What we watched: Bluey’s joyful finales

It’s never good to recommend a comedy saying it will make you cry, but somehow Blue, a comedy for kids that feels more real and truer than anything on TV. I see a lot of myself in Bandit’s triumphs and failures as she tries to parent her two daughters. I bow to all of her failed parenting tactics to admit that I tried them with my own two children. And then, at the end of so many episodes, I’ll realize that the front of my shirt is wet with tears because I cried.

There can’t be many people who don’t know Blue, the biggest children’s series on the planet, if not the biggest series overall. Each seven-minute episode is a slice-of-life sitcom about the Heelers, a family of anthropomorphic dogs living in Brisbane, Australia. Bluey and his little sister Bingo live with their parents Bandit and Chilli. The show began to focus on the playtime children would spend with each other or their parents. But it spread rapidly to create a rich world in its vein The Simpsons, with an entire city’s worth of storylines. Now, he can regularly put Heelers on the back burner to focus on the show’s deep characters.

It closed out its third season with last Sunday’s (comparatively) epic 28-minute episode, “The Sign,” and this week’s sweet little postscript, “Surprise.” The former’s long run has been described as a dry run for any potential Bluey movie, and has wrapped up a number of the show’s storylines. It focuses on a wedding that takes place at the Heeler home in the shadow of the family’s plans to move to another city. I won’t spoil much other than to say that The Sign is a story about the magnitude of change and how it affects parents and children. Much of it focused on Bandit’s decision to move on to a better paying job and the way it affected Chilli and the two girls. This is a complicated issue, especially since parents often emphasize that they want to do what is best for their children.

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Ludo Studio

Meanwhile, “Surprise” focuses more on the mundane struggles of Bandit as he tries to play two different games at once with his daughters. While Bluey just wants to be seven minutes of silly fun, he can’t help but be honest about the emotional and physical labor of parenting. All Bandit wants to do is sit and watch sports on TV, but his daughters don’t allow him that luxury. He was chased around the house, forced to pretend to teach a tennis ball to ride a bicycle, and then hit with ping pong balls fired from a toy launcher. (Bluey’s (He’s happy to point out how often Bandit gets shot in the groin as a result of any game the girls play.)

All that effort pays off in the last half minute of the episode, when I start sobbing. While it may serve as a palate cleanser after the scale and emotional intensity of the previous episode, the final moments offer a real (if pleasant) punch to the gut. I can’t help but feel a lot of parallels in Blue’s life and my own (similar age) daughter’s, and I feel a lot of kinship with Bandit as well. If I’m as good a parent as this silly cartoon dog who often makes mistakes, then I’ll feel like I’ve done a good job.

There is speculation that this third season could be Bluey’s last. although producer Sam Moor said the show would continue in some form, creator Joe Brumm expressed uncertainty about his future with the show. Any delay would also risk the child actors, who remain anonymous for their own safety, becoming too old to play their roles. But in many ways Blue can’t no the show is a multi-billion dollar cash grab for the BBC, which now owns a large portion of the show’s rights.

I don’t want to say goodbye to Bluey and the Heelers and would like them to keep the cast as it is and let Bandit and Chilli grow together. That to me would be the honest thing to do, rather than dealing with dog spoofing on the many TV shows that have this problem. But if they have to go, I will choose to remember Bluey’s three perfect seasons through the highs and lows of parenthood.

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