Bluey, the Aussie TV show about an overenthusiastic and imaginative Blue Heeler puppy called Bluey, is leaning even more into Australian culture. The show, supposedly for kids, but loved by many an adult, is adding one very niche sporting celebrity to its program.
That niche sporting celebrity is NRL commentator Ray “Rabs” Warren.
As reported by 2GB, Warren will come out of retirement to star in an upcoming episode of the show, which will feature the characters watching a State of Origin game.
For those of you not aware, State of Origin is a series of three NRL games played by two teams, one from Queensland and one from New South Wales. The hype of the game is over the top (before you get mad, I’m an obsessive Panthers fan, and I know what I am), and the whole thing is truly a lesson in how to market something as far bigger than what it actually is.
Game two is on Sunday night, played in Perth (yes, Queensland vs NSW but played in WA). Just in time for Bluey to watch some footy.
Warren is known as the voice of rugby league coverage for the Nine Network, calling 99 of the 122 State of Origin matches played since the interstate clashes began in 1982. He also commentated 45 grand finals. Warren himself is a big part of the NRL enterprise.
While arguably the National Rugby League isn’t as big when we compare the conglomerate as a whole to the likes of the American NFL, it’s still got a decent following on the east coast of Australia. And sport is a big part of Aussie culture (be that you severely despising it or being a die-hard fan).
But the Bluey episode will likely focus on themes of loyalty and groups.
If you haven’t watched it yet, Bluey follows the adventures of a six-year-old Blue Heeler ‘puppy’ and each episode lasts for a sweet and short seven minutes.
The reason it’s so popular globally, apart from being a loveable Australian kids show, is that it deals with more complex issues such as fatherhood, jealousy and being working class in Australia. Because of this, it’s often described as an example of social realism art that looks at working class families and critiques the power structures that create them.
But aside from all that, it’s just really wholesome to watch.
The underlying message here isn’t that Rabs will be on Bluey. The real message here is that Bluey, despite global success, isn’t backing down from its Aussie roots. Bluey is great. It teaches kids brilliant life lessons and it’s unapologetically Australian.
It’s always nice to see an Aussie success that’s just so Australian. Never change, Bluey.
You can catch Bluey on ABC iView.