Sunday, July 3, 2022

Round Two: The Bear

The Bear: Season 1, Episode 2 “Hands” (B+)

It was very jarring to see just how hellish life was at the restaurant Carmy used to work at, with no form of encouragement being given and instead him being told by Joel McHale’s monster chef that he should be dead. It’s possible that wasn’t entirely a memory and rather a nightmare based on the abuse he endured, but things are definitely very different in his newfound culinary home. I wasn’t entirely sure if this show was a comedy, but then we got hilarious moments like the inspector responding “He doesn’t look dead” when they were talking about the owner. Richie continues to be the biggest thorn in Carmy’s side, having a suspended license that was good enough for him to drive into work in the morning but not for him to go run important errands that were very necessary. Pairing him up with Sydney was an interesting choice, since she has a far sunnier attitude but also recognizes that she deserves to be paid for the work that she’s doing. I was thrilled to see Oliver Platt in the cast as Uncle Jimmy since he always plays terrific characters, and I also want to mention Abby Elliott, who I remember watching on the short-lived sitcom “Indebted,” who portrays Sugar, who knows just who Carmy is and how seriously to take his stories about throwing up every day before work. That episode-ending realization that he was the one who left his cigarettes there when he was doubting others’ commitment to safety and cleanliness was a great way to remind him of how much of an uphill battle he’ll still have to fight.

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