THE BEAR: SEASON TWO
Starring: Jeremy Allen White, Ayo Edebiri, Ebon Moss-Bachrach, Lionel Boyce, Liza Colón-Zayas, Abby Elliott, Matty Matheson, Edwin Lee Gibson, Corey Hendrix, and Oliver Platt
Creator: Christopher Storer
In culinary terms, if Season One of The Bear was an unexpected amuse-bouche, Season Two is the signature entrée on which a restaurant makes its name. From the terrific performances to the rich storytelling to the kinetic direction, this season elevates everything that made last season so engrossing by expanding outside of The Original Beef of Chicagoland to show the characters learning to be better chefs, and more importantly, better people. Each character gets an episode to shine, none more than Cousin Richie (Ebon Moss-Bachrach), and the string of A-list guest stars give award-worthy supporting turns with zero ego. It’s the best show on television.
The Bear’s first season was beautifully chaotic. The second season saw that, took a deep breath, held it a bit, and evolved into something chaotically beautiful. Slowing down the anxiety-ridden mayhem by half a second this season allows for greater depth of character and more beautifully written episodes. Plus, the longer season gives the actors time to live in their roles more authentically, while the direction and score feel specifically crafted to hone in on the show’s intensity. This season is a step up in every category, giving extra care to every detail to make it as meticulously crafted as the plates the chefs create.
As The Bear expands beyond the kitchen, it runs the risk of exposing weaknesses in the writing beyond the restaurant stress, yet it never loses a step. In fact, it gains a few. With a gangbuster lineup of guest stars and cameos, plus fantastic character work on the part of Ebon Moss-Bachrach and Ayo Edebiri, Season Two is an exceptionally calibrated mayhem of flavorful story melodies. Each episode is somehow more emotionally poignant and chaotic than the last (the Christmas episode in particular is an all-timer), and this is still the best pure Chicago story being told right now. Hats off!
Season Two of The Bear isn’t afraid to get messy in the kitchen, and that’s what makes it stand out from the pack. This fast-paced restaurant dramedy continues to grant its actors the opportunity to deliver top notch performances through its writing, especially Ebon Moss-Bachrach, the true stand out this season. But the way all these characters continue to develop and grow is exceptional. There is no sophomore slump here because Season Two serves us such a mesmerizing series of goods and chaos. I need another serving ASAP because I’m already hungry for Season Three!