The Bear, one of the best

There are several expressions to refer to the sum of people who work together in a work environment. But not all terms apply in any case. If trades and professions that require serious, territorial and demanding coordination are reviewed, where a detail can alter the entire play, none, but none, fits so well the label of family like those that happen in the kitchen.

That’s where you have to put your body -another expression that suits you perfectly- and try to meet the other as much as possible. the nickname of “cluster” it is associated with self-help meetings, which are also seen in this series. and the one of “equipment” it is already printed from a corporate charge and, therefore, hypocritical. The idea of “family”on the other hand, is loaded with another weight.

Although there are usually (bad) salaries involved, the family in gastronomy it is felt, with its contradictions, frictions and flats, there, between a Rorschach frying on the dish towel and fingers ready for a crimewith their fingertips victims of dull reflexes before the rubbing of pots, pans and steaming pans, and countless sharp objects.

Christopher Storer, the creator of the series Bearseems to have it well present. Storer come from producing and directing several episodes of Ramythe series that shows the spiritual conflict of an American Muslim kid of Egyptian origin. Perhaps another of the jewels that is not well known because it is on a platform not available in Argentina (Hulu).

► The family pack weighs more

In the opening scene Bear we see Carmy (Carmen) facing a bear. It is not necessary to stop at the veracity of the fight, the important thing is the figure it represents. Besides bear, bear In English it also refers to carry the weight on one’s backand that will be (part of) the burden that Jeremy Allen White carries throughout the entire show: precisely the work in gastronomy, attentive, among other things, to postural health.

Maybe a little of that will Bear. Escaping bias, the series opens with “what no one tells you about cooking” and, even within the parameters of fiction, It allows to know something of the dynamics of a local food.

There is not the cliché of eschatological revenge for the annoying customer (the diners do not even have a dialogue) but you do learn the reason why brunch is the worst thing that can happen to the gastronomic employeeor how to tolerate setbacks while everything seems to be falling apart around you. And there is also room for heavy jokes and after-dinner.

It is not something that happens often on the screen: if they are not reality shows that choose to squeeze the participants and sometimes weave a macabre alliance with the public, virtual lynching included (see Samantha Y bake-off); are the specials that a certain platform produces on a specific food, or “representative” regional tours, but so biased that they border on parody.

There are also the programs of some millionaire chef who strives with his generosity to demonstrate how easy it is to eat simple just holding a copper pot at the foot of a mountainside in the company of a dog whose fur matches the intensity of the river in the background…

► Enquilombaditos bears

The story of Bear It takes place in eight chapters of half an hour each, and can be seen in one sitting. A tragic episode in Carmen’s family leads him to take responsibility for The Beefhis brother’s place. Michael left no guides or tips. But a background as a chef in “the best restaurant in the world” and the feeling of keeping alive part of what his brother used to be (and what Carmen still wonders about) are enough to take charge of a counter tarnished by grease and the colleagues who mark the pulse there. There he will hire Sidney, who will prepare the dishes for the staff, since he will quickly be transformed.

In The Beef noodles, sandwiches and some smuggled risotto are cooked. But its structure and storytelling is as exact a science as baking: as precise and calculated as Marcus trying to create the perfect donut in his free potholes. The series is built from a premise that indicates that in the kitchen you are always against the clockand it will be those needles that will constantly haunt Carmy.

Carmy does not arrive: he does not manage to deliver the order, but he does not manage to pay the meat supplier either, he does not have enough tomato cans, nor are the discussions with his sister enough to let off steam. There is not mise en place that it endures on this work table that is its head.

Everything looks good and not like an Instagram filter aesthetic: good because it feels realthe sticky floors, the potholes, Carmy’s unwashed hair, her smudged tattoos, veteran Tina’s frustrations, Richie’s rogue attitudes, the cousin with whom she is in business by force (Ebon Moss-Bachrach, the Marnie’s unbearable boyfriend in Girls).

Bear is torn between constant frustrations and the repression of what the characters feel. Those who make up the universe of the series are enduring what they feel and think, they are machines whose mechanics take their neurosis to the extreme. And when they explode, they take everything with them. It is that, at least in the first season, no romantic suggestions for anyone.

Credit: The Bear Press

► An exceptional dish

In the absence of an opening, the series that takes place in “Chicagoland” frames its soundtrack with an obvious but no less precise path: Wilco, R.E.M., John Mayer, Sufjan Stevens, and Radiohead they put music to the fights and support the certainty that there is still something to believe in.

The actor who plays the lead manages to remove the white muscle and Lip’s alcohol, the character he held in the series Shameless for eleven years (!). Who saw that hardcore version of Party of 5/summer of ’98 they will have the feeling of having seen him grow (it is logical: he started at 19 and finished at 30). Although it seems that the title of fictional brother carries him as karma and what is even better: it confirms his acting strength..

On top of that, the 20 minutes of chapter 7 are among the most disturbing on television in 2022. And, as the Reddit comments say, watching it makes you want to smoke even if you don’t have the habit. The sequence shot and the sensation of real time are just one of the many resources that conceive Bear What one of the series of the year.

It had its premiere in June, and days before its end, the recording of its sequel was already announced. Apparently it will be able to be seen by Star + from October. And if you don’t want to wait, the virtual communities know well why pavilions go looking for it. Bon Appetit.

The Bear, one of the best-served series of the year | Eight half-hour chapters that get into the blood, sweat and grease of kitchens