A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
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."
- Parents say
- Kids say
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?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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