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This piece was written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Without the labour of the writers and actors currently on strike, the movie/series/feature being covered here wouldn't exist.

"The stylistic choices of The Bear: Season 2 are a pleasure for the eyes, ears, nostrils and taste buds."
The Bear Season 2

TV has been on an all time high this past year. With both The Last of Us and Succession: Season 4 delivering my highlights of the year so far. The Bear: Season 2 easily finds itself alongside my aforementioned standouts of 2023. What the showrunners have achieved with this second season is a seamless and multi-faceted rapid-fire 10 episode fry up of natural and poignant character development and intense, slickly crafted direction.

Picking up directly after Season 1, Season 2 sees the employees of The Beef (soon to be The Bear) face a looming ticking clock of weeks before they open their new restaurant in a rampantly unpredictable climate, with cutthroat competition. I won’t go into too many details as there are some genuinely compelling and unpredictable character choices, outcomes and revelations. Everyone gets to shine here: Carmy’s monumental weight that he bears (pun not intended) on his shoulders teeters as well as sturdies when a new relationship materializes, Sydney and Richie look inward to progress outward (again no spoilers here), Marcus and Tina explore and expand their culinary craft and Season 1 supporting players Natalie and Neil ‘Fak’ take a more central stage.

The Bear Season 2

The pacing for each episode is well executed and the frequent 30 minute duration for the majority of the series fits the chaotic and consistently wired nature of the show well. The episodes that extend this length do it out of necessity and make every minute count (most notably the phenomenal 1hr ‘Fishes’ episode). Of course the authenticity of the dishes and camera relishing the art of cooking will have your mouth drooling and the razor sharp editing, addictive montages and the frequently claustrophobic, busy, loud and chaotic settings keeps the series visually engaging and naturalistic (especially in its dialogue construction).

Performances are fantastic all around. Jeremy Allen White brings so much to making Carmy a layered, obsessive, broken yet dedicated and good spirited person. One of the best protagonists to grace the small screen. Ebon Moss-Bachrach’s immature snarky, tragic overtones and consistent character progression for Richie is easily one of this series strong points, as well as Ayo Edbiri showcasing more vulnerability and pressure to the character of Sydney. A host of famous faces make appearances throughout the show, some of which I was aware of and others being a pleasant surprise, all of which perfectly showcase their talents in this world.

The Bear Season 2

The Bear: Season 2 is a television masterclass that takes the established setting, characters and their goals and personalities, and builds upon them in ways that feel natural and also unique. The stylistic choices of The Bear: Season 2 are a pleasure both for the eyes, ears, nostrils and taste buds. Please get on this show if you have yet to!


The Bear Season 2 rating


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