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“The Bear” Review

An engaging and intense series showcasing the truth of restaurant life.
The+Bear+Review

After a tragic death in his family, Carmen “Carmy” Berzatto, a talented young chef from the world of fine dining, is forced to return home to Chicago to manage his family’s sandwich shop, “The Beef”. Carmy finds himself in a completely different world from his usual one, having to leave Michelin-starred restaurants behind for a small business with a kitchen full of stubborn and strong-willed employees. In addition to trying to fix the restaurant, he is dealing with the aftermath of his brother’s suicide.

Christopher Storer is the sole creator of “The Bear”. Along with other writers and directors, he co-writes and co-directs several episodes. “The Bear” has, so far, delivered two flawless seasons with the cast of Jeremy Allen White, Ayo Edibri, Ebon Moss-Bachrach and occasional guest performances. The cast’s executions are meticulously layered. Humanity is portrayed so effectively here and truly taps into so many aspects of life. Most importantly, it shows the importance of food and its correlation to humanity. Andrew Wehde is the cinematography director for this show. The color palette is primarily darker colors when in the kitchen, but changes drastically when in other settings. Wehde is a master at creating visual chaos on screen so that you feel like you’re in the same room as the characters.

“The Bear” is a unique cinematic portrayal of restaurant life. This show best illustrates how awful people who work in restaurants can be. Screaming, constant swearing, pointing the finger at everyone and cruelty regularly pop up in the restaurant. A variety of problems arise, creating interesting plot twists and dynamics.

The focus of the first season is Carmy’s attempt to keep the restaurant that his brother helped open afloat. While money is a struggle, the battle with intense emotions is by far the biggest. Workers are shouting and yelling at each other nonstop. While this makes for an interesting work environment, it also makes it difficult for coworkers to get along.

My highlight of season one was definitely the seventh episode of “The Bear”. This episode shines with its 18-minute long take. Cinematographer Andrew Wehde and others helped shoot this episode as if you are seeing something you shouldn’t. It made me feel like a fly on the wall in a dangerous environment. It shows all the tension that happens in a family when everyone gets together. This particular episode is complicated, but realistic for many families when considering family dynamics.

Season two is equally as fantastic. This season really dives into the personal lives of the characters and provides a backstory to them. They are continuing to work on transforming the restaurant by remodeling and improving the menu. Each episode leaves you feeling closer to the characters. The storyline is unique and dives into the past and present of each character. The season ends with multiple unanswered questions and a sense of empathy for each character.

The highlight of the second season of “The Bear” is episode six; a feel-bad Christmas special, which shows the Berzatto family on their most stressful day of the year as their unresolved conflicts and long-buried traumas come to light. This episode takes place before Carmy’s brother’s suicide, while he is still working in uptight, fancy restaurants. The cast for this episode features many incredible actors such as Sarah Paulson, Jamie Lee Curtis and John Mulaney portraying extended family members. The dialogue in this episode is magnetic. I have watched it many times, and it never fails to entertain.

The actors are incredible. Ayo Edibri is a standout to me because her performance has so many emotions to it. Her character is very likable, and I feel I can relate to her personally. Jeremy Allen White is also incredible. His character definitely has anger issues and is quick to argue. I find this impressive because it must be exhausting to portray these large and complicated emotions frequently throughout the season.

The writing is probably my favorite part of the show, considering it impeccable. Actors are yelling lines over each other and displaying so many emotions. The writing is raw and truthful. The bombs that are dropped leave you speechless and you know that something crazy is going to happen. The Berzatto’s scream and yell frequently about really anything. The intensity is severe, and occasionally I would have to pause the television to mentally comprehend the cruel and explicit arguments. However, at the same time, they are loving and care about each other at the end of the day. It allows the actors to portray many sides of their character. In each episode, you get closer to them as if they are a friend.

Experiencing this show is something else. It’s similar to movies such as “Whiplash” or “I, Tonya”, considering they all carry on the perfectionist trope. Each episode of “The Bear” is engaging and perfect. Everyone should watch it. Feeling stressed can be expected when experiencing the chaos that comes out of this show. You don’t have to be connected to food or restaurant life in some way, but you should watch this show. I can guarantee that you can find one way to relate. It’s perfect to binge-watch, as the characters forcefully pull you in.

“The Bear” is a cinematic depiction of restaurant life. It’s definitely a show for food lovers and fast-paced enjoyers. You need to watch it, even if you feel it isn’t for you. Give it a try and mentally prepare for this world.

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About the Contributor
Luca Hinesman, Journalist
Luca Hinesman is currently a Sophomore at Community High School and a believer in buying expensive coffees. When not in CET rehearsals or mock trial practices, you can find them reading books about revenge, catching up on homework, or hanging out with friends. Luca is currently in their first semester with The Communicator and is excited to contribute their ideas this year!

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