Get ready to add “Yes, chef!” to your daily repertoire because bear, a new, critically acclaimed drama set in a busy hole-in-the-wall style sandwich shop in downtown Chicago, will finally arrive in Australia next month.
The series debuted in the US in June this year to stellar reviews, pulling in an impressive 100 per cent critical approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and will hit Disney+ on August 31. It’s already been hailed by some critics as the best TV series of the year.
Bear follows the journey of chef Carmen “Carmy” Berzatto (Jeremy Allen White, who you might recognize from Shameless) from the world of high dining to The Original Beef of Chicagoland, his family’s sandwich shop. Carmy takes over the sandwich joint following the death of his brother, who previously ran things.
Sydney Adamu (Ayo Edebiri, Big Mouth) joins the kitchen – a “brigade” Carmy is keen to call it, styled on his familiarity with fine dining kitchens – and quickly rejects the “toxic hierarchical shitshow” that the new owner has turned it into.
While audiences are familiar with the internal workings of modern restaurants and the egos of many chefs thanks to Hell’s Kitchen and Chef’s Table, Bear has been praised for its scarily accurate portrayal of what hospitality life is really like. The tense and frighteningly speedy movements in the highly confined Original Beef kitchen are a far closer representation of current workplaces in commercial kitchens.
And it has received high praise from critics worldwide because it’s not just about a kitchen.
“The Bear is preoccupied with masculinity,” wrote critic Sophie Gilbert in TheAtlantic, “and almost anthropological in its analysis of the ways in which men and male-dominated cultures are set up to fail.”
The show has quickly become one of the most popular TV events of the year, spreading through word-of-mouth and critical acclaim. It’s been widely praised by those in the restaurant business for its interrogation of modern hospitality work culture, drug use and mental health issues.