After their Bluey journey started with Kate McMahon skeptically watching an episode late at night, and Mary Bolling catching half an episode from across the room, the voices behind the Gotta Be Done – The Bluey podcast quickly became Bluey super fans; sharing their love, knowledge and passion for the Bluey universe with listeners across the world.
We sat down with them to find out about the podcast and decipher one of the most important Bluey questions.
Who are the super fans behind the Gotta Be Done podcast?
Mary Bolling: Kate and I first met as student journalists in Melbourne and that’s where we became ‘constantly-talking’ friends! After detours interstate and overseas, I’m back in Melbourne with a couple of little mates in tow (this year they turn 6 and 4, like Bluey and Bingo!). Kate and I are still great friends, and we still talk constantly – just mainly about Bluey!
Kate McMahon: We have five kids between us, we both work in communications, and we share similar values despite our different upbringings. We both like to build community, make a difference, and we have a strong love of the ridiculous! I spent a lot of time studying and playing music through my younger years which now – very roughly – I tap into when deep-diving into the incredible music in Bluey.
Which Bluey episode got you hooked?
MB: Bike was the first episode I ever saw from the other side of the room while my kids watched and, I only caught the second half! However, the beautiful Ode to Joy score and the gorgeous determination of the little pups had me in tears by the end. I’d never heard of Bluey before and, I was blown away. Then I realised the Heelers lived in my dream house – a Queenslander! My inner investigative journalist needed to know more.
KM: For me it was Takeaway. My husband Tim told me I needed to watch this new kids’ show, without the kids. It was late and I was skeptical, but between the bush wee and the crows attacking dinner, I was drawn in to the Bluey universe. Bike is still my favourite episode – no other show consistently makes me laugh and cry within seven minutes like Bluey does.
We know it’s a trifficult question, but who is your favourite character?
MB: We ask this question to everyone who comes on Gotta Be Done (including Bluey creator, Joe Brumm, and Chilli and Bandit voices, Melanie Zanetti and Dave McCormack!). Honestly, I’m starting to think it’s an impossible question. The best I can do is a shared top spot: fellow mum-love for Chilli, and fellow weird-kid-love for Bingo!
KM: While Honey is the character I most personally relate to, my favourite character is Lucky’s Dad. He’s constantly putting his body and ego on the line for the Heelers and joins in every single game that is thrown his way.
What’s the creative process behind the podcast? Do you share your insights before you record or is it more in the moment?
MB: Our creative process is to hit record and see what happens! We both separately watch the episode and take notes about parenting, play philosophies, pop culture references and just random favourite bits that remind us of our for-real-life with kids – or when we were kids! But once we start talking, it can go in any direction – and usually does!
KM: We also think about content for our regular sections, like the most valuable player in an episode or our favourite line. I often look closely at the music, composition structure and composer to work out how that helps to tell the story in the episode. I often listen to podcasts when I would like some company in my day, so I hope other people might feel like they are with friends and feel less alone when they listen.
What’s a fun fact your audience wouldn’t know about you?
MB: Well anyone who’s listened to every episode of Gotta Be Done probably knows a fair bit by this stage, but here’s a good one. In 2009 I wrote a weekly travel column about rock ‘n roll destinations in America, while I road-tripped and couch surfed across nearly 30 states with excitable music-loving folks I found along the way. Now I reckon I could do the same, just this time with fellow Bluey fans!
KM: I love floristry and even did the flowers for Mary’s sister when she got married. My specialty is elaborate flower crowns hence my dog avatar on our Gotta Be Done logo wears a flower crown.
What’s the most important thing you’ve learnt from Bluey?
MB: So many new ideas about thoughtful parenting and madcap games, but the best thing I’ve learnt is that this sometimes exhausting and overwhelming stage of life with little kids can also be really creative and inspiring – somewhere in amongst the madness!
KM: That the most important gift you can give kids is your time and attention. Also, the power of a tactical wee.
And now for the most important question. Is that a walking leaf?
MB: It absolutely is a walking leaf! Bingo’s wonder at so many small things helps me believe in a more magical world, complete with walking leaves… but I’m still not sure I can stretch that to fairies!
KM: It is! Goodbye, have fun, I’ll miss you.