I am wildly late to the party but The Bear on FX is the best show currently airing new episodes on TV. If you have been watching this show since the first episode back last summer, I hope you aren't too annoyed with this take. If anything, thank you for watching early and keeping this show on the air. I didn't hear a word about this show until this past summer when season two had already come out. I saw it on Hulu a few weeks ago and instantly fell in love. I figure a show this great deserves as much praise as possible even if it is belated.
It's a show about work. Personal lives creep in but it's always in the prism of how it will affect them at the restaurant. I love how it shows the passion and care they have for a job that so many of us take for granted when we go out to eat. I'll be honest. I don't think nearly enough about the care and preparation that goes into a meal I order. What The Bear shows is how everything is thought about and people work very, very hard to get that food to us. Mad Men was a show about work as well but I didn't walk away with immense care and love for advertising execs like I do for the food service industry when I watch The Bear.
I am going to now talk about specific characters and plot events. If you haven't watched this show, please stop reading and watch the show. This should be enjoyed unencumbered by knowing anything ahead of time. I'll only say that the first episode does feel like a panic attack but ride through that and know that as good as the first season is, the second season is even better.
The episode Forks (season 2, episode 7) might be the greatest half hour episode I've ever seen. It took the character I liked the least (Ritchie) and through hard work, he learned respect for what he does for a living as well as respect for himself. Nothing is demeaning if you have the mental strength in feeling pride in what you are doing. Taking pride in your job is such an important thing in life but something you don't see often in movies or television.
I'm beyond lucky and get to work at a job now where I genuinely love what I do. But for twenty years before that, I worked pretty typical sales jobs. I sold educational software, sports signage and check writing software at a few different jobs. These were fine jobs where I was lucky to have exceptional bosses and co-workers but it's not what I truly wanted to do. I'm guessing most people reading this are in the same boat. I know when I took it upon myself to not bitch and moan about what I was doing and care about it, I enjoyed it more.
I've gone way too long in this blog without talking about the amazing cast. I never watched Shameless so I had no idea how talented Jeremy Allen White was. He is the heartbeat of this show and can do it with his eyes. It's amazing. He's the most soft spoken lead in some time. Ayo Edebiri is the brains and I love how it shows someone that has to deal with past failures. I can't imagine the risk of owning your own business much less a restaurant. They fail so often and seeing it through her eyes makes it seem so much more understandable.
I know this seems like an ad for the show because I've been so effusive with my love for the show but it really is that good. It shows Chicago in a really interesting light. Even the music is perfect. It's been renewed for a third season but the actors strike will hold up a new season for at least a few months. The only thing I know is I won't be late to the party for the third season.
Finally, check out this great Ugly Sweater Robbie had made. Yes Chef!