Disney+'s The Bear may well be the best show on TV, and Season 2 is available to stream in the UK from today.
US Hulu subscribers including yours truly have already had the chance to watch the full second season, and I don't think I'm exaggerating when I tell you it's a masterpiece. Although it's billed as a comedy drama, it's much more dramatic than comedic this time around, and Season 2 includes some of the most stressful and sad TV I’ve ever seen.
If you haven’t already seen The Bear, it focuses on a talented, high-flying and burnt-out chef, Carmy (Jeremy Allen White), who returns to his brother’s considerably less prestigious sandwich shop in Chicago.
In the first season we see Carmy trying to fix the place’s many problems and turn it into a real restaurant as he bumps up against the existing staff and his own family. Some of it’s so stressful that friends of mine who work in hospitality can’t watch it, but it’s extraordinary television.
And Season 2 is even better.
What’s the plot of The Bear Season 2?
In Season 2, Carmy and his fellow chef Syd (the extraordinary Ayo Edebiri) are preparing for the relaunch of the restaurant, which brings a whole new world of stress – but this time around the rest of the cast are also given plenty of time to shine, and the result is a show that’s even warmer and more human than the first season.
One episode takes place almost entirely in Amsterdam, its gentle joy a world away from the in-kitchen trauma of the first season. Another, featuring a glorious cameo from Olivia Coleman, is grin-inducing.
There's an episode in particular is one of the most extraordinary things I've ever streamed. Fishes doesn’t take place in the restaurant, or any other one: it takes place in Carmy’s family home over Christmas dinner and you’ll watch it from behind your fingers. Jamie Lee Curtis delivers a jaw-dropping performance as Carmy’s mother while Bob “Better Call Saul” Odenkirk pushes the tension to the point that it’s genuinely uncomfortable to watch.
If Fishes doesn’t garner a shelf-full of awards, I’ll be amazed. And as for the finale, it’ll break your heart. I couldn’t tell anybody about it for days without bursting into tears.
I honestly think The Bear is one of the most beautiful, most exciting and most rewarding shows on TV right now, and I’m absolutely going to stream it all over again now it’s on Disney+. If you’re thinking, should you stream it too? The answer’s simple: yes, chef!