‘The Bear’ Review Analysis: A High-octane Restaurant Drama

The saddest part about “The Bear” is that the show has ended. Created by Christopher Storer, “the Bear” is an FX original that premiered on Hulu on June 23rd, 2022. It’s all about the highly dysfunctional kitchen of a restaurant that is on the verge of closure, but the current owner and chef, Carmen “Carmy” Berzatto (Jeremy Allen White), wants to keep it running to continue the legacy left by his brother Mikey and their father. Set in Chicago, the restaurant is named “The Beef of Chicagoland” and was passed down to him by his brother Michael “Mickey” (Jon Bernthal), who killed himself.


“The Bear” largely is a tale of love, loss of a loved one, the amount of grief attached to it, and moving on, coupled with creating food to make their patrons/regular customers happy. The eight episodic miniseries thoroughly explain various facets of loved one carries, the passion for the work they do, and the sticking with the family no matter how ugly things can get. “The Bear” is packed with all kinds of tear-inducing emotions that will tug at your heart long after the show finishes. The show beautifully captures emotions of love and passion that every single person carries in their heart to make sure their restaurant doesn’t serve substandard food. An old-school storytelling idea with new-age sentiments is an ideal combination on screen because it brings out the overall narrative strongly.

The story of “The Bear” is simple and takes place in the confined space of a kitchen. Their daily routines, daily budget problems, coming up with new dishes to bring in a change in the menu slowly and steadily, prepping the food, serving the food; all of this and more are showcased almost accurately. There are a handful of fiction dramas about the functioning of the restaurant, and a realistic take on running the whole eatery is filled with anxiety. The show is packed with a layered screenplay backed by intense direction and dialogues that go on like a bullet train, not waiting for a minute to stop. But that adds to the beauty of the tight screenplay, which refuses to falter at any cost. The cherry on top of this cake is the performances of the actors, who refuse to slow down and go along with the pacing of the narrative.


What stands out about “The Bear” is how subtly Christopher Storer has packed in the noise by showcasing how Carmy is busy managing and running the restaurant. Writers with finesse have blended the concepts of grief, loss of a loved one, moving on, and support from friends and family effectively. Carmy is visibly affected by his older brother’s untimely passing by suicide and is distracting himself by plunging into the nitty-gritty of running the restaurant that his brother had left for him. To keep the legacy of his brother and father, Carmy decides to give it a minor revamp without changing the overall essence of the eatery. Carmy refuses to handle the grief that overwhelms him to the point where he freezes in front of the burner for a few seconds. Carmy somehow wants the fire to consume him so that he no longer has to live and carry the burden of guilt. The need to consult support groups to confront the demons of the mind is highlighted as Carmy decides to take it upon himself to open up and talk about his growing sadness. The show also highlights the grief felt by Carmy and Mikey’s sister Natalie “sugar” and their friend Richard aka “cousin,” on the passing of Mikey. “The Bear” does not go on an overdrive highlighting the pain everybody is in but showcases them concisely and effectively. Each episode of 30 minutes is packed with such strong sentiments, which is where the beauty of the screenplay lies. In half an hour, “the Bear” conveys humor and love in a minimalistic manner.

“The Bear” is too realistic in its portrayal of a restaurant of a small scale, such as the Beefland, which sustains on day-to-day earnings, keeps the expenses under the budget, manages the egos of the staff, and lets in a potential new person who can be the restaurant’s beacon of change. The dynamics the colleagues share is the highlight of the show. As Carmy envisions, there is no hierarchy in this restaurant, which adds to the charm of “The Bear,” making all the characters highly likable. Problems are part and parcel of their daily routine, and everyone contributes to finding a solution for every setback they face. Be it a bad grade from the food inspector, a major plumbing issue in the kitchen, the electricity conking off for a day, or a pre-order malfunction. The team faces these issues like one, highlighting the fact that they ally with the vision Carmy has for the Beefland and believe he has the potential in him to make this establishment big. The motivation factor, the courage to move on, carrying truckloads of patience, and adjusting to a change is the learning curve all of them adapt to.


Anxiety is a common thread that links the Beefland team. There is chaos, screaming matches, shots of vegetable cutting, and the mess which is routinely found in a kitchen; all of this forms the high-octane drama which is packed with humor in the eight episodes of the show. The restaurant forms a sense of claustrophobia as the camera, for 90% of the show, is in the confined space of the kitchen. On the other hand, a genuine concern brought up by Richie’s “cousin,” and Carmy’s sister Sugar is that the restaurant is losing its identity, for the eatery is situated in such a place that everything around it is getting shut down, paving the way for new restaurants. That’s where Carmy comes in with Sydney (Ayo Edebiri), who wants a minor change, not an overhaul, without seeming like a sellout. Sydney is a breath of fresh air who wants to work with Carmy, for he is the most sought chef according to many food and hotel magazines. She willingly takes up the responsibility of bringing a sense of order to smoothen the functionality of the restaurant while it is open for both takeaways and dine-in.

“The Bear” ends with Carmy speaking for over 5 minutes at a support group meeting about how the loss of his brother deeply affects his day-to-day functioning. Jeremy Allen White’s performance in this one scene leaves a lump in the throat and makes the heart heavy with sadness. Carmy is also given a letter written by his now deceased brother, explaining, in short, to move on in life, followed by a family spaghetti recipe. The recipe turned out to be a solution to a major problem that Carmy and his colleagues were facing. It turns out one of the ingredients, a tin can of tomato puree, contains cash that has been sitting in the pantry for months. Carmy realizes the transformation he can bring about from the money left behind and decides to take the leap and rebrand his restaurant. The show surely ends with the hope that Carmy will restart the restaurant with a brand-new name and a new menu but with the same crew backing him. “The Bear” has come close to being a screenplay/story high on emotions. Christopher Storer has a winner here, and it is a must-watch.


“The Bear” is now streaming on Disney+ Hotstar with subtitles.

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Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan is a cinema enthusiast, and a part time film blogger. An ex public relations executive, films has been a major part of her life since the day she watched The Godfather – Part 1. If you ask her, cinema is reality. Cinema is an escape route. Cinema is time traveling. Cinema is entertainment. Smriti enjoys reading about cinema, she loves to know about cinema and finding out trivia of films and television shows, and from time to time indulges in fan theories.

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