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The Bear: Season 1 Review

Leah Lurie

Jeremy Allen White’s new hit show “The Bear” exceeded my expectations and kept me thoroughly entertained. After Season 2 was released on June 22nd of this year, I knew I needed to go back to the beginning and find out exactly how it impressed the masses.

Aside from creating a few new online memes, “The Bear” is an intense and chaotic show, following a struggling restaurant and its dysfunctional family of workers. I absolutely loved every second. The story begins with Carmy, an extraordinarily successful chef who is given his brother Mikey’s Chicago restaurant following his suicide. Though Carmy is professionally trained, he has his work set out for him. The Beef, the name of Mikey’s restaurant, is unorderly, violates several health codes and is extremely run-down. Even though he has worked at the “best restaurant in the world,” he has dedicated his life to upholding his brother’s legacy. 

This series is about so much more than cooking, though. It masters the careful yet immersive display of guilt and family trauma that suicide and addiction can cause. Carmy had spent years away from his family, but after his brother unexpectedly ended his own life, he realized he simply could not live away from them anymore. He began fixing his relationship with his sister and by dedicating his time and money to the restaurant, he connected to Mikey in his own way. 

I will say that this show is heavy, but it is in no way unmanageable. The pace is extremely fast, the dialogue is humorous and the emotional development is heartwarming. I did not become bored at any point. Somehow, a group of kitchen workers yelling curse words at each other and insulting each other constantly is hilarious. Ritchie, Mikey’s best friend, is particularly great at insulting Carmy. Their passionate disagreements create a highly intense but eventually emotional relationship. The entire season, either Ritchie is yelling at Carmy or Carmy is furious with Ritchie. Towards the last episode, though, they realize that they are each other’s closest connection to Mikey and begin to act like brothers.

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Personally, my favorite character is Marcus, the baker of the restaurant. While he makes bread out of requirement, it is his dream to make colorful sweet desserts. I found it so heartwarming and honestly adorable that a grown man in Chicago appreciated donuts and cake for their beauty. He would spend hours in the kitchen trying to find the right shade for a donut and the perfect consistency of his chocolate cake. His gentleness among the other angry workers is so refreshing. I would 100% recommend “The Bear” to anyone who loves a diverse show with a range of characters. I am so excited to watch season two, as I have no doubt it will blow me away.

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