With Rotten Tomatoes reviews of a rare perfect 100% score, the new Hulu series “The Bear” was a must-see from the start. Jeremy Allen White plays Carmen ‘Carmy’ Berzatto, who takes over his late brothers’ mostly run-down but high quality restaurant in the city of Chicago. Very quickly, within this 8 part Hulu series we see how hard it is to run and work in a restaurant like this. This is about nonstop movement, standing up all day, workers crashing into each other within a crowded kitchen, constant cooking, and cleanup. Never ending pressure to get the food done, always within an impossible time limit. Under conditions like this, people lose their temper, they can get very angry and impatient all the time.
Aside from all of this, the owner of the restaurant – in this case Carmen Berzatto (where the movie title Bear comes from) is in financial peril, trying to pay of huge debts that his brother, who committed suicide left behind. Another mainstay of the restaurant Richard ‘Richie’ Jerimovich played by Ebon Moss-Bachrach creates even more tension in the kitchen with his never ending bad moods and anger over one thing or another. His constant outbursts at times I thought was too over the top, but did create many great moments of solid acting by him, his cousin Carmen and other workers in the kitchen.
The third most important character in this series is Sydney Adamu, played by Ayo Edebiri is an extremely ambitious and intelligent chef at a level that one would wonder why she would want to work in such a run down restaurant. Her ambition causes major conflict in many well acted scenes with both Richard and Carmen and also another chef Tina who is jealous of Syndey’s higher position in the kitchen.
Ultimately all of this outstanding acting and constant movement and conflict over 8 great episodes, including the great food they all make creates huge respect for anyone who works in any high frequented restaurant within any major city in this country. This is very hard work, under huge amounts of pressure 8-12 hours a day, and for more than 5 days a week.
There is a good reason why this series is getting such high marks – it deserves it. I highly recommend The Bear.