It's Bruno

TV review by
Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media
It's Bruno TV Poster Image
Lots of language, absurdity, and charm in man-and-dog show.

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 3 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Series champions a fiercely pro-animal sentiment. Bruno's wants and needs often take precedence over those of humans around him. Malcolm's Bushwick neighborhood is proudly downmarket, and people defend their turf: bodega owner Leslie (Kathiamarice Lopez) says that you come to her bodega for "A small bag of chips, a Snapple, a loosie, a Phillies, some lotto numbers," but if you want "fancy-ass meat" you go to the supermarket. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Malcolm can be argumentative, but he loves his dog, is a neighborhood fixture who knows everyone and is friendly to people who respect him and Bruno. Many different types of people are given dignified arcs, like a man Malcolm meets on the street and calls "crackhead Carl." He responds "I would prefer you just call me Carl. The s--t I smoke does not need to be in front of my name." The cast boasts extensive racial and ethnic diversity, which is taken as a matter of course and not mentioned. 

Violence

Malcolm's street explorations sometimes bring him into contact with menacing people like a dad who cracks his knuckles and stands between Malcolm and his son threateningly. But Malcolm doesn't want to fight; he'd prefer to spend time being happy with Bruno. In one scene, though, a woman threatens to "tackle" a woman for trying to steal her boyfriend's dog. 

Sex

Malcolm begins a romance with a local young woman; they have sex that we mostly hear from outside a door ("Malcolm! Malcolm!") and then the camera cuts to him lying on top of her, and then rolling over and smiling. A beautiful montage captures their sunny relationship: walking the dogs hand-in-hand, smiling and waving at friends in the neighborhood. "Everything is different when you're in love," muses Malcolm. "It's like things just start to happen in your favor." 

Language

Expect language including "s--t," "f---ing," "motherf-----g," "damn," "goddamn," "hell," "son of a bitch." 

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Very brief mentions of smoking, like when a bodega owner says she sells "loosies" (loose cigarettes). A man is referred to as "crackhead Carl" and he admits he likes to smoke that "s--t." 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that It's Bruno is a series about Malcolm, a Brooklyn man whose dog leads him into adventures, whether Malcolm likes it or not. The series is charming and sweet: Malcolm's love for his dog is immense, and his connections to the people in his neighborhood are genuine and lovable. Content ranges from the totally innocent -- Malcolm has a mostly unspoken war with another dog owner in his neighborhood over whose dog is better trained -- to the mature, like when a local dog enthusiast tries to seduce him in order to steal Bruno. Language is frequent: "s--t," "f---ing," "motherf-----g," "damn," "goddamn," "hell," "son of a bitch." The cast is extensively diverse in race and ethnicity, and staffed with quirky oddballs. Sex and violence are both muted: Malcolm starts a romance with a local woman, and they have sex; we hear her screaming his name from outside a bedroom door, and then the camera cuts to him rolling off her and smiling. In another scene, a woman threatens another, but they don't actually fight. There are brief references to drugs, like a man who's called "crackhead Carl." 

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byDoris Day May 23, 2019

Waste of Time

I watched the first episode and thought it was completely stupid. In trying to be fair, I wasted more time watching the second episode..
which only proved even... Continue reading
Adult Written byKhaleesi63 June 12, 2019

It left me wanting to see more

This was a cute, funny, silly, crazy story line. Yes, it’s about a guy totally in love with his dog but there’s way more to it. I think the best part was the tw... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byinsulinpump December 18, 2019

Person and puggle.

I watched this show because it was simply eight fifteen-minute episodes and it would be good to pass through a rainy day, which in the UK there are a lot of. I... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written bygenesta1 October 13, 2019

Fake Service Dog

This show portrays a man who is not disabled and would like to bring his dog to the supermarket. In the end, he gets a service dog vest, papers and ID. There i... Continue reading

What's the story?

In a small corner of Bushwick, Brooklyn, IT'S BRUNO's Malcolm (Solvan Naim) just wants to enjoy life with his best friend, his dog, Bruno. But encroaching hipsters who don't pick up their dog's poop, cranky bodega owners, and vengeful dog walkers all have it in for him. No wonder he prefers his pet to most people. 

Is it any good?

Winningly imbued with a sense of place -- a modest Brooklyn neighborhood -- and staffed with opinionated eccentrics, this quirky series is simply a delight to watch. Anyone who's ever had a dog can tell you: They bring you, often unwillingly, into contact with people. Everyone reacts to Bruno: the grandmother who just wants to say hi to the cute puppy (and winds up rebuffed by a fiercely protective Malcolm), the fellow dog owner who demonstrates that his dog is more obedient, the irate guy on the stoop who insists the dog's real name is Charlie: "I named him! After me! His daddy!"

Meanwhile, Malcolm's life is charmingly small -- he doesn't do much other than walking around his neighborhood, hanging out with his dog -- and delightfully absurd: A showdown between Malcolm and a local rival with a better-trained dog is scored to a jangling spaghetti Western-esque theme and staged like a gunfight. Another oddball pleasure: The episodes of It's Bruno vary in length from about 11 to 16 minutes, so they're just as long as they need to be. There's no wheel-spinning, just one ludicrous and appealing dog-related vignette after another. You don't have to love dogs to love this fun series. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about who It's Bruno might appeal to. Is it a large mass audience? Or more of a niche one? How have streaming providers like Netflix changed what types of shows are made, and for who? 

  • Where was It's Bruno made? How can you tell? Do you ever see a show that is set in one city but looks like it wasn't filmed there? How does this show make it clear where it is filmed and set? What types of visuals do shows and movies use to communicate they're set in cities like Los Angeles, New York, or Chicago? What about rural locations? 

  • Have you ever seen another movie or TV show about a person whose best friend was an animal? Was the animal a dog, or was it a different animal? What is it about dogs that makes them particularly apt foils for comedies? 

TV details

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