucky faces difficulty deciding which parent to watch a sports game with after their divorce. 

This episode can hit hard for college students who have faced similar situations. It personally hit me since I have parents who are separated. It’s not like the characters ever say, “we are getting divorced, be sad about it, kid,” but a lack of vocalization underscores how good the writers are.

Season three, episode 31, “Onesies,” observes Bluey and Bingo’s aunt, Brandy, after she visits the family. Childlike chaos happens, but the most important part of this episode is when the audience finds out why Brandy has been away 

Bluey’s mother explains how Brandy isn’t able to have children of her own. This episode heavily touches on the topic of infertility. Young adults can understand the pain that Brandy is going through. You want something so badly, but you can’t have it.

What makes “Bluey” powerful is its essential message about family. One of the most consistent aspects of the show is how it displays true love between friends and family. “Bluey” is loved because it is meant to make viewers feel. 

It is possible that college students like “Bluey” for the cute blue dog, but there is no denying that it has a comforting message to spread.

One Comment

  1. There’s a few facts you got wrong. First off, in “The Decider”, Pat and his wife are not divorced. They were cheering for different teams because they were each from different parts of Australia (Pat and Lucky for the Maroons since they grew up in Queensland like the Heelers, and Janelle (Pat’s wife) from New South Wales). They were not divorced. They were simply aligning themselves based on which region they associated with growing up. Though this is a common misconception for people who haven’t looked deeply into Aussie culture before watching this show. It’s always important to understand the cultural background of these things.

    Secondly, it was Chucky, Pat and Janelle’s second-born son, that had to choose between cheering for the Queensland Maroons and the NSW Blues. Lucky, the older sibling, had already picked a team.

    Other than that, pretty spot-on, but I advise you to try looking into more cultural background for the show and Australia before you make an inference to something that might be taken the wrong way.