Review: Hulu’s “The Bear”

By Saron Alem, Contributor

A growling grizzly bear, fitting for the Walter Payton Grizzlies (Palmer Norman ’25).

Looking for a new show to watch on Hulu? “The Bear” premiered on FX June 23. It is a comedy-drama based around a young chef involved with the fine-dining industry who moves back to his hometown and inherits his brother’s rundown sandwich shop after said brother’s heartbreaking suicide.

The show is a whirlwind of chaos from start to finish. The very first episode starts with bustling in the kitchen as Carmen (Carmy) Berzatto, the protagonist played by actor Jeremy Allen White, realizes they do not have enough meat needed for service that day. Immediately we are thrust into this stressful atmosphere where we do not know what the solution is, if any.

“The Bear” also deals with clashing worldviews: members of the kitchen fight to adhere to their old systems, while Carmy would prefer introducing new, more efficient ones. This creates even more tension in the kitchen and between the characters.

One of the most important things about the show is its dealings with mental health. Most obvious is Carmy’s brother’s mental health issues, which unfortunately lead to his death. But Carmy is fighting some battles of his own; his mental health struggles are visualized in multiple ways, some including flashbacks, dreams turned nightmares, and panic attacks. 

By far my favorite aspect of the show is that it was both filmed and set in Chicago (majorly filmed in Wicker Park). In fact, most scenes in the fictitious restaurant, The Original Beef of Chicagoland, were filmed in the real-life restaurant Mr. Beef On Orleans. There were also multiple scenic shots of Chicago, which were a delight to watch. 

“The Bear” was a beautifully fast-paced show that successfully pulled off its themes. Thankfully, the show has been renewed for a second season! As many of the fans have said: The Beef is back!

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