The varied offer of existing series in streaming can be somewhat overwhelming if, already at the beginning of the final month of 2022, we consider a preliminary evaluation of the year. Thus, with proposals such as “The White Lotus” (an expensive HBO production that moved in its 2nd season from Hawaii to Sicily), “Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story” (perhaps the greatest success of Ryan Murphy’s CV and that Netflix aired), “Severance” (Dan Erickson’s overwhelming proposal for Apple TV+) or even the fifth season of “The Crown” (with a greater weight in Lady Diana), perhaps some have missed the existence of a mini series that, from the humility of its proposal, could well fight for a couple of Emmy’s to the alternatives mentioned above. We talk about “Bear” (The Bear, in English), created by FX and broadcast in Latin America via Star +.
“Bear” tells the story of Carmy Berzatto (Jeremy Allen White), a young, award-winning American chef who, driven by the suicide of her brother, the co-owner of The Original Beef of Chicagoland restaurant, Michael (Jon Bernthal), leaves everything and He moves to Chicago precisely to manage that humble sandwich shop and a few other things. But, as is obvious, in this task he will not be alone. Added to the team of cooks, cleaners, pastry chefs and even plumbers who work double hours is Richard (Ebon Moss-Bachrach), Michael’s irascible partner, responsible for the implementation of a ‘system’ as ironclad as it is toxic.
Although throughout its eight episodes we will see many knives, pots and fire at its maximum point -typical of a restaurant, whether large or small-, “Bear” is not a series about gastronomy. Or at least, it is not another series about gastronomy. We are facing a proposal about how difficult it is to deal with your peers in the midst of the complexities of our own existence. Not that Carmy is a born conciliator who settles everything with a smile and lectures. What’s more, he spends his time handing out ‘fuck’ and ‘shit’ every five minutes. But even in the most tense moments of the plot, there will always be a breather that restores our faith in moving forward and delivering the best food on time.
In this process of exploring the society we inhabit, “El oso” introduces us to a series of secondary characters whose lives are perhaps not sufficiently explored, but which are important to mention here. Added to Richard –a guy who justifies having micro-traded drugs to save the restaurant during the difficult coronavirus pandemic–, for example, is Sydney, a very young aspiring chef of African-American origin who, played by Ayo Edebiri, is the best complement to a plot in permanent boiling. She, perhaps as capable as Carmy, arrives as an intern, but quickly finds herself in charge of leading a kind of ‘French brigade’, understood as a team of chefs with specific assignments that lead to more orderly and efficient work.
Sydney -talented like few others, but temperamental like many- receives the mission with resentment for a reason: everyone in the sanguchería has their own problems and mistrust. Perhaps the most notable sub-story here is that of Tina (Liza Colón-Zayas), an immigrant and closed kitchen assistant who, perhaps because of her age, tries at all times to make life miserable for her new supervisor (“Distrust of the bitches that come to write down everything in little notebooks”). Although she probably realizes who’s tripping her, Sydney keeps going for one key reason, although she may sound utterly trite to us: she loves what she does.
In addition to the distrustful Tina, in the sandwich shop there is an old cook who is an expert in meats, Ebraheim (Edwin Lee Gibson), a pastry chef who is forever searching for the recipe for the best ‘donut in the world’ (Marcus/Lionel Boyce), a dishwasher with a scowl (Manny/Richard Esteras) and even a plumber (Neil Fak/Matty Matheson) who dreams of having a chance to try himself as a cook. The making of the secondary characters seems to follow a logic: we are before the human team of any of the restaurants that Gordon Ramsay could have saved in his controversial reality show “Hell’s Kitchen”.
Although clips of plates taking shape, desserts being served, and salt being dropped on bowls of French fries will be common throughout this series, there is a much deeper side, and it has to do with Carmy’s own search—in the midst of disaster that he tries to control in the sandwich shop—he must go on until he reconciles with the image of his brother Michael, an addict who—probably to protect him—always sought to keep him out of the restaurant. In this interior journey, there are things sought and others not so much. The protagonist of “The Bear” joins a group of alcoholics anonymous without being one, but he must also learn to deal with all the people to whom Michael did not pay their debts in life. Each one will give him his own vision of his being loved by him: a man with a big heart, but a bad payer, a noble person, but messy and tolerant of Richard’s toxicity.
Although we all suspect that Carmy’s sandwich shop will never be the best in the world, things magically get better. The old system implemented in the past gives way and begins to find its way thanks to Carmy and Sydney, but also to the other operators who, in their humility and their limitations (everyone in the series has dark circles under their eyes, looks tired and has to travel long train journeys to get to score a card), they end up believing in that magic that a young blue-eyed (almost always three times more stressed and sweaty than them) tries to convey with ‘fuck’, but also looking into their eyes, calling them all “chef” to thus expressing respect to them for whatever their role may be.
“Bear” is not a happy story, but in its attempt to portray life in absolutely current times, it ends up being a pat of encouragement for all of us who believe in progress. It is not for nothing that the series takes place in Chicago, and at one point an attempt is made –perhaps successfully or perhaps not so successfully- to mix fiction with documentary archives. It is that city where emblematic events occurred, such as the struggle for the implementation of eight working hours, or where Barack Obama, the first African-American president of the United States, came to the fore. To this we should add a solid soundtrack, which almost always sustains the silences of the characters correctly, infecting us with the agitation typical of those who, although they may not believe it, are capable of achieving glory at some point in time. his life. So be it looking for the perfect recipe for a strawberry donut.
Without the millionaire budgets or perhaps the ultra-famous cast that the series mentioned at the beginning of this note do share, this proposal that you can see on Star+ is a magnificent opportunity to remember -among many other things- that the award-winning restaurants of five Forks are not the majority, and that in those on the opposite side there may also be brilliant people, some with dreams, others with outstanding debts to settle with their loved ones, that is, human beings who are not satisfied with waiting for fate to touch them. the door, but are willing to go for it.
BEAR/ STAR PLUS
Director: Christopher Storer
Cast: Jeremy Allen White, Ebon Moss Bachrach, Ayo Edebiri, Liza Colón-Zayas.
Synopsis: This series is about food, family, the madness of routine, the beauty of ‘sense of urgency’, and steep downsides. As young chef Carmy struggles to transform both The Original Beef of Chicagoland and himself, he works alongside a rugged kitchen crew who are ultimately revealed to be his chosen family.
Duration: 8 episodes
I have worked as a journalist for over 10 years and have written for various news outlets. I currently work as an author at 24 News Recorder, mostly covering entertainment news. I have a keen interest in the industry and enjoy writing about the latest news and gossip. I am also a member of the National Association of Journalists.