The Bear – Chicago Beef and the Unbearable Kitchen

With a great cast, undeniably impressive cinematography, and a never-ending sense of chaos, this fictionalized story of The Bear, a sandwich shop in Chicago is easily one of the best shows of 2022.
The Bear Review

2022 has been an excellent year for television so far, between blockbuster returns of shows like Stranger Things, emotionally charged dramas like Euphoria, and more. However, as many viewers gush over the latest and greatest big-budget silver screen projects, there’s one vastly overlooked show that many are missing.

Showered with praise from critics and everyone who watches it, The Bear is a brand new FX show that debuted on Hulu, bringing audiences into the wild world of the service industry. With a great cast, undeniably impressive cinematography, and a never-ending sense of chaos, this fictionalized story of a sandwich shop in Chicago is easily one of the best shows of 2022.

Chicago Beef and the Unbearable Kitchen

The Bear centers around Carmen “Carmy” Berzatto (Jeremy Allen White), a classically trained chef who leaves behind the world of fine dining and returns to his hometown of Chicago, Illinois. Following an unexpected death in the family, Carmy inherits his family’s failing sandwich shop, and must find a way to save the beloved establishment from closing for good.

Working alongside his close friend Richie (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) and the rest of the shop’s seasoned staff, Carmy is pushed to the brink as he must balance the overwhelming stress of work while haunted by demons of the past. Although he finds some support from new hire Sydney (Ayo Edebiri), even their best efforts might not be enough to keep the humble sandwich shop afloat.

It’s important to note that, unlike most food-based television shows, The Bear is not a feel-good story featuring tasty morsels. In fact, it’s one of the few films or shows to accurately depict the immense chaos and incredible stress that comes with working in a kitchen. In short, that means tons of swearing, accidents with cutlery, and a handful of mental breakdowns. For those who have worked over a grill or stood on a kitchen line for hours on end, The Bear is unnervingly accurate.

Good Looks, Good Cooks

Despite the ho-hum, often depressing progression of the story, The Bear manages to produce some wildly impressive visuals, especially when it comes to food. Given Carmy’s fine-dining background, there are plenty of moments where he prepares picturesque dishes, plus a surplus of sloppy and delicious-looking sandwiches.

In these moments, it’s hard to not get hungry watching The Bear, as many of the cooking sequences are filmed with an artful touch. Simply put, there’s so much beautiful food on display you’ll likely start salivating before the end of the first episode.

This expert cinematography extends beyond the fancy food, showcasing incredibly immersive camera techniques that help make the kitchen feel cramped, hot, and overwhelming. There’s even a mind-blowing episode late in the season that is filmed in one continuous, unbroken shot, something that even the most talented of filmmakers struggle to achieve.

Will There Be a Season 2 of The Bear?

Over the course of The Bear’s first season, the crew of the sandwich shop learns to overcome adversity in their own special way, forming a tight familial bond. With a diverse cast of characters, many with subplots of their own, there’s plenty of room for the show to grow.

A recurring theme in The Bear is Carmy’s dream of opening an upscale Italian eatery, but this is only touched on briefly. Hopefully, we can see a bit of this concept explored in The Bear Season 2.

However, despite the growing popularity of the show, neither Hulu, FX, nor the creators of the show have confirmed the possibility of a second season. Regardless of its popularity, it’s pretty common for a show to get canceled after a season or two, especially with the fickle nature of streaming services. Even though there are no official plans for The Bear Season 2 yet, we have a good feeling that this underdog hit will come back for another bite sometime in 2023.

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