According to Moran, in his Guide to Australian Television Series, Bluey (and its Sydney-based rival, King's Men) 'constituted an attempt to revive the police genre after the cancellations of Homicide, Division 4 and Matlock Police'.
Don Storey, in his Classic Australian Television, summarises the program as follows:
Bluey is a maverick cop who breaks every stereotype image. He drinks, smokes and eats to excess, and therefore is rather large, but it is his unusual investigative methods that set him apart. He has bent or broken every rule in the book at some stage, to the point where no-one else wants to work with him. But he gets results, and is therefore too valuable to lose, so the powers-that-be banish him to the basement of Russell Street Police Headquarters where he is set up in his own department, a strategem that keeps him out of the way of other cops.
Moran adds that 'Grills, Diedrich and Nicholson turned in solid performances in the series and the different episodes were generally well paced, providing engaging and satisfying entertainment.'
The program sold well overseas, especially in the United Kingdom. But though it rated well domestically, it was not the success that the Seven Network had hoped for, and was cancelled after 39 episodes.
Bluey had an unexpected revival in the early 1990s when selections from the video footage (over-dubbed with a new vocal track) were presented during the second series of the ABC comedy The Late Show as the fictional police procedural Bargearse. (The Late Show had given ABC gold-rush drama Rush the same treatment in series one.)