Bro’sTVbeat Season 2

Dennis Broe has a good newsletter and websit​e. I love his left analysis of the TV industry from an Internationalist perspective.”  —Julia Lesage, Co-founder and editor of Jump Cut: A Review of Contemporary Media. ​

Season 2

The year in global streaming: Welcome to the Omniverse

This year’s Top 40 Serial TV Series unfolds against a background of continually rising inequality as Thomas Piketty (Capital in the 21st Century) and company released their figures charting global disparities exacerbated by COVID, front page news in Le Monde and ignored in the U.S. Billionaires have captured much more of the global wealth since the onset of the pandemic, and part of the increase in profits is from that enormous moneymaker the streaming services, expected to generate $70 billion in revenue in 2021 with almost half of all of the global profits going to U.S. streamers. (Read more)

Season One has 2020’s Top 30 Series, and coverage of Alternative Media, The Undoing, The Good Lord Bird, Big Sky and Lovecraft Country.

Fall streaming series review: From Black radicalism to British royals in space

At this point most serious serial TV has moved online where there is no traditional “Fall TV Season,” that being a thing of the past, a relic of, what did your parents used to call it?, oh yeah, network TV, that quirky period of television history, which is actually still the majority of television history,Continue reading “Fall streaming series review: From Black radicalism to British royals in space”

Strikes and financial tomfoolery highlight an alternative global fall TV season

It’s Emmy Award season, but rather than dwell on television’s past it might be better to dwell on its future. What follows are the best (and worst) of fall series previewed at the recently concluded Series Mania, the Festival of Global Television in the French northwest former mining center of Lille where many of theContinue reading “Strikes and financial tomfoolery highlight an alternative global fall TV season”

Series, series everywhere with no audience spared : what’s new in fall streaming ?

If not the largest, it’s certainly “the most important” television festival in the world, as Hagai Levi, the showrunner of HBO’s lead fall series Scenes From a Marriage and festival jury president, termed it. This year’s edition of Series Mania at Lille in Northern France previewed 70 series from 22 countries with 44 new entries as wellContinue reading “Series, series everywhere with no audience spared : what’s new in fall streaming ?”

Varieties of working-class female experience: ‘Wanted,’ ‘Bitter Daisies’ and ‘Mare of Easttown’

In large parts of the world, anywhere between 50 and 70% of women are now actively engaged in the workplace. Most earn less than men, and many perform the essential service and caring jobs that keep their societies running. This is, of course, not even to count the nearly 100% of women whose domestic labor is unpaid and whoseContinue reading “Varieties of working-class female experience: ‘Wanted,’ ‘Bitter Daisies’ and ‘Mare of Easttown’”

‘Pros and Cons’: Scamming neoliberal scammers

The shrinking middle class, and the pressures put on that class to survive an onslaught from the top directed at them and their working-class compatriots, is the subject of a number of contemporary series. Ozark, the most popular series on Netflix, has that class and the nuclear family around which it constructs its identity besieged by, and caught in the middleContinue reading “‘Pros and Cons’: Scamming neoliberal scammers”

‘The Mandalorian’ season two: Not cancel but carnivore culture

One of the surprise hits of the contemporary streaming era is The Mandalorian, the first original series on Disney+. A surprise not because it was a hit—any Star Wars spinoff is guaranteed to have a wide audience—but because of the magnitude of its popularity and the way it has penetrated the culture. This space Western features a lone gunslinger and bounty hunter whoContinue reading “‘The Mandalorian’ season two: Not cancel but carnivore culture”

Bro on the World Film Beat

Cannes and COVID go together like a horse and carriage

CANNES, France — Another Cannes Film Festival is in the books, and this one, which Variety labeled “Red Carpet Done Right” and The Hollywood Reporter hoped would “kick off a global comeback” for the film industry in a return to a “New Normal,” instead was beset with all the contemporary contradictions as the global crisis outran the global comeback.Continue reading “Cannes and COVID go together like a horse and carriage”

Cannes 2021 : The best lack all conviction, the worst are filled with a passionate intensity

CANNES, France — It may be a bit cruel starting with Yeats’s summary of his era in his epic poem The Second Coming, but unfortunately, it is a somewhat accurate distillation of both the organization and the films of this edition of the world’s leading film festival. This post-COVID confinement version of the festival featured maximumContinue reading “Cannes 2021 : The best lack all conviction, the worst are filled with a passionate intensity”

Bro on the Global Literary Beat

The art of the deal and dealing in the streets and in the suites

In Donald Trump’s capitalist self-help tome The Art of the Deal—a book he, of course, did not write, and which has since been disowned by its ghostwriter—the “great man” outlines his rules for getting ahead which include “Think big,” “Maximize options,” “Use leverage,” “Fight back” and “Contain costs.” In Trump’s hands, as we’ve seen, these translate to swamp and blackmailContinue reading “The art of the deal and dealing in the streets and in the suites”

The crime novel post-confinement and post-BLM: The three-day plan

LYON, France—As the world begins to wake up and we enter the period of post-confinement, in France the first major festival return, just prior to the re-opening of the Cannes Film Festival, was the just concluded Quais du Polar. It’s the global festival of crime writing, the largest of its kind, if not in the world, then definitely inContinue reading “The crime novel post-confinement and post-BLM: The three-day plan”

People in Prison : ‘They’re Gonna Wanna Get Out’

Dennis Broe reviews Manuel Tiago’s fictionalized version of his own prison experience in The Six-Pointed Star There are many calls today for abolishing the police or, in actuality, establishing a downsized police force and allowing social workers to respond to calls for help not with a badge and a gun but with an understanding of the problems that plague troubledContinue reading “People in Prison : ‘They’re Gonna Wanna Get Out’”

Bro on the Art World Beat

The Colescott Chronicles Part 2: Expanding Black representation, critiquing consumerism and colonialism

“George Washington Carver Crossing the Delaware.” Seattle Art Museum Robert Colescott’s satire of Americana George Washington Carver Crossing the Delaware has now become the centerpiece of L.A.’s new Lucas Museum of American Art. Colescott’s best known work, though, only begins to touch on his four major themes and concerns. These are: expanding Black representation in art while calling attention to theContinue reading “The Colescott Chronicles Part 2: Expanding Black representation, critiquing consumerism and colonialism”

The Colescott Chronicles Part I : Breaking free of color blindness and abstract art

One of the founding members of New Black Art just reaped the rewards of his painterly prowess. Robert Colescott’s monumental George Washington Carver Crossing the Delaware recently sold for $15.3 million and is thus far the highlight purchase of George Lucas’s Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, scheduled to open in Los Angeles in 2023. This was nearly 17 times what anyContinue reading “The Colescott Chronicles Part I : Breaking free of color blindness and abstract art”

Bro on the Euro Cultural Beat

Red lamb, black falcon: The balkanization of the Balkans and the capitalization of Croatia

It is today one of the jewels of global tourism. The Dalmatian Coast of the still newly formed country of Croatia is back again with tourist figures this summer starting to attain pre-COVID levels in a paradise that boasts the gleaming turquoise waters of the Adriatic, the medieval walls of Dubrovnik and Zadar, the Roman ruins of Split, theContinue reading “Red lamb, black falcon: The balkanization of the Balkans and the capitalization of Croatia”

Paris Commune at 150: Still going strong and challenging digital capitalism

PARIS—Here in Paris, we are now living through the 150th anniversary of the Commune, identified by Karl Marx as perhaps the first worker’s republic established in the history of humanity. The commune lasted 71 days, beginning March 18, 1871, and ended in violent repression during what was called “the time of the cherries”—the budding of the cherry blossoms—in theContinue reading “Paris Commune at 150: Still going strong and challenging digital capitalism”

Listen to Bro on The Global Television Beat “Breaking Glass” on Art District Radio and at Arts Express on the Pacifica Network .

Dennis Broe is a television, film and culture critic whose latest work is his detective novel Left of Eden, about the Hollywood Blacklist. He is also the author of Birth of the Binge: Serial TV and The End of Leisure and Maverick or How The West Was Lost. He taught in the Master’s Program in Film and Television Studies at the Sorbonne. His criticism appears in the British newspaper Morning Star, on Arts Express on the Pacifica Network in the US, on Breaking Glass on Art District Radio in Paris and at People’s World and Crime Time. He is a contributor to and associate editor of Culture Matters.

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