The latest hit show to arrive on DisneyPus is the comedy-drama series The Bear. Though I should point out it's not a comedy. At least not in the traditional sense.
Created by Christopher Storer, The Bear premiered on Hulu in June 2022 and stars Jeremy Allen White as Carmen “Carmy” Berzatto.
So what is The Bear all about?
What Is The Bear About?
Carmen Berzatto (known as Bear) is an award-winning New York City chef who has returned home to run his family sandwich shop in Chicago following the death of his brother Michael.
Everything about this restaurant is chaotic. It's a total mess. Run down and with no organisation, no structure, and no money, Bear attempts to save Original Beef of Chicagoland.
A chink of light appears in the form of Sydney (Ayo Edebiri), a talented but inexperienced sous chef.
Between them, Carmy and Sydney must navigate strained familial relationships, the unruly staff and bring some order to the restaurant to keep it afloat.
Easier said than done when Carmy struggles to overcome his brother's suicide, discovers that there are debts of more than $300,000 and that nobody wants to get on board with his plan.
Can The Bear bring the fine dining world to the family's sandwich shop and save it from going under?
The Bear Official Trailer
Is The Bear Worth Watching?
The very first thing to note about The Bear is that you are instantly dropped into the chaos.
The kitchen is small and rundown. Everybody is screaming and shouting. The music is loud. You wonder how on earth anybody could work like that.
That's the point. It's visual anxiety designed to reflect the mess the young chef has found himself in.
Every single time he tries something new, there's another barrier in his way. Most of the time that's Richie, the manager of the restaurant and Michael's old best friend.
But what makes The Bear so good is that as small changes are made, the chaos decreases and the quietness increases, reflecting the transition of the sandwich shop.
Yes, some parts are funny but The Bear is most definitely a drama and a really good one at that. It's spot on when it comes to human behaviour and the way that stressed-out people talk to each other.
All of the characters have depth and a realness about them that is lacking in a lot of other shows.
It's heartfelt and heartbreaking, and by the end of the eight episodes, you are rooting for every person on the show and crossing your fingers that Original Beef can survive, if only to get a second season.
And also, if Jeremy Allen White doesn't get nominated for a string of awards, it will be a travesty!
The Bear Season 2
Such was the success of the first season of The Bear that just three weeks after the first episode aired, it was renewed for a second season.
We expect The Bear season 2 to air at the same time in 2023.
Is The Bear A True Story?
The Bear is based on the legendary Chicago Italian beef sandwich shop, Mr. Beef and the character of Carmy (Jeremy Allen White) is loosely based on real-life Chicago chef, Charlie Trotter.
How closely the show really resembles either the sandwich shop or the chef is debatable.
The Bear Cast
Jeremy Allen White (Shameless) as Carmen Berzatto, a young fine dining chef who returns to Chicago to run his late brother Michael's failing restaurant.
Ebon Moss-Bachrach as Richie, the manager who is resistant to change.
Ayo Edebiri as Sydney Adamu, a strong willed and talented young chef who brings fresh ideas to improve The Beef.
Lionel Boyce as Marcus, The Beef's bread baker turned pastry chef.
Liza Colón-Zayas as Tina, the stubborn veteran line cook.
Oliver Platt as Jimmy Cicero, uncle of the Berzatto siblings and investor in the restaurant.
Abby Elliott as Natalie, Carmy and Michael's younger sister and reluctant co-owner of the family sandwich shop.
Edwin Lee Gibson as Ebraheim, a veteran line cook.
Matty Matheson as Neil Fak, the hilarious handyman for the restaurant.
José Cervantes as Angel, a dishwasher.
Corey Hendrix as Gary, a line cook.
Richard Esteras as Manny, a dishwasher.
Chris Witaske as Pete, Natalie's husband who is generally disliked by everyone.