How “the bear” escalates conflict without feeling confusing

You know what they say: if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.

By Meg Shields Published 10 August 2022

Welcome to The Queue – your daily distraction of curated video content from across the web. Today we’re watching a video essay that examines what makes food drama “The Bear” so engrossing to watch.


Unless you live under a rock, the viewer in your life has probably told you you should check it out. the bear. The eight-episode FX show, which is currently scoring Perfect on Rotten Tomatoes, follows Carmy (Jeremy Allen White), a celebrity gourmet chef who takes over his brother’s failing sandwich shop in Chicago to both deal with his brother’s death and save the company from total failure. From Michelin-starred restaurants to a stubborn small business, Carmy is torn on all sides.

And as Genevive Yam testifies for culinary publication Enjoy your food, the show does an unprecedented job of capturing the uniquely stressful environment of foodie culture. (So ​​much so that the series has proven triggering for some real-life chefs). Indeed, even if you haven’t worked in the restoration, the show is obviously tense, with editing issues that seem to fit together like a cursed Jenga tower that threatens to collapse at any moment.

The following video essay explores the mechanics of why the bear is so intense and how he manages to create this controlled chaos without his audience feeling confused. It’s not just sensory overload. And the secret ingredient can be to create conflicts around characters that we really care about.

Watch “Why the Bear Hits So Hard”:


Who did this?

This video essay on the appeal of the bear is by a Virginia-based filmmaker and video editor Thomas Flight. He runs a YouTube channel under the same name. You can follow Thomas Flight and view its catalog of video essays on YouTube here. You can follow him on Twitter here.

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Meg Shields is the humble farm boy of your dreams and a senior contributor to Film School Rejects. She currently directs three columns at FSR: The Queue, How’d They Do That? and Horroscope. She is also a curator for One Perfect Shot and a freelance writer for hire. Meg can be found screaming about John Boorman’s “Excalibur” on Twitter here: @TheWorstNun. (She she).

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