THE BEAR – season 2. Is this how you cook a masterpiece? [REVIEW]
I will not dodge and avoid responsibility, I will just start straight from the bridge – the second season of The Bear is a masterpiece of the television. I believe it’s high time to seriously talk about this quiet pearl of streaming, which has matured like wine in the context of major awards. Such productions that go deep under the skin should be as loud as possible. The first season was already outstanding, the acting crushed me like a mortar and mortar extremely spicy spice, and the tension could be cut with a knife. However, some plot solutions were not perfect, especially that Deus ex machina in the finale. In the second season it is different, a little calmer and … much deeper, better, mature. Is it so intense? NO. But don’t worry, there are moments where sparks fly. This is the best production about the kitchen, where the kitchen is only a springboard to learn about difficult human passions and characters.
The creators of the phenomenon, which surprisingly for everyone became one of the biggest surprises of last year, knew that it was impossible to achieve the same effect of freshness as in the first season. Therefore, at the level of storytelling, they do not serve us a repeat of the entertainment, but explore the characters and add new ingredients to their menu. After all, from a subordinate pub with a soul, where beef sandwiches are sold, we are to change into a refined restaurant with a vision and panache. And so it is with the series – it grows, matures. That is why we have moments of calmness and incredible tension here, which are mixed with the right taste and intuition. This is a subdued dish in which the stakes are incredibly high from the very beginning, and it is a grand opening at an express pace. The tension and fears are almost tangible – you can feel them even when we catch our breath, we get to know our characters from a more intimate side. A lot of time in such moments gets especially the second set – cousin Richie, Marcus, Tina, Ebra and the rest of the crew (with my favorite Faks at the forefront). Each character travels the road, has been set in motion to gain experience, to prepare for a new role. Along the way, the heroes meet fascinating characters played by the likes of Will Poulter and Olivia Colman. Despite appearances, these short cameos give a lot to the show itself and the members of the former The Beef. But what is most impressive is Richie’s transformation. It pleases the eyes and the heart. Gives hope.
Does the slowdown mean there’s less tension that was The Bear’s trademark in season one? A bit like that, but it doesn’t lower the level of production, because thanks to the moments to catch your breath, especially at the level of narration and story building, we get something special. That’s why there is tension, because we know that at the end of each road there is a verification. There are also episodes where sparks just fly, the characters start having simultaneous dialogues with multiple voices again (how did they shoot it?!) and knives fly (actually forks). We get to know the real dramas, and that only raises the stakes. I lived this season together with the characters of the series, who became close to me like family. I was agitated and annoyed alternately. Especially the second half of the season was a real rollercoaster of emotions, after which I had to really embrace my emotions.
It is worth paying tribute to the silent hero of the series – music. The selection of the soundtrack to The Bear proves that music can also tell a story. Here, at the best moments, pieces appear, e.g. Pearl Jam or R.E.M. Then amazing things happen on the screen, and at times I was stuck in the chair. Compared to the first season, it is also better at the level of acting, which has been conquered here with the whole background and the presence of great stars – Bob Odenkirk, Jon Bernthal and Jamie Lee Curtis. Because Carmy, or Jeremy Allen White, already in the first season proved that he is one of the true successors of James Dean – his charisma, screen appropriation are unattainable for many actors of his generation. Fascinating, hypnotic guy. It gives a little space to others here, but it has its moments. First of all, he also presents us a slightly different, slightly less intense face of his character. Carmine is lost, he lacks focus and the actor managed to show this imbalance in an exemplary way. Not worse, however, are slightly annoying in the first season of Ebon Moss-Bachrach as Richie or Abby Elliott as Sugar. In the second, they win everything. It’s thanks to the plot, the way they lead their threads. A unique case. However, when Odenkirk and Lee Curtis enter the arena … we enter a completely different playing density. Outstanding actors, even with a small amount of time, simply gave a show here. Charisma, emotions and commitment – pure class.
Many creators should learn from The Bear how to build suspense in the series. It’s a different format from the film, and the show should be a textbook for its creation at film studios. And theoretically, it’s just the story of opening a new restaurant. Short episodes were perfect for me, and the number of emotional layers, amazing characters, clashes and frictions is as large as the ingredients of the best dish. I fell in love and with baked goods (obligatory from Marcus) watched each subsequent episode. In the second season, we got great transformations, unique guest appearances that overwhelm with acting, and at the same time do not take the palm of precedence from the main characters. I would also like to make it sound – episodes 6, 7 and the finale should be honored with all possible awards. The end remains open, it gives some possibilities. Will we get a sequel? I hope so, because I’m hungry already.