The Bluey Question
Why having fun isn’t hard when you have a library card. But who’s Dewey???
As the uncle of a niece who loves Bluey, I must admit I struggle to see how popular it is. When Disney announced that season four of the Australian show in August, it almost broke Twitter (I know that sounds crazy)
However, when I started thinking about it, I realized just how vital some children's programming is to childhood development. A recent journalist lauded how children seemed drawn to its short episodes. I’ve noticed it with my niece, who loves to be on her tablet, but when Bluey comes on, all bets are off when conversing with her.
As a man of culture and sophistication, I made it a point to sit her down and watch the real good stuff like Arthur, Veggietales, and Wishbone. And I still enjoy watching Arthur when it comes on. I can name every episode and even had several Arthur parties growing up. My middle name is even named Marc, just like Marc Brown, but I think that’s just a coincidence.
During the pandemic, I couldn’t wait until 3:30, when she would come home from school so that we could watch an episode or two on KERA. I may be biased, but if I catch it on, I still watch it
There’s an episode on how to deal with serious events that they produced after 9/11. There was a downtown abbey episode and even one featuring Lance Armstrong (where’s your yellow bracelet?)
Looking back, what I enjoyed most about Arthur is that the producers didn’t treat me like a child. They dealt with relatable issues that every child endured during their childhood years. And if I have children one day, I can’t wait to show them all the episodes. (Sorry, Caillou, you’re on my banned list).
After thinking about it, I quickly remembered the shows I loved growing up. One of the main other ones was Wishbone. Wishbone didn’t play down to the kid's level. They just told classics in a then modern and new way. Imagine my surprise when I read a Texas monthly oral history to hear that Mo Rocca was a writer for it straight out of college. In an interview with Larry King, he mentioned that it helped him to learn how to write and report for his current job. Studies have shown how vital shows like Sesame Street and Mister Rogers’s neighborhood are to children who may not have access to the best home living environment.
It brings me back to Bluey and Arthur. Now when my niece comes over in the morning and we watch Leave it to Beaver reruns. As I was watching with her, I thought that they don’t make a good show like this anymore. I thought of this as a person who looked the way I looked in a tv show produced in the 50s.
In a recent interview talking about his book on the 90s, Chuck Klosterman talked about nostalgia and how that word makes it seem as if those were better times when in reality, that’s maybe not the case. Even so, I firmly believe that shows like Leave it to Beaver, Arthur, Wishbone, and even the Cosby Show will have staying power given the importance of the content in their series. I’m not so sure about Bluey. However, I guess I could still be looking through those nostalgic glasses that frame my bias.
my song of the day is Jesus from Texas by the artist Semler. She opened up for my favorite band Relient K at Irving plaza and had a similar but not similar falling away from God but still believes in Him. There was even a mini revolt on the bands Facebook page when they announced she was opening for them. Imagine my surprise when the line around Irving Plaza was around the block. I heard someone walk by when I was line that it must have been a big act! If they only knew!!
Here are some other videos featuring some things I talked about in my newsletter.