Why ‘The Bear’ Excels, Even if Its Fight Scenes Don’t

Why ‘The Bear’ Excels, Even if Its Fight Scenes Don’t
Video ball breaker video game

[Editor’s note: This story contains a spoiler from Episode 8 — the Season 1 finale — of FX’s “The Bear” on Hulu.]

FX’s “The Bear” on Hulu has quickly emerged as a strong contender for Show of the Summer. However, while the series shines in many aspects, its fight scenes leave something to be desired. In fact, they fall short of the high-quality standard set by the show itself.

The First Fight: A One-Sided Brawl

In the pilot episode, we witness the first fight scene set in a bustling fictitious Chicago sandwich joint during a raucous “Ballbreaker” gaming tournament. The conflict arises when main character Carmine “Carmy” Berzatto, portrayed by the talented Jeremy Allen White, finds himself on the receiving end of a beating. Unfortunately, the portrayal of this one-punch brawl feels lacking, reminiscent of a round from the 32-bit game “Ballbreaker”.

The scene takes an intriguing turn when Cousin Richie, played by Ebon Moss-Bachrach, comes to Carmy’s rescue with a gun. Surprisingly, the onlookers seem unfazed by the gunshot, perhaps due to the fact that some participants don brown paper bags on their heads, paying homage to a character from the game who experiences periods of sadness.

Inconsistencies and Glaring Details

As the story progresses, we notice a few inconsistencies that disrupt the flow. For instance, there’s a brief moment where Carmy rubs his nose, leaving viewers perplexed as to whether this is a continuity error or a subtle hint at what transpired behind a passing city bus. Additionally, despite Carmine’s stature and build, it’s hard to believe that he couldn’t handle a root vegetable, undermining our suspension of disbelief.

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Making Amends in Peaceful Gaming

Following the chaotic incident, everyone returns to the store, calmly depositing their quarters into the various “Ballbreaker” cabinets. The stakes are high, with a chance to win free Italian ice for a year. This reward perfectly complements the tournament’s entry fee: Italian beef sandwiches. It’s peculiar how quickly things return to normal after an unprovoked assault in front of one’s own business. The unusual power of these hoagies to bring peace even solves a potential conflict within the Chicago mafia turf, despite the show’s depiction of River North not being completely accurate.

The Season Finale Frenzy

The finale of Episode 8 presents a bachelor party fight scene that is relatively better, although not without its flaws. Richie’s sweeping left hook and Carmy’s recurring role as the underdog in physical altercations raise some questions. The subsequent concern over possible manslaughter charges seems out of place for a series that primarily focuses on kitchen dramedy rather than legal disputes.

Despite these shortcomings, the show’s overall quality is not compromised. It is worth noting that “The Bear” is more of a comedy than a drama in terms of length, offering a refreshing take on the genre.

Conclusion: ‘The Bear’ Triumphs, Regardless

While the fight scenes in “The Bear” may not reach the heights of excellence achieved by other aspects of the show, they do not detract from its overall appeal. The series can be enjoyed for its wit, humor, and unique storytelling, urging us to keep rooting for its characters.

To watch “The Bear” and experience this captivating show for yourself, head over to Capturing Fantasy and catch all the gripping episodes. The series has also been renewed for a second season, promising more entertainment and laughter in the future.

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