The Return Of 'The Bear'

“Doors!  Hands!  Refire!”

Be still my heart. “The Bear,” my favorite TV series of 2022-2023, is returning to FX -Hulu with season three on June 27. The 10 episodes will drop all at once.

Previously we heard a lot of “Yes, Chef!,” but the three commands above are shouted in season three in Carmen Berzatto’s new kitchen.

You might remember that the award-winning actor Jeremy Allen White, who plays Carmy, broke the internet last year when he revealed his unsuspected six pack while stripping to his tighty-whiteys in a Calvin Klein commercial. His rooftop shot -- in his white Calvins against the blue sky -- briefly brought him Taylor-Swift-levels of adoration.

Now, we find that our sometimes-hangdog Chef is back to serious business. He’s finally converted his dead brother’s “The Original Beef of Chicagoland,” a failing hole-in-the wall sandwich shop, into a sophisticated foodie haven with the meticulous cuisine he was trained in before his return to Chicago.



The poignant season 2 finale centered around a soft opening, for family and friends, of the “The Bear,” the name of the transformed restaurant.  

In a Dickensian twist, Carmy ends up locked in the walk-in freezer all night. He blames himself for not paying enough attention and forgetting his ambition and obsession while pursuing his lovely emerging love interest, Claire (Molly Gordon.) He gets out and tells her she’s wasting his time.

As always, the focus is on the Berzattos and crew of variously wounded workers and family members: how they got that way, and how they go on.

For one, the back-breaking demands and discipline it takes to do the restaurant thing at this level every night brings out inner demons -- especially for the executive chef/owner.

So far, a trailer plus a few sneak peeks have been released.

One teaser shows Carmy alone, arriving at his gleaming new kitchen, unrolling his tools, seemingly not thrilled. His eyes are empty, rather than anticipatory. He’s present, but absent, a bear with nervous, downer energy.

They call it a comedy-drama, and it’s brilliantly observed with great performances, but the human insight, and depth of the writing and direction, are what makes it stunning. Perhaps it’s more like a comic tragedy.

In the trailer, we quickly get back to the chaos of the kitchen, with its clatter, breakage, yelling, and intensity. Carmy, in full toque, is sweating over the fired-up burners, while house manager Richie  (Ebon Moss-Bachrach ) roars  through the door and screams, “I’m getting drilled out there!”

Uber-competent sous chef Sydney (Ayo Edebiri),  the young culinary school graduate who is revealed in the teaser to have been elevated into Carmen’s full partner, takes a breath and tells the two: “This is a dysfunctional kitchen.”

Carmy and Richie, still yelling, this time in almost-unison, snap back: “Show me a functional one!”

The teaser’s biggest reveal is that Chef is bucking for a Michelin star. He decides to change the menu every day, and shares a list of “non-negotiables” with the team.

It doesn’t take long for new partner Sydney and the others to mock the excessive day-to-day expectations, and the pop-psych self-helpy way they are worded.

No doubt, the partnership between Carm and Syd will be put to the test, as will Carmy’s survival, both professionally and personally.

He has staked so much on this one almost impossible thing, a bear of a thing. Who is he without it?

I can’t wait to gorge.

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