Paramount // 2006 // 102 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // May 11th, 2006
Spayed in America DVD Verdict interviews Blue from Blue's Clues.
With the new release Blue's Jobs, the wildly popular, cryptic canine invites kids into four more puzzle-solving, clue-gathering adventures. The kick-off episode, "Occupations," concerns Blue's dream job -- and her clues will lead the audience to decide what that is. Steve Burns hosts this one, and Donovan Patton, playing "Joe," who took over the mantle of "youngish male human costar" when Steve abdicated, fronts "Blue Goes to the Doctor," the next episode, dealing with doctors and vets and their jobs.
Blue agreed to sit down with Judge David Johnson to talk about the new release, the pressures of being a children's show icon, and the recent drug scandal.
DVD Verdict: Hi Blue. Thanks for taking a moment to chat with us.
Blue: My pleasure.
DVD Verdict: I know the show's not filming right now. What do you do when you're not on set?
Blue: Oh, a few things. As an actor I feel it is extremely important to keep honing the craft, even during respites from the show. To that end, I tend to get involved in community theatre or teach a few performing arts classes at the local learning annex.
DVD Verdict: Wow. Do you ever have any trouble trying to land these jobs, what with you being a turquoise dog and all?
Blue: Good question. Thankfully, our industry, and, to a greater extent, our country, has finally relaxed its restrictions on two-dimensional talking blue canines participating in activities that quote un-quote normal people do. It's been a hard slog and I remember a time when a dog like me would get carted off to the nearest shelter if he or she auditioned for a role in a Beckett play. Those days are largely behind us, though there are still pockets of anti-caninism to be found.
DVD Verdict: Talk about how you got your start on Blue's Clues.
Blue: At the time the show was being developed, I was temporarily out of work. I didn't have any experience in children's television, and had made a small name for myself in independent horror and late-night cable adult programming. Long story short, I sat down for a reading with Steve (Burns) and there was chemistry and I got the gig.
DVD Verdict: I heard that, originally, the show was going to have a completely different format and different target demographic. Could you comment on that?
Blue: Yeah, instead of the current lay-out, where I leave paw-prints and then Steve or Joe work with the kids to figure out the mystery and we all sing a song at the end, it was going to a be a buddy cop show. We were in talks with NBC to produce an hour-long drama, where Steve and I are working out of a K-9 narcotics branch in Chicago PD. The "clues" that I would find would lead to the arrest of a drug kingpin or a crack dealer each week. It was gritty and, if I recall, pretty daring for network primetime. I think Steve had a nude scene in the pilot and I bit a guy's balls off.
DVD Verdict: What happened?
Blue: At the last minute, NBC dropped it. Nickelodoen approached us about two months later, willing to pick up the pilot, but with a few tweaks. Shorten it to half-an-hour, include some animation, and clean it up enough to have it appeal to a younger audience. Oh, and no gunfire.
DVD Verdict: Take us through a typical day of shooting.
Blue: I usually arrive on set between 8 and 9 in the morning. I visit my masseuse for an hour and go to makeup for 20 minutes. Don (Patton) and I read-through the script, we talk to whoever's directing that day and I give him my notes and we shoot the thing in about five hours. We've really streamlined the process.
DVD Verdict: Can you comment about the rumors of on-set tension between you and Side Table Drawer?
Blue: (laughs) I was wondering if you'd bring that up. I read the tabloids too. For the record let me set the story straight: I have absolutely no problem with STD. The two of us go way back. We're close friends and sometimes friends argue. It happens in a high-pressure job like this. The incident you're referring to occurred three weeks ago and we had a disagreement about how a scene should play out. STD is a pro, classically trained, and a perfectionist . We shouted it out for a few minutes, but moved on. I would suggest the press do the same.
DVD Verdict: But, according to the article...
Blue: Dave, I'm done. Next question.
DVD Verdict: Um, okay. While we're on the subject of scandal...
Blue: Seriously, don't go there.
DVD Verdict: Blue, I'm sorry, I have to ask. How do you respond to the allegations...
Blue: Look, I'll tell you what I told everyone else: the stripper was dead when we got to the hotel room and I have no idea where the coke came from.
DVD Verdict: But the discrepancy in the police report...
Blue: F*** you. (At this time, Blue gets up and leaves. After I talk to her manager, he convinces her to come back on the condition that we focus solely on the release of Blue's Jobs. I agree.)
DVD Verdict: Tell me about Blue's Jobs.
Blue: Well, it's a compilation disc. The common thread is occupations, and the audience accompanies both Steve and Joe as they try to figure out the answer to the questions I pose. The first deals with what job I'd like to pretend to have, and the second about my experience at the doctor's office. In addition, there are two bonus episodes included on the disc: "Mechanics" and "Playing Store."
DVD Verdict: What is that kids will find engaging about these shows?
Blue: Like all of our productions, episodes are geared toward the very young. We like to encourage interaction as well as introduce developmentally appropriate concepts like shape recognition, language skills, spatial orientation and, as is the case with this disc, introductory information on "grown-up" occupations. Package that with the attractive character design, the bright, simple animation, and the occasional song, and I think you've got a pretty good children's show that has proven itself over the years.
DVD Verdict: Thanks for your time Blue.
Blue: My pleasure. (to one of her assistants) Get me my f***ing chew toy!
Review content copyright © 2006 David Johnson; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2013 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (Spanish)
Running Time: 102 Minutes
Release Year: 2006
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Nick Jr.