By Ashley Ziegler
For the most part, shows for young kids tend to be, well, annoying (at best). They’re usually full of songs, high-pitched voices that sound like nails on a chalkboard, and blindingly bright colors. For instance, I know I’m not the only parent who has endured more than enough episodes of “Cocomelon” to last a lifetime.
That’s partially why “Bluey,” a kids’ show about a family of Blue Heelers in Australia, has become such a phenomenon.
If you’ve never seen “Bluey,” you’re in for a treat. It’s nothing like the typical shows for younger kids—it’s about a million times better. It has the classic hand-drawn cartoon style, with more muted color tones than most other TV shows for kids, and episodes are around 8 minutes long, the perfect length for a child’s short attention span. Not to mention, the content of each episode is fantastic, with just the right amount of whimsy for little ones, and enough subtle humor and sentiment for their grown-ups.
New episodes of the BBC Studios show air in Australia first, then, after a season has had a solid run for Australian audiences, episodes make their way over to the U.S. and Canada thanks to Disney. It’s been well over a year since season 2 dropped on Disney+ and kids (and parents) have been desperately wondering when the new season will arrive.
Well, the wait is almost over, because the first 25 episodes of “Bluey” season 3 are finally coming to Disney+ on Wednesday, Aug. 10 (the release date for the second half of the season will be announced at a later date).
Both of my daughters, 3 and 5 years old, and my husband and I all love “Bluey.” It’s one of the rare series that has managed to keep both of my girls’ attention over the years, despite their age/developmental differences. As for my husband and me, we can’t get enough of the adorable giggles that come from Bluey and her sister Bingo, the low-key jokes between Mum (Chilli) and Dad (Bandit), or the unexpected tender moments that make us appreciate parenthood.
With that said, whether you’ve never seen the show or you just want to watch a few episodes to help you get hyped for the third season, here are some of my favorites.
1. “Baby Race” (S2 E47)
This is hands-down my favorite “Bluey” episode, and it’s one pretty much every parent can relate to. It’s a flashback to when Bluey was a baby and her mum is trying desperately to make sure Bluey’s development stays on pace with the other babies in her mum group. As every parent knows, babies grow at their own pace, but Mum feels like she’s failing. By the end of the episode, her friend tells her, “you’re doing great,” and Bluey finally learns to walk on her own because she “saw something she wanted.” (Spoiler: it was her mum.) I’m not sure if I’ve ever made it through this episode without crying—and I’ve seen it a lot.
2. “Bob Bilby” (S1 E12)
It’s Bingo’s turn to bring Bob Bilby, the class toy, home for the weekend and document their adventures to share with the rest of the class on Monday. But, as the weekend gets closer to the end, Bingo discovers all they did was play on their tablets and watch TV (tired parents can totally relate). So, the family rallies together to make the most of their time left with Bob Bilby, riding bikes, taking pictures with an old-school camera, and enjoying some screen-free time.
3. “The Pool” (S1 E22)
This episode is for every mom who has ever been called “boring” while dad gets all the credit for being fun (ahem, me). It’s super hot outside, and Bluey and Bingo keep telling Mum how bored they are and how boring she is. Then, Dad offers to take the girls to their uncle’s pool for the day. Mum stays back, and as they all run out of the house she yells, “don’t forget the pool bag!” But, of course, Dad forgets the pool bag. So, once they arrive, Bandit and the girls quickly discover they’re without floaties, sunscreen, flip-flops, towels, snacks, and basically everything the “boring” parent always remembers to bring to the pool. Thankfully, Mum shows up with the bag to save the day. Not so boring anymore, now is she?
4. “Sleepytime” (S2 E9)
In another episode sure to tug at your heartstrings, Bingo wants to sleep in Mum and Dad’s bed, but they’re encouraging her to sleep on her own. As she drifts off, she starts to dream about flying through outer space. She bounces around from planet to planet (as we see clips of the silly things happening in real life as she sleeps), a little scared but determined to be brave. By the end of the dream, we learn that the warm, cozy sun she’s trying so desperately to get to is actually her Mum. It’s so sweet and will give you all kinds of warm fuzzies.
5. “Movies” (S2 E28)
I’m honestly surprised that I didn’t consult in the making of this episode because it’s very reflective of my experiences trying to take my kids to the movie theater. Dad brings Bluey and Bingo to the movies, but Bingo can’t sit still and ends up running all over the theater, Bluey is scared of a thunderstorm scene in the movie, and Dad really isn’t enjoying the movie—or its cheesy songs. It’s an adventure many parents know all too well.
6. “Take Away” (S1 E14)
Equally as funny as “Movies,” “Take away” is another hilariously real look at life as a parent of little kids. Dad brings the girls with him to pick up some food, but the order isn’t totally ready yet, so they have to wait (and we all know how great kids are at patiently waiting). Bluey and Bingo steal Dad’s newspaper and the chair he’s sitting on. Bingo has to go to the bathroom, but there isn’t one she can use. Bluey wants to play in the water. And everyone is very tired and hungry. By the end of the episode, you will feel so seen as an exhausted parent.
7. “Camping” (S1 E43)
For a sweet episode, you can’t go wrong with “Camping.” Bluey and her family are at a campground when a boy, Jean Luc, comes up to play with her. Except, he doesn’t speak English, so there’s an obvious language barrier. The pair play together anyway. They also plant a tree together, and every morning they find each other and go running to the tree to see how much it has grown since the day before. Then, one morning, Bluey runs to Jean Luc’s campsite to discover he and his family had gone home (he tried to tell her the day before, but she didn’t understand). She’s obviously sad, but her mom gives her hope, telling her that maybe they’ll see each other again in the future. Then, we watch as the tree grows taller and taller over the years, and we flash forward to a teenage Bluey snuggling up under it to read a book, and Jean Luc showing up again. It’s so incredibly heartwarming.
8. “Handstand” (S2 E44)
What makes this episode so great is that there is very little dialogue, but it’s still full of heart. It’s Bingo’s birthday and they’re hosting a party at the house with friends and family. As the other kids are playing, Bingo is practicing a handstand, and asking her friends to watch her, but they’re too busy playing. Meanwhile, Nana keeps asking the grown-ups how she can help with the party, but they keep telling her they have it covered and to sit down and relax. Nana just wants to help somehow, and Bingo just wants someone to watch her do handstands. As Mum and Dad bring the cake outside to where the kids are playing so they can sing “Happy Birthday” to Bingo, no one seems to know where she is. But, the viewers see that she’s in the kitchen, doing handstand after handstand while Nana watches, cheering her on the way only a grandma can.
9. “Bin Night” (S2 E32)
You wouldn’t think an episode about bringing the trash to the curb would be all that entertaining, but it is. In “Bin night,” we watch week-by-week as Dad and the girls bring the bins out at night, and Mum sits with them outside in the morning when the garbage truck comes. As the weeks pass, we hear all of the different jobs Bluey wants to have someday, and we learn how Bingo is handling a bully at her school. It’s silly, but trash day seems to be a time when Mum and Dad get to have real conversations with their girls and catch up on their lives. At the end of the episode, Bluey throws out the idea that maybe someday there will be a robot that will take the trash to the curb for you, and Dad replies, “Oh, I hope not.” (Cue the tears.)
10. “Easter” (S2 E51)
“Easter” has made its way to this list by request. My 5-year-old daughter insisted it just had to be included because she loves it so much. The episode starts the night before Easter, and Bluey and Bingo are nervous that the Easter Bunny will forget them again—because apparently, he didn’t come the year before (but Mum and Dad hilariously assure the girls it was an oversight, and not because they didn’t deserve presents). The next morning, the girls wake up to an elaborate scavenger hunt that takes them all over the house as they search for their baskets. The Easter Bunny definitely went above and beyond to make up for the mistake last year, and the girls’ reactions are absolutely adorable.
Here in my home, we are excitedly counting down the days until Aug. 10, when the first half of “Bluey” season 3 finally drops. We can hardly wait. And this is something I would absolutely never say about Netflix adding new episodes of “Cocomelon.”