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The Bear ★★★★

By February 26, 2023March 3rd, 2023Backstage Pass

The award-winning TV series “The Bear” is rated (TV-MA), which means for (mature) audiences, it’s streaming on Hulu.

Jeremy Allen White (“Shameless” 2011-2021) is ‘the Bear’ he’s a young top Michelin star chef who returns home to Chicago to help in his deceased brother’s Italian beef sandwich shop. The restaurant is based on Mr. Beef in Chicago’s River North neighborhood.

“The Bear” series is fittingly named, as the comparison of the large animal to the ‘essence’ of the show can be compared to a huge, encircling hug and a huge, vicious attack, as well as a consistent hyperactive tone, as in the movie, “Cocaine Bear.” White plays Carmen “Carmy” Berzatto, and his brother Michael left him a sandwich shop in his will. The kitchen crew includes Michael’s best friend Richie (Ebon Moss-Bachrach), a jerk; pleasant, calm baker Marcus (Lionel Boyce); and belligerent, self-righteous Tina (Liza Colón-Zayas). Carmy hires an ambitious sous chef Sydney (Ayo Edebiri), who trained at the Culinary Institute of America. She is the only person who truly appreciates the level of Carmy’s chef skills. Jon Bernthal, as brother Michael, appears in momentary, heart-wrenching flashbacks.

And why is the series so popular? It’s the pitch-perfect timing of the frantic light dialog between the actors, along with the never-ending intensity of life in a working restaurant kitchen. The exhaustive deadlines, the step-by-step procedures, the litany of repeated tasks, knowing that one mistake can ruin an entire dish—the list goes on and on. Not to mention, the directing by creator Christopher Storer is nothing short of perfection.

The realism of the chefs working in a kitchen has never been more true-to-life. I sat with the actors during the Critics Choice Awards, and while sitting next to Jeremy Allen White, he won Best Actor! It was exciting for everyone, and I recorded his special moment. Speaking with the cast, they are very excited about Season 2, which should be filming in Chicago now.

Sarah Knight Adamson© February 26, 2023