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Real, Heartfelt, Frenzied and Funny, FX’s ‘The Bear’ Delivers Satisfying Dramedy

Dramedy series The Bear has premiered all eight episodes on FX, and it's witty, humorous, gritty, tense, warm, and most importantly, honest. Isn't that wonderful?

ES Staff  |  TV Comedy

In The Bear, Carmen "Carmy" Berzatto (Jeremy Allen White) is a young prodigy chef in one of the best restaurants in the world. But he returns to handle the family's greasy spoon sandwich shop in Chicago's River North area after his brother commits suicide and leaves it to him. In addition to fighting with his sister (Abby Elliott) and the crew of the restaurant, which includes his brother's abrasive best buddy Richie, he is also grieving (Ebon Moss-Bachrach).

The staff resents Carmy and Ayo Edebiri when they try to improve the quality of the restaurant's food by hiring a sous chef with training from the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) to assist them run it.

The Bear is most notable for being realistic, grounded, and naturalistic. That said, yes, there are stylistic touches of the strange, such as dreams and visions experienced after a panic episode.

The series primarily focuses on the hurry, tension, heightened emotions, and higher voices that characterize life in a restaurant kitchen. It is by no means a relaxing experience to watch; in one late-season episode, the camera wanders restlessly between the various cooking stations as orders pile up and people begin to turn against one another.

Chris Storer, who created and runs the show, writes and directs a number of episodes. He also directed the show Ramy. He is most likely the main reason that whenever any two characters speak on this show, it never seems like they are sharing conversation or connecting in any way. They struggle hard to communicate, and they talk over and past one another. They don't use every conversation as a chance to make profound remarks or express their emotions.

This is particularly true for Carmy, who is distant and sometimes sulky. In fact, White does such an excellent job of capturing how sad he is that we are left wondering why he continues to live there. (We do ultimately receive a response, and it is a good one.)

Rest assured that while Carmy may be a genius, he always tries to treat those around him with respect. If you're concerned that The Bear is just another show that swirls around a turbulent genius—a man who treats everyone like crap but it's okay because he's great at what he does—then you can relax. Even those who don't deserve it still get respect, such as Moss-Bachrach's cocky Richie, a performance that is as inwardly centered as White's is.

Edebiri's portrayal of Sydney, the ambitious sous chef with great plans and the capacity to see past Richie's violent exterior, is really the must-see performance. She is just so amazing at what she does, and she's self-assured enough to outlast the staff's mistrust while yet attempting to win their favor.

The season wraps in a satisfying way, even though it's somewhat unexpected. Overall, The Bear is a show that is good to both its viewers and its characters. It's genuinely and funny, heartfelt and never feels fake nor forced. It delivers a wonderful time in the very best way.