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Hanford author Garrett K. Jones will appear at the Hanford-Visalia Comic Con this weekend. 

There is a sort of timeless fun watching most children’s programming on television. It makes one reminisce about the good ol’ days of innocence and the excitement of being a child. There is an energetic frivolity that fills adults when watching such programs.

And if you’re an adult parenting a small child, such movies and television shows become insidiously memorable. Any parent who has watched “Frozen” more than zero times can tell you that. Maybe it’s the songs or the catchphrases, but something sticks.

And it used to be that children’s television shows existed in two modes: the educational stuff that used to be on PBS and the cartoons with larger than life heroes and characters. There was no real blend except for “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood,” which didn’t just teach something’s educational importance, it helped kids learn to use their emotions and be heard by adults.

Seeing the trend of young kids emulating the idiocy they see on YouTube makes one long for better programming on TV.

Enter “Bluey” an Australia-produced animated series for young children. The premise focuses on a world inhabited by anthropomorphic dogs. The title character is an Australian Blue Healer living with her mum, dad and little sister, Bingo.

Each episode focuses on Bluey and Bingo’s interactions with their parents, the games and pretend fun they have, as well as the lessons they learn along the way. These lessons aren’t necessarily academic so much as they are demonstrations on how to be decent people.

And while it is a show for kids, there are some jokes that land for adults — it’s not masked inappropriate humor so much as it is scenarios in which parents of young kids can relate to because they’ve probably encountered it before. There are some legitimate laugh out loud moments in some of these episodes.

They are also smartly written; for example, one episode called “Chickenrat” very cleverly has the mum (mother) help Bingo find her missing stuffed rabbit by working backward from bedtime to trace her footsteps. It’s a masterclass in writing a non-linear story and it incorporates each of the main characters in clever ways while teaching problem solving skills.

Some of the episodes teach communication skills and how to speak up for yourself while others reflect the joys and pains of trying to singlehandedly parent two small children while the other parent is at work. What’s best is that this is a family unit that works well with each other, teaching kids about the importance of family cohesion.

In a day and age where family cohesion seems to be an element of a bygone era, “Bluey” proves that it is possible to generate a nuclear family and keep it together through all of life’s obstacles — at least a version of this lesson that is palatable for small children.

Despite being in its third year, “Blue” is still well received, and it’s gotten hugely popular in the U.S. thanks to its continued run on the Disney Channel and the Disney+ streaming service. And yeah… the theme song is super simple and ridiculously catchy. Give it a watch if you get a chance.

Garrett K. Jones is a local fantasy author.  He currently has four books released in his ongoing series, and he produces a vlog on YouTube and the Creator's Corner podcast (available on Spotify, Google, & Apple).  www.archivesofthefivekingdoms.com/  IG/Twitter:  @gkj_publishing

Feel free to contact him with title suggestions of films you’d like him to review.

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