The second season of The Bear did the impossible by somehow transcending its excellent first season. If you haven’t seen it yet, you’re missing out on one of the best shows of 2023. If you’d rather not take my word for it (I’m hurt, but I understand), then you should read a hysterical and effusive review from a chef at a Michelin Star restaurant instead.
This week, user elpaco313 on Reddit explained that he and his friends who worked together in Chicago have had a monthly movie and TV show review phone call for the past few years. Last month, the topic of choice was The Bear. During the call, one of the friends played a voicemail from a chef, which elpaco313 transcribed for the rest of us to enjoy:
I never watch culinary shows. I can’t f*****g stand them. I definitely cannot stand the competition shows, but even the movies like the Bradley Cooper movie [‘Burnt’] was just so overdone. The ‘Chef’ movie with John Favreau was good, but it was very Hollywood tongue-in-cheek. This f*****g show did their homework and they got it right. Every f*****g detail about this, they really did their f*****g homework.
Like that one scene where he’s supposed to be at 11 Madison Park and the chef [Joel McHale] comes out and he’s like, whispering in his ear that he’s a piece of s**t and he’s nothing. Like holy… how many times that’s happened to me? How many f*****g times someone stole my mise en place, or hid something, or I’ve hid something from someone or… Just everything about that show, they f*****g nailed, man. They really did their f*****g homework.
And it’s really great, I really like the angle that they brought from, like a three-star Michelin chef, going back to run a f*****g beef sandwich spot, but trying to run it like a three-star Michelin restaurant. Like, every chef has gone through that and it’s like… It’s just… every chef goes through that man! Every chef, like works at a three-star Michelin restaurant, then goes back to their hometown and works at some like country club or something and tries to change it… And it’s real, man! It’s a f*****g good show. They did a good job.
If you told me the “chef” in question was really Richie from The Bear (Ebon Moss-Bachrach), I’d probably believe you. But it goes to show just how much thought and care went into the scripts, the sets, and the characterizations. Creator Christopher Storer’s sister Courtney has worked in kitchens all over the world and served as a culinary producer on the show alongside chef Matty Matheson (Neil Fak on the show) to infuse as much realism as possible.
Of course, none of that would matter if the show wasn’t so gripping and propulsive and deeply, deeply satisfying. I can’t stress enough how thrilled I am that this show got another season, and I’m hoping that once the studios make a deal with the writers and actors, FX will officially renew The Bear for season 3. In the meantime, the internet seems to be obsessively tracking The Bear star Jeremy Allen White everywhere he goes, if that interests you.