‘The Bear’ review: Hulu’s Chicago restaurant show, intense and darkly funny, demands to be devoured

Rising New York restaurant star Carmy (Jeremy Allen White) comes home to Chicago to run his late brother’s sandwich shop on “The Bear.”

FX

When we think of TV cooking shows, the titles that spring to mind are the reality-competition series such as “Top Chef” and “Hell’s Kitchen” and “Cupcake Wars,” as opposed to mostly forgotten dramatic and/or comedic efforts, e.g., Starz’ “Sweetbitter” and AMC’s “Feed the Beast” and did you know Bradley Cooper played a fictionalized version of Anthony Bourdain on Fox’s short-lived “Kitchen Confidential” in 2005, a decade before Cooper played a chef in the feature film “Burnt”?

No worries. I’m not sure even Bradley remembers that TV show. Now we finally have a series with all the necessary ingredients on the menu to make for a long-running, satisfying, immensely entertaining, decidedly Chicago-centric, restaurant-based hit: FX/Hulu’s “The Bear,” a darkly funny, frenetic and intense gem that will make you very hungry and most likely will ring the bell of authenticity for anyone who has ever worked or is currently employed in the restaurant business.

If Jeremy Allen White’s genius-smart but troubled Lip from “Shameless” had decided to disown the Gallagher family, change his name and become a chef, he wouldn’t be dissimilar to White’s Carmen “Carmy” Berzatto, a rising Michelin star who escaped his crazy, working-class family in Chicago, fled to Manhattan and worked at one of the best restaurants in the world — but has now returned home after his beloved older brother Michael committed suicide and left him in charge of the family’s semi-legendary and charmingly ramshackle joint, The Original Beef of Chicagoland. (Think River North’s Mr. Beef …read more

Source:: Chicago Sun Times

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