[Editor’s note: The following contains some spoilers for The Bear Season 2.]
The Pitch: “You ever take into consideration function?”
It’s a query FX’s hit present The Bear places within the mouth of its largest loser, motor-mouthed fuckup “Cousin” Richie (Ebon Moss-Bachrach), however it could as nicely be on the minds of everybody on the restaurant. On the finish of Season 1, hothead younger chef Carmy (Jeremy Allen White, bleary-eyed and self-loathingly scorching) obtained a miracle — some would possibly say a contrived one — within the type of a stash of cash hidden in cans of peeled tomatoes.
It’s a parting present from his late brother Mikey (Jon Bernthal), and it’s sufficient to avoid wasting the enterprise, a failing Italian beef joint in River North Carmy’s struggled to run all season. Not simply that, however it’s sufficient cash to reinvent The Beef as a fine-dining restaurant that matches Carmy’s Michelin-star ambitions and people of the stalwart workers he’s come to know and respect over the course of the primary season.
And so, The Beef turns into The Bear, and Season 2 of The Bear turns into, in flip, about that transformation: not simply of the place, however of its occupants and their particular person and collective sense of function. With six months to open and eighteen to pay again Uncle Jimmy (Oliver Platt) for the cash he’s placing as much as assemble the place, the strain is on to get the place and the folks prepared for service.
Michelin Unattainable — Bread Reckoning: Whereas Season 1 of The Bear was a compelling watch, it was additionally fairly uneven. There was the obvious dissonance of its Chicago setting, the skinny scope of the present leaving secondary characters on the again burner, the shaky nature of its premise (Are you able to flip Mr. Beef into Avec? Extra importantly, why would you?). Although blessed with a performer as brittle and sophisticated as White, Carmy was nonetheless the prototypical tortured genius we’d seen one million occasions earlier than on TV.