Just like making an egg, there are many ways to make a TV show. And just like people prefer their eggs to be cooked a certain way (fried, if you're asking), people also prefer their TV shows to hook them in in a certain way. For those who don't mind the heat in the kitchen, this is a series you're going to love.
For anyone who hasn't yet set their sights on 'The Bear', here's a lesson in what to expect over the course of the eight episodes: if you've ever set foot in a professional kitchen or a restaurant, beware, because you're about to be triggered; if you are hungry and you're about to watch the show - don't; and if you love grounded TV series where everyone is a bit of a dickhead ('Shameless' comes to mind) then you'll find a lot to love right here.
'The Bear' is a workplace drama that follows the team of a beef sandwich restaurant in Chicago, which is struggling to make ends meet after the death of its owner, Micheal. Carmen "Carmy" Berzatto (Jemery Allen White) is swimming in debt after taking over the business from his brother, and the stressful matter isn't helped by his rocket-mouthed cousin Richie (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) and his constant chip on the shoulder attitude, often undermining the chef at every opportunity.
In order to try and make the business work, Carmy is going to have to suck up the team's hazing and trust that his new and inexperienced sous chef Sydney (Ayo Edebiri) can handle all of the pressure that working in a fast-paced environment can bring. Carmy is doing all of this while also dealing with the loss of his late brother, having nightmaring flashbacks of his failed fine-dining job, and realising that he needs to mend the broken relationship between himself and his sister, Sugar (Abby Elliott).
Arriving on Disney+ in Europe months after its US premiere, the FX on Hulu series has been touted as one of the best TV series of the year on a number of occasions. With strong performanes right across the board (and a few wink wink cameos), awards are certainly on the cards once the season rolls around - but 'The Bear' might not be to everyone's taste.
To describe 'The Bear' in one word, it would "chaos". Two words? "Wholesome chaos". Those who have worked in the service industry will know that you are nothing if you are not a team. Even if there is a storm raging all around you, if you're on the same wavelength as your colleague, you'll make it work. 'The Bear' drives this topic home tenfold, and we see that when a chef isn't paying close attention to their craft, it has a knock-on effect to everyone else.
The harsh financial realities that countless businesses face on the daily is one of the main points of the series. When not bogged down with financial trouble, the diverse characters are given the oporunity to come up with fresh ideas under the watchful eye of Carmy - he's a likable head chef, but just make sure that the job is done right. Toxic masculinity, a topic that oftentimes plagues the industry, shows up in the form of Richie and if there were a "villain" to be labelled here, it'd be him. Having said that, without him, the series wouldn't be as thrilling.
Episode seven of the series is probably the most compelling episode of television you will see this year. Shot in one continuous 20-minute take, all of the tension that had been bubbling all season comes to boiling point, showcasing all of the different sides of our culinary team. It shows the series is not afraid to take risks and excites us for what could be in store for season two.
Dripping in stress, with a fresh coating of tension and a light dusting of sharp comedy, 'The Bear' feels like a fever dream that you can't wake up from. But for some reason, even amongst all of the bedlam, you find yourself warming to it and wanting to find out what happens in the end.
All episodes of 'The Bear' are available on Disney+ from October 5.