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Thursday, July 25, 2024 | Digital Edition | Crossword & Sudoku

The Bear gets the viewing ingredients just right

Jeremy Allen White as Carmen “Carmy” Berzatto… The Bear is now in its third season.

Streaming columnist NICK OVERALL says The Bear is cooking up a viewing storm and now it’s back for a third season. 

INGREDIENTS:

A dozen actors at the top of their game

1× finely prepared script, sprinkled with some quick-witted dialogue

Plenty of big-budget production value

A tablespoon of black comedy

And some heart-pounding tension.

Mix well and serve up on Disney Plus to get The Bear, one of streaming’s most enthralling and entertaining dramas set in the dramatic throes of a restaurant kitchen.

Nick Overall.

This month it’s back for its third season, with 10 new episodes for fans to devour.

The Bear stars Jeremy Allen White as Carmen “Carmy” Berzatto, a passionate but worn-down chef who takes over his family’s Italian beef sandwich shop after the suicide of his older brother.

It’s a dark setup to a series that delivers an authentic inside look at life as a cook.

Carmy promises to turn his brother’s sandwich shop into a fine piece of Chicago dining, despite facing a mountain of unresolved debt, unruly staff and a kitchen that would make Gordon Ramsay go nuclear.

Part of what makes The Bear so appealing is its consistent ability to not overcook itself.

Episodes range between 20 and 30 minutes, with bite-size run times that focus on quality rather than quantity.

I’ve managed to make it through the first two seasons of The Bear twice since it came out in 2022, both times in only just a few days because of how easy it is to watch. It’s perfect to put on after work for a dose of prestige TV drama that won’t chew up hours.

The Bear season three so far is as promising as ever, once again proving viewers don’t need to be fascinated with the culinary world to get cravings for this one.

IF that doesn’t sound pulse pounding enough, those with an SBS On Demand account might want to check out Good Time.

This 2017 film stars Robert Pattinson as Connie Nikas, a small-time criminal in New York whose life is turned upside down when a bank robbery goes terribly wrong, sending his young brother and accomplice to prison.

Connie does everything he can to evade police custody while trying to break his brother out, a punishment made even harder for a man who is cognitively impaired.

It’s Josh and Bennie Safdie behind Good Time, the same directorial duo who made 2019’s crime thriller Netflix hit Uncut Gems with Adam Sandler.

That’s a movie which split audiences but those who got a kick out of it will enjoy their earlier film that’s arguably even better than Uncut Gems.

Benny Safdie himself also stars in Good Time as Pattinson’s younger brother, showing off quite the gamut of talent indeed.

It’s 100 minutes of colourful crime drama charged with a frenetic energy that’s able to put viewers on the edge of their seats.

Offbeat but certainly worth a try, Good Time more than justifies its title.

APPLE TV+ is pedalling its newest piece of star power with a new thriller series called Presumed Innocent.

This time it’s Jake Gyllenhaal who takes the spotlight.

He’s Rusty Sabich, a slick criminal lawyer who becomes a suspect in a major investigation when his co-worker is savagely murdered.

Moody and menacing, Gyllenhaal is superb as usual, this time putting his talents to TV rather than the movies, his first appearance in this era of prestige television.

It’s like a mish-mash of some of his best performances from movies like Zodiac and Prisoners. His performance holds this eight-episode mini-series together.

Presumed Innocent doesn’t reinvent the wheel by any stretch of the imagination. This is a tried and true crime drama that will tick the boxes of anyone in search of something gritty and well-made.

And to coincidentally come full circle, like The Bear, Presumed Innocent is also set in Chicago.

Maybe go for the former though if the aim is to keep your appetite.

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Nick Overall

Nick Overall

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