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The Bear Review: The Best Show On TV Right Now?

The Bear Review: The Best Show On TV Right Now?

A recent TV show addition to Disney Plus in Australia has been receiving critical acclaim across the globe, and for very good reason. I’ve already watched all eight episodes of The Bear and encourage every single one of you to watch it too.

The Bear is a new comedy-drama TV show on Disney Plus Australia that stars Jeremy Allen White (who some of you may know from the American remake of Shameless) as an extremely talented chef who leaves his post as head chef of “the best restaurant in the world,” to move back to his home in Chicago, to run his brother’s beef sandwich shop, after his brother – Mikey – commits suicide.

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The premise alone is enough to whet your appetite. Just how will a chef who expects nothing but the best, and who works with a team that is talented and disciplined, cope in a much less financially stable kitchen, with staff who can only be described as unruly?

WATCH: To give you a taste of the action, you can watch the trailer for The Bear below.

From the get go, The Bear emphasises just how much of a change of scenery Jeremy’s character Carmen “Carmy” Berzatto is in for, with a lot of shouting and many fights. These usually occur between Carmy and “Richie” Jermiovich, who the two refer to each other as cousin. Richie says in one episode, however, “he’s not my cousin.” I’m still not sure what the situation is between them, to be honest.

Regardless, The Bear follows these two, along with optimistic and budding young female chef, Sydney, who wants to implement changes to the restaurant to help turn it into a profitable business…much to Richie’s dismay.

Mikey’s suicide is prevalent throughout the series, and the effect it has clearly taken on Carmy and his sister, Natalie “Sugar” Berzatto. Carmy expresses how he truly does feel about the whole ordeal in an incredibly moving 7-minute monologue during an Al-Anon meeting in the season finale. Show creator Christopher Storer shot this scene in one take, which draws the audience in to such a great degree that it really does make you feel as though you’re sitting in the room with him.

The brother and sister duo also like to get into arguments, even asking each other when they’re looking through financial records, “do you want to fight now?” Mikey does make an appearance midway through the show, and The Walking Dead fans will be surprised to see who was cast to portray the former shop owner.

Episode 7 is a particular highlight (don’t worry, I won’t give away any spoilers) purely for the fact that the entire 18-minute episode was shot in just one take. Speaking to Consequence, Storer says they attempted the episode five times, and ultimately used the fourth one, but added, “honestly, we could have used the first one.”

There are only eight episodes for now, but The Bear has already been renewed for a second season, and I’m not surprised. I’m rarely someone who gets deeply engrossed in a TV show or movie. Yes, I’ve seen some of the ‘big shows,’ such as Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones, but neither of those had me smashing the ‘play next episode’ button with as much anticipation and eagerness as The Bear did. Count me as one of the show’s biggest fans.

I can’t really think of another show I’ve seen that could be compared to The Bear, although purely from the perspective of how the characters try to out-muscle each other in verbal arguments, I would liken it to It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia. The effect is less comedic in The Bear, however, as the performances of the cast are so convincing, you have to wonder if they actually do like each other when the cameras stop rolling.

As for films, however, you could compare The Bear to Whiplash, in that in the film, Miles Teller’s character is often scared to stand up to J.K. Simmons, and the stress and grief the latter causes Teller’s character is akin to the effect Carmy’s outbursts can have on his staff. But, since he’s used to working in a high-end restaurant and demanding only the very best, coupled with the constant reminder of his brother’s passing, Carmy’s behaviour can at least be somewhat justified.

So, what The Bear does so, is perfectly encapsulate what a toxic work environment can look like. Nobody listens to each other, everyone believes they’re right and hell, there’s even a stabbing!

What I also loved about the show, is how the creators were able to fit in so much drama into such short episodes. The longest is the season finale at 48-minutes (including credits), but most episodes fall short of the coveted half an hour (again, including credits). The short runtime makes the show easily watchable, and so I was able to smash out 7 episodes in one sitting. I would’ve moved to the eighth, but a friend called me for a catch-up, c’est la vie.

I implore everybody to watch The Bear. It’s witty, it’s packed full of drama and it does have its funny moments. But ultimately, you feel connected with the characters from the very start, and you want to see the restaurant succeed. As for whether it does? Well, you’ll just have to watch and find out.

Where to watch The Bear in Australia

The Bear is available to watch in Australia exclusively on Disney Plus. Subscriptions for the streaming service are either $11.99/month or $119.99/year. There is no free trial available, but you can cancel at any time.

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