The bear is a show about people that mean well but can’t seem to get their lives together.
They are all cooks in a kitchen in a family restaurant in the middle of Chicago, they have to work together to succeed, and none of them get along with each other for more than 5 minutes. Carmen (Jeremy Allen White) has inherited the place from his recently deceased brother who he was on bad terms with, and he has to deal with his brother’s best friend Richie (Ebo Moss-Bacharch) hanging around and always stirring up trouble while his biggest prospect chef Sydney (Ayo Edebiri) tries to be perfect and is perhaps too ambitious for him. Throw in Uncle Jimmy (Oilver Platt) as a sort of local loan-shark type who was friendly with Carmen’s brother and is wondering what happened to the 100 grand he loaned him, sister Sugar (Abby Elliot) to whom he has years of apologies, and Jon Bernthal in flashback’s as the deceased brother and you have an amazing ensemble cast that can bounce of each other just like the best chef’s in the best local diners.
What makes this show so amazing is its kinetic energy, the feeling that anything could happen at any minute and how everyone is so wrapped up in their own world, perhaps too much to see anything beyond their own perspective. The cramped little kitchen everyone works in feels huge and expansive, like each moment for each dinner counts even though the time and energy they put into crafting perfect food is gone as soon as somebody eats it. There is beauty in the small dishes just like there is beauty in every part of life even if it only lasts a day. The dialogue reminds be of the best Kevin Smith, very particular and it works because of the body language of the actors and the way it is told. It is super stressful to watch at times, as everyone reaches their absolute boiling point of anger every episode it seems, but as hopeless as the characters say they are we can tell they were put in these positions for a reason, that as long as they can keep going things will work out. Raw emotions, like as raw as the sun. It’s a show still finding out what it is, but its already pretty great.