Howzat? Why this Bluey episode about cricket has caused a huge stir in the US

Watch a preview of the hit episode

Source: YouTube

A cricket episode from animated ABC series and worldwide phenomenon Bluey has hit American fans, commentators, sports lovers and grown men for six.

The multi-award-winning series about a family of blue heelers – which has already clocked up three seasons and 151 episodes – has become a favourite with audiences in the US in recent years, even scoring a massive balloon at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade in New York in 2022.

Now, Bluey is doing miracles for cricket in the US.

After new episodes were released this month on US streaming services, an episode about cricket is being labelled on social media “the best seven minutes of children’s television ever created”.

“I am willing to admit that the new Bluey episode ‘cricket’ wrecked me today. Cried like a baby. Quite possibly the best 7 minutes of children’s TV ever created,” wrote Colin Parleahy from Indianapolis.

Joey Rector from Atlanta, Georgia, chimed in: “The new ‘Cricket’ episode of Bluey is the greatest episode of television, adult TV included, I’ve seen in who knows how long. Who the heck is writing this show? Phenomenal.”

Yahoo News UK’s Chris Parsons went one step further and compared the episode to Game of Thrones and The Wire among his “favourite ever episodes of anything. I said what I said”.

Helping Americans understand cricket

Featuring pup Bluey, her mum Chilli, dad Bandit, sister Bingo, the show revolves around her turning everyday family life into adventures, developing her imagination as well as her mental, physical and emotional resilience.

The ‘Cricket’ episode features Bandit recounting a story of a match at a kid’s birthday party when red kelpie Rusty gets to the crease.

“During a friendly game of neighbourhood cricket, none of the dads can bowl out Rusty, who has spent long afternoons perfecting his batting technique.

“After the dads fail with swing, smart field placement and spin, Lucky’s Dad pulls out all the stops and bowls a fast one.

Rusty hits them all over the park, while Bluey is a minor player in the episode, saying: “Cricket’s just about hitting a ball around the grass,” before her dad says: “Cricket’s about more than that, kid.”

US sports streamer Jomboy, who has 500,000 social media followers, tweeted: “Been waiting for it to get released in the US. We watched it twice this morning. Good stuff.”

Nominated for the 2023 Logie most outstanding children’s program and winner of the 2019 International Emmy for preschool children’s TV, the episode was seen in Australian back in June as part of a release of a series of 10.

And the cricket community Down Under were just as enamoured.

“Rightfully a lotta love for ‘Cricket’. an absolute joy. What shouldn’t be lost is the respect given to technique in the ep – especially Tiny’s action.

“It’s a thing of beauty. Total respect,” wrote sports commentator and broadcaster Andy Maher.

Speaking on The Grandstand cricket podcast, 18-Test former Aussie batter Ed Cowan admitted he was moved to tears by the episode, reported

“Honestly, I was bawling my eyes out,” he said. “So [my daughter] Romy is 10 and a half — she’s too old for Bluey, still loves it.

“If you’re a cricket fan, I don’t care how old you are, you have to watch this episode. And if you don’t have a tear in your eye at the end of the episode, I don’t even know if you’re human.”

In July, the ABC said the episodes achieving a whopping series average total audience of 11 million across its channels and streaming after premiering on April 9.

It beat any series to air in Australia, including Married at First Sight (2.58 million), Lego Masters (2.2 million) and State Of Origin (2.6 million in 2022) on Nine, and even higher than the Tokyo Olympics Opening Ceremony (3.7 million) in 2021 on Seven.

Other episodes from the same series included “Cubby” (12.7 million total audience), “Relax” (12.7 million) and “Dragon” (12.1 million).

“Creator Joe Brumm and the team at Ludo Studio have blown us all away with the latest episodes. The feedback has been overwhelmingly heartfelt across all age demographics – the weekly rollout gave kids and their families a chance to savour every morsel of each episode,” Libbie Doherty, ABC’s head of children and family said at the time.

Topics: Bluey, TV
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