The Bear Season 3 | Review by: Benjamin Garrett

After two Michelin Star quality seasons, The Bear has returned for another course. Season three is missing some of the ingredients that earned the series universal acclaim, but make no mistake, this is still one of the best shows currently airing. 

It’s a testament to the exceptional quality of seasons one and two, that this (still great) season of television feels like a bit of a comedown. These ten episodes play out like the first part of a larger story, and therefore the season lacks a true, complete arc. Seasons 3 and 4 were reportedly filmed back to back, and there’s a lot of great groundwork laid here for whatever comes next. The narrative momentum is taken from a boil to a simmer, in favour of spending time developing the characters we’ve come to know and love. The lack of story progression left me occasionally wanting something meatier, but the character work is so damn strong that I still loved every moment we got to spend with them. 

This show has become so much bigger than the restaurant at its centre. Last season saw us explore characters’ lives further outside of the kitchen, and that continues here. There’s still plenty of the beautiful culinary chaos the show is known for, but this season’s best moments are the smaller ones between various characters. There aren’t any episodes in this batch that reach the heights of “Fishes” or “Forks”, but there’s one that comes close. “Napkins” - an episode directed by Ayo Edebiri, is easily the best of the season, and among the finest episodes of the show in general. 

The production value continues to showcase an exceptional level of care and precision. The series understands and respects the culinary arts as well as the service industry in general. The editing is razor sharp, and the cinematography is stunning. This season also finds the series indulging in its artsier side. Episode one in particular takes a bold approach, with an expertly cut vignette that cycles through the highs and lows of Carmy’s culinary career. Some may find it slow or pretentious, but I think the show has earned the right to experiment with its presentation - much like how a restaurant tests out new dishes. 

Salt. Fat. Acid. Heat. A great dish is all about balancing its components - something The Bear has previously excelled at. Season three isn’t as finely focused or expertly balanced, but it’s hard to judge fairly, as it’s the first part of a two course meal. This remains one of television’s best offerings, and I can’t wait to dig into season four. 


Review by: Benjamin Garrett

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