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Photo 1 The Bear season 3 returns June 27, 2024 on Hulu (Jeremy Allen White and Ayo Edebiri / Photo Hulu), Photo 2 Tina Marrero (Photo Hulu), Photo 3 Ebon Moss-Bachrach (Photo Hulu)

The Bear Returns

  • By Samantha Colwell

The Bear, at its core, is a workplace comedy dialed up to eleven. It follows a charmingly ragtag crew of chefs, kitchen staff, and one very memorable handyman as they attempt to save, and later build a name for, their Chicago restaurant. The story begins with Carmy Berzatto, played by Jeremy Allan White (Shameless), as he returns home to his family restaurant after years of working in Michelin-star kitchens. The restaurant as he comes into it is no different than countless other family-owned fast-casual delis across America – which is to say, not great but not terrible, and able to keep its head just barely above water. For Carmy, though, who’s used to the high-stakes, high-reward kitchens of Noma and Eleven Madison Park, among other real high-end restaurants name-dropped as his former employers, it’s almost painful to watch his coworkers operate in this casual way. He creates a true kitchen atmosphere to the derision of his employees, and ultimately forms a well-oiled team alongside his sous chef Sydney (Ayo Edebiri) and co-owner and combative cousin Richie (Ebon Moss-Bachrach). Rounding out the cast are chefs Tina (Liza Colón-Zayas), Ebraheim (Edwin Lee Gibson), and Marcus (Lionel Boyce), and handyman Fak (ironically real-life chef Matty Matheson); the show has also enjoyed appearances from Academy Award winner Jamie Lee Curtis, Molly Ringwald, and Oliver Platt, among others. Though it’s not without its struggles, setbacks, and twists–no spoilers, but there have been several moments throughout the show where I have outright yelled at my television–the show is charming, heartfelt, and gives every single employee of The Beef room to tell their story.

The Bear does not shy away from the mental health struggles many restaurant workers face due to their high-octane profession. Carmy faces panic attacks, insomnia, and anger issues as he works to reconcile his dreams of what he once wanted and his reality of where he is. Season 2 sees him accidentally lock himself inside a walk-in freezer, where he experiences withdrawal symptoms at his inability to rejoin the rest of his staff at work. Work is Carmy’s life, often to the detriment of himself and his loved ones. Yet the show pushes onward, showing us the full and complicated lives of each of the characters, reminding us that while what brings them together may have been work, the family they built is all their own.

Season 3 of The Bear premieres on Hulu on June 27, 2024.

To stream on Hulu, click here.