Disney+’s The Bear is the show that people keep talking about, but critical acclaim is just one of the reasons this series is worth your time.
Since its U.S. launch in June, it has caught on with audiences immediately: it has achieved the coveted 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and many are calling the show “one of the best series of the year.” A comedy-drama about a run-down sandwich shop may not seem to everyone’s taste, but whether you’re a well-versed foodie or don’t care about Michelin stars, The Bear will easily lure you in with its charm.
The series features award-winning young chef Carmen ‘Carmy’ Berzatto (played by actor Jeremy Allen White), who leaves New York’s fine dining scene and returns to Chicago to run the family business – The Original Beef sandwich shop – after the heartbreaking death of his brother. It’s a complete turnaround for Carmy – not just in terms of career direction, but also in terms of his personal creativity. He has to adjust to a work environment for which he is clearly overqualified, slowly but surely convincing his new kitchen “family” – including his late brother Richard ‘Richie’ Jerimovich’s (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) best friend – to make significant changes.
The Bear, on Disney+
The plot may seem niche, but you don’t have to be a fan of Chefi la Cuate to like this series. The Bear is really unlike anything else. It manages to weave stories about the trials of owning a small business and identifiable (read: stressful) family dynamics with musings on loss and the male ego. And it does all this while incorporating scenes of humor.
The entire series is shot in such a way as to mirror the fast-paced nature of a professional kitchen. It adds to the tension and leaves you feeling so immersed in the small kitchen action. You’re so immersed in that hyper-focused world that even when a pot of homemade vegetable soup collapses on the floor – which has to be re-made and simmered for 30 minutes – you almost feel Sydney’s pain personally.
While you’ll probably be drawn to the contrast between the dramatic and funny scenes, the dynamic between all the characters is something that will keep you hooked on The Bear. The main character is ambitious sous chef Sydney (Ayo Edebiri), who is a newcomer and the only person besides Carmy with any professional culinary training. She’s also the only one who knows how prestigious Carmy’s previous restaurant, Noma, is. And because of her experience, she knows that Carmy’s transformational mission is a very ambitious one.
You can watch the eight-episode series on the Disney+ streaming platform.