The bear has become one of the hottest binge-watches of the summer since it debuted on Hulu in June. All eight episodes were canceled at once, and the show was an instant hit with both audiences and critics.
Eric Schrier, President of FX Entertainment, has admitted that the series, set in a fast-paced restaurant kitchen, “exceeded expectations”. And they’ve already given the green light for a second season. However, some industry experts say the show is extremely difficult to watch simply because it’s so accurate.
Hulu and FX can’t wait for The Bear Season 2
The bear has been a hot topic on social media for real life chefs and alumni of the service industry for the week since its premiere. The series follows Carmen “Carmy” Berzatto (Jeremy Allen White), an award-winning gourmet chef who takes over his brother’s failing Chicago sandwich shop to make it a success.
The show takes a look back at his past life and experiences in the toxic, fancy restaurant kitchen where he worked. But it also highlights his struggles and the professional demons he has while working in the kitchen of his family’s restaurant.
“The bear has exceeded our wildest creative, critical and commercial expectations. We deeply appreciate the brilliant work led by creator and co-showrunner Christopher Storer and co-showrunner Joanna Calo,” Schrier said, per Cinema Blend.
“Jeremy Allen White’s lead is spectacular, as are his co-stars Ebon Moss-Bachrach, Ayo Edebiri, Abby Elliott, Lionel Boyce and Liza Colón-Zayas. We can’t wait to start working on Season 2.”
For some professionals it is too precise
The bear and his depiction of two different types of professional kitchens is making waves among industry professionals. The first episode immediately captivates viewers with the fast pace and chaos of the job.
But for many who have that actual job in real life, seeing him on a TV show isn’t necessarily their first choice for entertainment. Bon Appetit ran an article on chefs’ reactions to the series, and many said it was difficult to watch because it’s so accurate.
“I know I didn’t get far enough on the show to see where it ends, but I felt like I couldn’t get that in my head,” said former pastry chef Riley Redfern.
Alix Baker, Private Chef and Chopped Winner, said, “Like Carmy, I had nightmares about getting food to the wrong table, burning my mise en place, and not showing up our product order on time.”
Some Former Food Service Employees Have A Love-Hate Relationship With ‘The Bear’
Critic and entertainment writer Walter Chaw accepted Twitter to share this viewing The bear almost gave him a panic attack. But also made him miss his time in a kitchen.
“The bear simultaneously gives me a post-traumatic panic attack and misses being in the kitchen, so I guess I can say that it nails the addictive quality of constantly getting your butt off a thankless job AND ALSO the fame of being on a team work that gets it. I’m not kidding about the panic attack. After the first episode I got up and walked around the block.”
Screenwriter/Author Joshua Hall praised The bearand called it “wonderful” for its ability to “bring to life the chaos and energy of working in a kitchen/restaurant”. However, he did admit that Episode 7 almost gave him PTSD from his days as a chef.
A viewer shared this binge-watching The bear — and seeing how accurate it was — brought back a bunch of memories.
“We ate The bear (Hulu) last weekend. The accuracy of the series brought back so many memories. I mean, if you haven’t used a quart container as a drinking cup or cried in the walk-in, can you *really* say you’ve worked in a kitchen?” the fan wrote.
It’s so accurate it “triggers”
A chef who has worked in Michelin-starred restaurants says the trauma in high-end restaurant cooking in The bear was triggering.
“I used to work in Michelin star restaurants and at the last restaurant I worked a sous chef asked me if I was stupid and if there was something wrong with me because I didn’t understand what they ask of me. I replied in the only way I knew how, “Yes chef,” wrote chef Genevieve Yam.
“I barely got through The bear. Not because I thought it was bad television — but because it was the most accurate depiction of life in a restaurant kitchen I’ve seen in a long time. It was so accurate it triggered.”
From the details of spilling an entire Cambro veal stock to someone cranking up the stove when you weren’t looking, a cutthroat kitchen has never been portrayed so accurately.
This was noted by former chef Wesley Chen The bear shows the painful reality of kitchen work and the emotional and physical toll it can take. He says leaving the industry was the best decision he could have made. Although he “could have done great things” if he’d continued, he says it would have driven him insane.
What did “The Bear” do so right?
What makes the show so right? A lot of. The unexpected health checks and overwhelmed, stressed cooks are accurate. The cloudiness that’s occurring isn’t uncommon, a source told PureWow, but it’s more about competition.
“The thing about cooking is that it’s like a sport – you can’t really hide a lack of skills, everyone knows them and everyone is fighting for higher positions in the kitchen. So you have to prove yourself,” the insider shared.
Another detail The bear right is the fast pace, high energy, and yelling and scolding in fine dining when something isn’t perfect.
“Every time something doesn’t go right, chefs have done this to me because they’re upset. They yell at you that they might throw things at you. In my case, they kicked things my way,” the source added.
“If you watch the chef the entire show, he looks incredibly drained and tired and like he’s had his soul ripped out… You just always feel totally drained and utterly hopeless, but for some reason — mostly the fact that it’s your passion – you keep going back.”
The bear Season 1 is now streaming on Hulu.
TIED TOGETHER: The Bear: The show’s creator says he knows the season finale seems “absurd,” but insists the events were based on real-life situations