TV REVIEW - THE BEAR SEASON ONE
RUNNING TIME: EIGHT 30 MINUTE EPISODES
RELEASE DATE: June 23, 2022
CREATOR: Christopher Storer
DIRECTORS: Christopher Storer...(5 episodes, 2022) Joanna Calo...(3 episodes, 2022)
Karen Joseph Adcock...(story editor & written by) (8 episodes, 2022)
Sofya Levitsky-Weitz...(story editor & written by) (8 episodes, 2022)
Alex O'Keefe...(staff writer) (8 episodes, 2022)
Christopher Storer...(created by & written by) (8 episodes, 2022)
Joanna Calo...(written by) (2 episodes, 2022)
Rene Gube...(written by) (1 episode, 2022)
Catherine Schetina...(written by) (1 episode, 2022)
Jeremy Allen White...Carmen 'Carmy' Berzatto 8 episodes, 2022
Ebon Moss-Bachrach...Richard 'Richie' Jerimovich 8 episodes, 2022
Ayo Edebiri...Sydney Adamu 8 episodes, 2022
Lionel Boyce...Marcus 8 episodes, 2022
Liza Colón-Zayas...Tina 8 episodes, 2022
Edwin Lee Gibson...Ebraheim 8 episodes, 2022
Corey Hendrix...Gary 8 episodes, 2022
Richard Esteras...Manny 8 episodes, 2022
Jose M. Cervantes...Angel 8 episodes, 2022
Abby Elliott...Natalie 'Sugar' Berzatto 7 episodes, 2022
Matty Matheson...Neil Fak 6 episodes, 2022
Chris Witaske...Pete 4 episodes, 2022
Joel McHale...NYC Chef 3 episodes, 2022
Carmen Christopher...Chester 3 episodes, 2022
Christopher Zucchero...Chi-Chi 3 episodes, 2022
Oliver Platt...Uncle Jimmy 2 episodes, 2022
Jon Bernthal...Michael Berzatto 2 episodes, 2022
Millie Hurley...Tracy 2 episodes, 2022
Molly Ringwald...Moderator 1 episode, 2022
SPOILER WARNING: THERE MAY BE SOME BUT I TRIED
Like most, I’ve seen many movies and TV shows that centered around the restaurant industry over the years. The most notable for me had always been a film from the year 2000 called Dinner Rush starring Danny Aiello. The film Dinner Rush was what inspired me to take the leap in joining the restaurant industry myself when I found myself contemplating what my future would become. Yes it had already been a dream of mine for years before seeing this film but Dinner Rush showed me everything that I had romanticized about the industry on screen.
After spending nearly 20 years in the industry that I love, it took my wife Sharon to push me to watch The Bear. I had heard about the series and I was curious but just didn’t seem to have the time. Sharon had started watching it on her own and felt that this was a series that I had to see based on the stories that I have told her about my own personal stories over the years. She kept pushing it on me and pushing it until I finally said yes, let's give it a shot.
I grew obsessed with the series rather quickly as we began to binge watch it. Each episode brought me back to different times throughout my career which felt eerily real to me. The episode called "The Review" especially hit home when they were getting overwhelmed with tablet orders to the point that I relived the stress that I went through when I had experienced this myself. I have had plenty of shifts where we would become overwhelmed for many reasons whether it being short staffed due to call outs or a piece of vital equipment breaks down in the middle of a busy service which we just had to figure out a solution on the fly that may seem impractical but would work just to get through the night. One of the toughest days was right at the beginning of the pandemic when most of our staff did not return and we had less than a skeleton crew. We were only serving take out orders and our tablet began to pour orders in just like it was depicted in this episode. Before we knew it, we have 10 times the amount of orders than we could handle but we had to push through it and get the job done without excuses. The episode "The Review" showed the stresses of what a situation like this felt like and it was very honest. Did I yell at my staff like he did in the episode? Of course not, in this business you need to be able to control many different types of stressful situations. But I did understand it and I felt myself become anxious as the episode continued because it hit a very raw nerve that you will only truly understand if you have been in this business.
I do not want to give away too much of the story and I will really try not to. You know that this is not like me because I usually do not mind spoiling a series or a film. I just believe in this series so much that I would like you all as viewers to see it for the first time without the chance of possibly ruining it for you. With that said, I will give a brief synopsis. The Bear centers around Carmen "Carmy"Berzatto or 'Bear' as his sister Natalie 'Sugar' Berzatto refers to him. Their brother Michael dies and leaves his restaurant called The Original Beef of Chicagoland. Carmy is a famous chef and we meet him as he is struggling to figure out how his brother Michael has let The Beef fall into such disarray. Carmy aims to fix the restaurant as he discovers that there is much more than the restaurant that needs repair. This series has an all star cast lead by Shameless' Jeremy Allen White. Jeremy Allen White captures his role as Carmy perfectly as he is able to bring the viewer into every emotion that he is going through. This series does not work without him. Ebon Moss-Bachrach and Ayo Edebiri are great co-stars that not only bring the drama to the restaurant but are vital in making to make it a success. Abby Elliott's Natalie 'Sugar' Berzatto has great chemestry with Jeremy Allen White as his sister and she really helps to bring out his pain in a way that only a loving sister can. This is an important piece to the puzzle of The Beef. Throughout most of the first season, we never see a photo of Michael or even meet him due to the fact that he is dies just before the beginning of the series. I will not spoil the reveal of how he dies. It is another important plot point. When we do meet Michael finally through flashbacks, he is played by none other than Jon Bernthal and he gets you to like the character right away as only Jon Bernthal can. This is another perfect casting.
As you can see, I am a huge fan of this series and I cannot wait to see what season two brings. I wonder if it will tug at my heart like season one did. Will it be as powerful? I personally expect it to deliver even more and I feel justified in that expectation. If you have seen this series, please leave a comment or send me a message to discuss it. I would love to hear what you think. If you haven't seen it, I hope this review gives you that push forward to watch it. I would also love to hear what you think. Enjoy!