Now Streaming: “The Bear”

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For audiences who missed the punk ethos of Jeremy Allen White, it’s back, but with even more substance. White played Lip on Showtime’s “Shameless.” In “The Bear,” he plays a former world-class chef back in his hometown of Chicago after his brother’s suicide. The death haunts him in creative ways.

The world of restaurant work opens up in “The Bear”

For audiences who have never done restaurant work, the tasks depicted on “The Bear” seem especially grueling. Viewers are close up to the stress, struggle, and sweat of the workers. There is plenty of spilled food, boiled over rage, and personality conflicts. And then, there are those moments when everything comes together. The show never loses its humanity. White, as Carmen “Carmy” Berzanno, is capable of apologies and sincerity. He is also responsible for some of the rage that boils over at the restaurant.

Speaking of which, the restaurant of season 1 is not The Bear. That’s Carmy’s dream restaurant. Presumably, it will take shape in season 2.

Carmy tries to deal with his nightmares and flashbacks, and simply the way his family is now. He smokes; he goes to meetings– his brother was an opiod addict.

Audiences are even made privy to the world Carmy left in New York by showing fully realized flashbacks of that period of his life. This makes audiences feel sorry for Carmy and wonder how he will find himself in a restaurant known for Chicago beef.

At the end of season 1, there is hope. Carmy finds a note from his brother. It offers his version of goodbye and a recipe. A recipe that proves lucrative

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Dodie Miller-Gould is a native of Fort Wayne, Indiana who lives in New York City where she studies creative nonfiction at Columbia University. She has BA and MA degrees in English from Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne, and an MFA in Fiction from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Her research interests include popular music and culture, 1920s jazz, and blues, confessional poetry, and the rhetoric of fiction. She has presented at numerous conferences in rhetoric and composition, and creative writing. Her creative works have appeared in Tenth Muse, Apostrophe, The Flying Island, Scavenger's Newsletter and elsewhere. She has won university-based awards for creative work and literary criticism.

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