‘The Bear’ Season 2 Review: Sumptuous And Wholesome Season Is Packed With Delicious Performances

You would be lying if you said that after watching season one of The Bear, you hadn’t been eagerly waiting for the second season to drop. Season one of this comedy-drama set a benchmark when it comes to writing, direction, cinematography, emotions, and performance. Season two, or as the makers are putting it, Season 2 of The Bear, surely carried the burden of being as good as the first one, if not better. It is a delight to let the fans of this show know that The Bear Season 2 has managed to exceed expectations when it comes to presenting a powerful season. Many good shows in any genre end up losing steam by the time the follow -up season is out, mainly due to the pressure. Keeping this in mind, The Bear has delivered, and how. Read our review to learn more.

As the first season ended with Carmy finding the cash left by his brother Mikey, a decision was made to replace “The Original Beef of Chicagoland” with The Bear, a high-concept fine dining restaurant. From a run-of-the-mill sandwich shop to a top culinary destination, the journey is strenuous and haywire, filled with drama, meltdowns, ego clashes, fear of closing, depleting funds, and bureaucracy (so much paperwork). But the end goal remains the same for everybody, and the entire second season is the journey of making the collective dream come true, no matter the endless obstacles presented in front of them. Will the restaurant open at the given time, or will they lose everything in the pursuit of wanting the impossible?

Chaos is the running theme, and part two of this show is like an extension of the energy carried forward by the characters from the first season. The screenplay here is written in such a manner that the back-and-forth conversations with intercuts of other characters speaking to each other do not become repetitive, thanks to some excellent dialogues that keep the show engaging till the last episode. This style of narrative is reminiscent of Aaron Sorkin’s style of writing. It looks like the writers had a tough job on their plates in making this look seamless, and the results are in front of you.

This time around, all the writers were not just focused on the pace of the show. There are many moments of silence, and slowing down of the narrative put across as a way to let the audience know of the transitions that certain characters are going through. This season allowed the writers to breathe, spread out, and develop characters at their own pace without hampering the main plot. The writing did take detours, but it ended up routing them back to the main goal of the central characters, which is to make sure The Bear opens to the public on the designated date.

Episode four, ‘Honeydew,’ written by Stacy Osei- Kuffour is dedicated to Marcus and his trip to Copenhagen. It is the best episode of The Bear Season 2 because, in just 29 minutes, the writers bring out plenty of calmness, which is how Marcus is as a person. The conversation between Marcus and dessert chef Luca comes across as effortless and is the highlight of the show. Here, the two of them are neither friends nor strangers, but there is an air of awkwardness, and they stick to conversing more about their work and less about their private lives, which shows the understanding that the writers have of human relationships. You have got to watch this episode to understand why this soft approach toward the narrative was required in this high-octane drama. The same can be said of the episode ‘Forks,’ written by Alex Russell which focuses on Richie and how he unlearns his misgivings and embraces the fact that age is just a number, and he can restart his life at any given point. This not only boosts his confidence but also kills the mid-life crisis that he was going through. An excellently written episode that has a delightful cameo.

The Bear has its drawbacks in the form of an hour-long Christmas episode, in which the narrative became repetitive. The episode could have been 20 minutes shorter if not for the creator’s greed to show the audience mayhem in the form of infighting in the family. This one episode single-handedly brought the energy down when the effect should have been the opposite. On a side note, the writers also forgot Carmy’s AA meeting subplot, which was essential for him to grow out of the guilt as an individual.

The humor never leaves the screenplay because it has been embedded in the narrative in such a way that it would be hard to separate the two. The comedy works because it is too close to real life for most people, and it would be appalling to deny that the humor in this show is way too realistic. The constant banter between Neil, Richie, and Natalie is a hoot that screams of great chemistry between the actors and their brilliant comic timing. But apart from comedy, there are emotions that the writers on the show deal with in the most honest way. The fear of phasing out, apprehension about the longevity of the restaurant, relationship woes, family dynamics, guilt, and horrid memories are some of the prime sentiments that most of the characters feel. There is no over-the-top theatrics, but only self-acceptance and moving on.

The outstanding execution of this screenplay is where the viewers get to see the caliber of the directors, who leave no stone unturned when it comes to giving them everything mentioned above. There is a sense of control displayed in this world of disarray. Creator-director Christopher Storer, along with his other peers Joanna Calo and Ramy Youssef, sets an example of a tight narrative that would only work if the director helming the story and the script were aware of what they wanted from every single person working on each episode. The long shots are back again this season to let the audience witness the kitchen becoming alive and understanding how chaotic it can get.

The editing, the cinematography, and some excellent soundtracks stand out in The Bear Season 2, and we could stretch it and say it is better than the first season because this time around, there are more sentiments to deal with. The shots of Sydney imagining what would be on her final plate at the restaurant are an excellent addition to the narrative. Joanna Naugle, Adam Epstein, and Nia Imani’s editing make the entire show even more exciting.

Coming to the most important aspect of The Bear Season 2, the performances which are a bonus just like in season one. The lead actors as the protagonists in this high-energy show are at the top of their game for delivering their career-best performances. As artists they do not slow down on the spark required to pull off these roles till the end of this season. They are excited, agitated, funny, and tense at the same time, and many of these emotions are delivered with finesse. In Sydney, we see the fear of losing her only shot to prove herself as a chef. Carmy and Natalia are on the verge of losing everything if The Bear does not work. But their dynamics throughout the show are easily one of the best subplots because, as siblings, they know each other very well. Tina is elated to be made the new sous chef, and the culinary school experience changed her perspective on how food is prepared and served. Marcus, on the other hand, is on a journey to understand and expand his mind about the subject he loves, desserts. Implementing such a complex tale would have been impossible without these actors. Jeremy Allen White’s eyes themselves should be rewarded for the depth they exude on various occasions.

It is hard to forget some of the most charming, and the loudest cameos can be seen in this season. Will Poulter, Bob Odenkirk, Jamie Lee Curtis, Sarah Paulson, and Olivia Colman leave quite the impact on the lead characters and their arc. There are no villains in this show. Each of them is on a journey to become an improved version of themselves. They want to see and help each other grow. The Bear Season 2 can be termed one of the best second seasons and one of the best shows of this year, again. Enjoy a heartfelt tale of sheer dedication and hard work. The Bear is worth every bit of your time.

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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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The Bear Season 2 can be termed one of the best second seasons and one of the best shows of this year, again. Enjoy a heartfelt tale of sheer dedication and hard work. The Bear is worth every bit of your time.'The Bear' Season 2 Review: Sumptuous And Wholesome Season Is Packed With Delicious Performances