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'The Bear: Season 3' Review: Undeniably Different to Previous Two Seasons

By Connie Lee July 2, 2024
The Bear Season 3

Season 3 of The Bear feels like a simmering pot that’s about to boil over, and the contents may not be pretty.

The fast success of a show can be a double-edged sword, leaving little room for experimentation because of a well-loved writing style, direction, filmography, and other factors. There was never a doubt that The Bear would have fallen into this category, especially after the first two hit seasons, but this didn’t stop creators from breaking all the rules for Season 3. This time, they took an avant-garde approach, spinning up 10 new episodes that are noticeably more meditative and introspective. This is undeniably different and may even feel leaner compared to the first two seasons, but there is still a lot to appreciate here as the risks add another layer of rawness and discomfort while alluding to something bigger, and aren’t afraid to get real with viewers about the realities of character development. 


Season 3 continues the story of Carmen “Carmy” Berzatto (Jeremy Allen White), an award-winning chef who returns home to Chicago to manage his family’s sandwich shop following his brother’s suicide. This proves not to be an easy feat as he has to deal with family drama, a rowdy staff and kitchen, and his inner turmoil.


Don’t be fooled by all the yelling, cursing, and pans clanging: The visceral, wild tone and pace that made the previous seasons feel so palpable and exciting isn’t completely present in Season 3. The stress is still there but coexists with a quieter, heavier calmness that doesn’t feel natural, creating a nervous energy that can only be described as the eye of the storm. Even though nothing major happens throughout the season, this energy is still suffocating because we viewers know there has to be more than what we were given, and it’s frustrating that we can’t decipher what’s next. But whatever happens will be big. As masochistic as it sounds, this is something I like about this season because this direction allows us to just consume and reflect without the franticness overpowering us.

The lack of character development this season is apparent. There would be brief moments that seemed like something huge was about to happen to the beloved Bear crew, but pretty much none of them went anywhere, unlike the previous seasons. The first instinct would be to write this off as lazy writing, but that’s too easy. It has to be considered that this was done purposely because expecting huge character growth every season (which would count as weeks or months in the real world) is just unrealistic and formulaic, especially with where every character stands with their struggles. It feels more genuine to see them regress or just stay frozen in one place, mulling over their circumstances. And because great changes take time in the real world, it won’t be surprising to see them hit rock bottom and stay there a bit longer before things start looking up.

The Bear Season 3

One thing I have always enjoyed about The Bear is the use of basic colours. The use of whites, blues, blacks, browns, and greys has always perfectly complemented the unrefined grittiness of the show. The colour scheme hasn’t changed in Season 3, except for new pops of very bright colours, primarily from the epicurean foods created by Carmy (some of these were also present in Seasons 1 and 2, but just not as prominent). These colours are unusual, foreign, and add to the unsettling tone that the entire season has. Every time they come up, it’s like they’re there to mock Carmy and add even more pressure until an explosion happens. And as he changes up the menu at his restaurant and his staff whips up gourmet meals, these same bright colours induce the same invasive feelings – they can’t escape.

All in all, The Bear Season 3 may not have been a full entrée, but each piece of the meal may prove to have greater importance to the growth of the story. Nothing is known yet about Season 4, and it seems like we’ll have to wait a while to see how all the pieces connect. But I know that I’m still in for this crazy ride.

Star Rating

Rating The Bear Season 3

The Bear Season 3 is streaming now on Disney Plus


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