Series The bearwhich you can look at Disney+, it’s short because it’s only an 8-episode creation, but I can assure you that after watching it, you’ll feel like you spent two weeks in the kitchen. It is intense, and I am not afraid of the word, a unique experience on many levels. When I sat down to watch the production from FX, I didn’t promise myself too much, because even though the series got good reviews, the very idea of the plot seemed secondary to me. And I’m glad I didn’t skip the screening because I’d have something to regret. The Bear is one of the best series I’ve seen this year.
The Bear – what is the series available on Disney+ about?
Thanks to the Star tab, Disney + offers much more interesting content than just Marvel or Star Wars productions. It is known that a large part of the platform’s subscribers will only focus on the loudest titles available on the website, but sometimes it is worth looking a little deeper, because you can find real gems. And such a gem is the series The Bear, which appeared on the platform in October. Anyway, on Disney + we can also find several other series that are worth remembering, e.g Pam and Tomy. However, the bear is an example of a production that will either capture us from the first scenes or repel us. I got caught and I don’t regret it.
Before I get into why I praise this series so much, let me write a few words about the plot. And believe that its synopsis does not reflect what you feel while watching it. Here everything starts out quite classic and remains so in most of the stories. We have a skilled chef Carmen Berzatto (Jeremy Allen White), who comes to Chicago to deal with the restoration of his deceased brother. It’s interesting because the pub that Carmen takes over is quite… specific. At least considering where the chef previously worked and gained experience in the best restaurants in the world. The place where he landed now is an ordinary sandwich shop, which may have its regulars, but there are local bandits right outside the door, and the crew themselves are far from perfect.
Carmen will have to win the trust of a team that is used to a completely different type of work and type of management. We have e.g. Richie (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) who at first seems like a typical annoying guy who wants to be the center of attention and doesn’t bring more. She is also new to the Sydney team (Ayo Edebiri) driven by ambition or the defiant Tina (Liza Colon-Zayas) and the perfectionist Marcus (Lionel Boyce). So you can say that The Bear series is a classic story about how difficulties are overcome on the way to a goal and how important cooperation is. You can, but that would be too much of a simplification.
The bear shows that working in the kitchen is a nightmare
The first episode of the series is one big mess. You can see it both on the actors’ faces and in the camera itself, which now and then jumps or shakes somewhere. People in the kitchen run into each other, no one seems to follow Carmen’s vision, and there are also problems with things a chef theoretically shouldn’t worry about. Due to all this, the viewer feels a constant tension, which is further enhanced by fantastic music. I feel under my skin that something must go wrong and that some big problem is about to arise. I obviously don’t want to talk about how this episode ends, but it was literally five minutes and I knew I was going to eat The Bear in one sitting. And then it happened.
Eight episodes, each about 30 minutes long, are about 4 hours in total, where we learn not only about Carmen’s motivations, but also his family history, and finally move on to other characters. The creators set the accents well here and show that they know how to drive the plot. And although we find some really successful comedy scenes in the series (a picnic is a championship), it is ultimately, The Bear is a very serious story about dealing with loss. The creators raise very important issues here, which may not sit well with the viewer at first, but in the end, everything comes together beautifully and shows that it is exactly how it should be.
The strength of this series is also that it presents how it looks extremely real work in a professional kitchen. There is a scene where we only have a few images from Carmen’s past, but they show how much work and dedication is required of chefs in places considered to be the best in the world. In a pub that serves sandwiches, it doesn’t look that different at all. You can also get the impression that The Bear is a series that tries to define not so much the people who work in the pub, but the whole town where it is located. Chicago is not romanticized here, but dirty and depressing, though not without hope either. I’m really pleasantly surprised at how many levels The Bear works.
The Bear series on Disney + – is it worth watching?
The Bear is a series that is definitely worth watching. Not only because of the interesting plot and well-written characters, but also because of the acting. Jeremy Allen White (known from Shameless) shows that he is an actor who is made for dramatic roles. In addition, The Bear often experiments with the form itself. One of the episodes was almost completely realized as a master shot. So we are talking about a very long shot and no cut. Considering what happened in this episode, the creators don’t deserve a standing ovation as much as a standing ovation. It is already known that The Bear will see another season, although I personally think this one would be enough. However, I hope that the level will be maintained, because it would be a shame if such a perfect opening were to be wasted. So if you haven’t seen The Bear yet, catch up soon. And one more tip – it’s better to watch the series when you’re full, otherwise you’ll end up in the kitchen every now and then, and your saliva will run down your chin. After the screening, you’ll probably want to make something too, and I’m not surprised at all. I did just that.