Beef - Season 1 Review


A darkly comedic and insightful exploration of the human condition, Beef serves up a delectable dish of ice-cold revenge. Road rage is the catalyst that sparked the escalating string of events, but this series dives far deeper into these two strangers lives, touching on themes of self-worth, classism, depression and generational trauma. 

Ali Wong and Steven Yeun star as Amy and Danny - two people with vastly different lives and personalities, who actually have more in common than either of them realize. Yeun once again showcases remarkable range, with a performance that pivots between unhinged and deeply emotional. Wong delivers a surprisingly rich performance that works beautifully in contrast to Yeun’s. Their characters hate each other passionately, and their excellent (anti)chemistry is nothing short of sublime. Their actions are despicable, but these two are portrayed in such a way that allows you to empathize with them, to a degree. Neither of them are painted as the hero or villain, but both are equally compelling to watch. 

Despite the series revolving around these two, the supporting characters are written and portrayed with just as much care - namely Young Mazino as Danny’s younger brother Paul, and Joseph Lee as Amy’s husband George. They may not be the centre of this story, but both feel just as three dimensional as our main characters. Honestly, a lot of Beef’s beauty comes from watching how others are pulled into Danny and Amy’s feud, and the effect it has on them personally. 

Beef skillfully balances humour and drama with a thoughtfully penned script, allowing for a series filled with hilarious and poignant moments. Steven Yeun and Ali Wong tie it all together with remarkable performances, making this one of the best Netflix originals to date. 

Review by: Benjamin Garrett


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