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Carm Berzatto of The Bear in his restaurant's kitchen

The Bear

Carm, of The Bear, in his restaurant's kitchen.
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It was brought to my wandering attention by fellow internet users that a new show was out and catching the adoration of cinephiles and non-cinephiles worldwide. The show goes by ‘The Bear,’ and the internet fellas pointed out that it was unique and even superb in the cinematography, plot, and acting departments. 

Obviously, I ignored the noise because it was the same internet fellas who had highly recommended mediocre shows like You, Riverdale, and Sex Life, which I earnestly watched, only to discover they were utter shitshows. Because of this, I swore on my hairy three-piece set that I wouldn’t be caught dead watching media and internet-hyped films and TV shows.

Soon after I made the resolute vow to put my manhood on the line, The Bear went on to win pretty much every Emmy, SAGA, Golden Globe, and whatever other ancient Caucasian-made award it was nominated for. I’d also read many critic reviews that really gassed the show, and so an executive decision was made—I would try to watch the show only because the hype around it was too substantial to ignore.

The first season was quickly downloaded, and a watch party involving Me, Mary, and Capt. Morgan was assembled for a nice Friday evening of (supposed) primetime TV.

I watched the whole thing that weekend and wasn’t particularly mindblown, but I did recognize that there was something special there. It certainly wasn’t TV fodder meant to murder time and fill up the quietness of living rooms and minds. 

The music, the shots, the characters, and the acting were all on point, but I still had doubts in the plot department. I felt like the show didn’t know what it was or what it was trying to be. In writers’ lingo, it hadn’t found its voice. That’s why it was weeks later before I proceeded with the second season, and ‘twas only because of the familiarity I’d built with the characters that I soon found myself missing them and wondering where their paths would lead them. 

The second season was downloaded faster than you can spell scrotum, a steaming plate of ugali beef was readied and set on the table, and the Play button was pressed. By the end of the first episode, I was convinced that the show was the real deal. Not only had they found their footing from S01, they were also marching in big strides toward GOATED territory. 

I completed the second season in a week and thought about it for several more, trying to pin down what exactly made it so brilliant and original. Here are my conclusions.


Nostalgia is what crossed the thinker first. It stood out the most while I was watching, as it reminded me of feel-good TV shows that dominated the 2000s and early 2010s. I’m talking shows like HIMYM, Friends, My Wife and Kids, 2.5 Men, Still Standing, Gilmore Girls, Modern Family, and Teen Wolf. 

These shows followed a simple formula: the story centered around a small group of young adult friends navigating life’s downs and ups, the plot was infused with a perfect balance of drama and comedy, and old rock music was perfectly placed on moving scenes. The world ate up these shows in a manner that can only be compared to how my 2021 Throat Queen gobbled up my **** and *****. 

The Bear’s creators must have been fans of these shows because they took the archaic Hollywood formula, dusted it off, and said, “Hii bado inaweza tumika,” then proceeded to improve it and use it. 

They were able to evade the major flaw of feel-good TV: being too cheesy, too corny, and too white. So when there’s a profound scene on The Bear, it never feels corny and unearned. The characters are also well-written and honest, and the dialogue is natural and real. As a result, The Bear feels like watching old sitcoms and dramedy shows, only with a more authentic story, more layered characters, and unique cinematography. 


What Mr. Pep Guardiola, a nymphomaniac hunting for her nut, and The Bear’s writers have in common is their mastery of tempo. 

In an interview I once saw of Mr. Pep, he insistently pointed out that his football meta was all about controlling the pace of the game. He mostly trained his players on regulating tempo—knowing when to take more than a touch and keep the ball, when to release it early and speed the game up with one-touch passing, when to pass back, sideways, and forward, and how to control the weight of the pass. The result was that the opponent would almost always be caught flat-footed, a step behind, due to the unpredictable nature of the play. Now, the Blue City has some of the most silky football you’ll ever see. 

The lady looking for a nut also minds tempo more than anything. In my teenage years of rebellious curiosity, I read a few adult magazines and articles on the female nut — how it works, its features, its pros and cons, etc. One of the most common advice for men was to mind the pacing, i.e., do not change your stroke pace (stroke/second) as your bedmate approaches climax. If you did this, her rev gauge would drop to zero, and you would have to build her up again — an endeavor many gentlemen would rather not undertake due to mouth dryness and general body exhaustion. On the contrary, if you were able to maintain the tempo during that crucial time, she would harvest her nut successfully, and she would love you forever.   

The Bear’s creators seem to have studied Mr. Pep’s football and the female sex apparatus because they’ve mastered pacing in the show’s second season. What I first noticed was how the show would vary between casual and intense moments.

In the final episode, for example, Carm and his kitchen coterie are opening their new restaurant to the first batch of diners. There’s tension and restlessness in the backroom (kitchen), with everyone on edge and nearing their tipping points, as things aren’t going well. 

The show brings out the chaos using fast, continuous tracking shots, quick-paced incidental music, and loud, angry dialogues. Then, somewhere in the middle, all of this stops when Carm’s unhinged (and unwelcomed) mother shows up outside the restaurant, contemplating whether she should get in. Carm’s overly cheerful bro-in-law sees the mom through the window and walks out to urge her inside. 

Suddenly, the upbeat music completely disappears, and our focus is shifted to the two characters. The conversation is long, raw, honest, and real, and you completely forget the chaotic disposition that preceded it. 

Throughout the season, varying tempo is used a lot, and the result is amazing. It makes the show unpredictable; you can’t tell where an episode is going within the first few minutes like you would with classic sitcoms. It also makes the show ungenred, as you can’t fit it into a particular genre. Sure, there are many funny and lighthearted moments, but the show also tackles some truly heavy themes and dark moments that don’t fit the feel-good TV category.


As I finished watching the show, I understood what the hype was about. The Bear hits the sweet spot between old-school and new, as it manages to bring back the lightheartedness of classic feel-good TV and layers it with the depth and realness those shows lacked. 

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King is a mad writer on the loose. He is suspected to have lost his mind a few years after he was born. Since then, he has been writing his mind almost everywhere he can put his pen on. Someone – a government, a state, a police force, a parent, a teacher, a rabbi, a president, a sacco, a doctor, a deranged ex, a church, a therapist, or anyone with a bit of power bestowed upon them – should reprimand him and help him.

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