Scott Hardie | January 1, 2023
I keep seeing praise for The Bear, Hulu's surprise-hit series about the aggressively mean workers at a busy Chicago restaurant. Critics appear to be united in belief that it's one of the best shows of 2022.

I trust that it's well made, but what stops me from watching it is that it seems like an utterly miserable experience. It's full of angry, rude, stressed-out workers screaming obscenities at one another as they hustle at jobs that barely pay their bills. This is a real problem in the hospitality industry, where extreme incivility has too long been normalized, but the show pointing it out is like saying that water is wet. Whoever doesn't already know this information doesn't need to learn it this way.

Has anybody seen the show? Is it worth putting up with the awfulness on the surface? Being well-made isn't enough, but if the show makes a serious effort to make a point beyond "it sucks to work in a kitchen except a little bit for the trauma-bonding" then I might be persuaded to try it.

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