Figure 1 Chicago is as much of a character than anyone else in The Bear
It has been one of the big TV hits of the last two years. Initially a word-of-mouth sleeper success when it was released in June 2022, The Bear is now one of the biggest critically acclaimed TV shows of recent times. It is slated to win a whole host of Emmy Awards in January and fans are eagerly anticipating a third season.
Without giving too much away, a third season has been perfectly set up by the writers, with a number of different cliffhanger plotlines rounding off the season just gone. Many people will be placing their Vegas bets online for the show to sweep the board at the awards ceremonies next year – and it would be a huge surprise if we have already seen the last of The Bear.
Ever the optimists, we like to think that there will be further opportunities to catch up with the dysfunctional family that makes up the cast of The Bear. But where did we leave Carmy and the rest? When will the next season begin? And will the program makers be able to top season two’s star guest appearances?
Warning, there will be spoilers ahead.
Where Have You Been?
We don’t mean to be rude, but what exactly have you been doing for the last year if you have not been watching The Bear? We kind of understand if you were slow to the show and had to play catch-up for the second season. But The Bear has been something of a cultural phenomenon in 2023, with just about everyone wanting a crisp white t-shirt, a blue apron, and shouting “Yes chef!” as much as possible.
But for those of you who are still a little in the dark about what we are talking about, here’s a quick catch-up of our own. Season one started off with Carmy, a Michelin star chef coming back to Chicago to take over the Italian beef sandwich shop – The Beef – that his brother left to him after killing himself. The rest of the season consisted of a lot of people shouting at each other as Carmy attempted to get the restaurant to make some money.
If season one was a rollercoaster of emotions – for the characters and the viewers – season two was equally beautiful and hard to watch (but in a good way). After finding the money left to him by his brother, Carmy decides to transform The Beef into The Bear, a sophisticated restaurant. Sydney, Carmy’s sous chef, even wants it to win a Michelin star of its own. No pressure there then!
The opening of the new place is actually a success. Apart from the fact that Carmy was locked in the walk-in freezer for most of the night and that emotions ran high between just about everyone. Like we said, The Bear has been perfectly set up for more.
Will There Be a Season 3?
The main issue facing the release of season three of The Bear is that Hulu hasn’t actually confirmed it yet. Showrunner Christopher Storer has dropped some very big hints that the show will return, claiming in one interview that he had really enjoyed spending some time with Ayo [Edibiri], who plays Sydney, on set. There has been nothing official yet though.
It feels like it would be one of the biggest mistakes in recent TV history if a third season of The Bear were not made though. There are some intriguing storylines that could be developed and the expected landslide of awards the show should pick up in the coming months will surely sway any executive too stupid to still be deliberating on its future.
There is another potential problem though. The current ongoing industrial action by the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the Writers Guild of America (WGA) will delay just about everything that was slated to be made and broadcast in the next year or so. With the third season not having received a green light yet, The Bear could be at the back of a very long queue.
Hopefully, the strikes will be over soon and the broadcasters can start listening to the actors and writers about their concerns. Then we will have to see whether the stars of the show still have enough room in their work calendars to commit. Although many of the actors involved were not household names when The Bear started, they will be very much in demand now.
Before we get into what we might expect from a third season of the show, we should really raise the prospect of more guest stars getting in on the act. Whereas season one stayed very much with the basic cast, season two saw the likes of Jamie Lee Curtis, Bob Odenkirk, and Will Poulter join the show. Might we get more surprises in season three?
Unlike lesser shows that bring in some big-name special guests to boost ratings, all of the guest appearances on The Bear contributed greatly to the story arc. You forgot that you were watching Hollywood superstar Jamie Lee Curtis for a moment – and just marveled at her portrayal of Carmy’s tortured mother. If anyone special is brought in next season, you can be assured it will be for the sake of the story and nothing else.
Figure 2 The transformation of The Beef to the The Bear has not been without its problems
What Can We Expect?
Let’s assume that there definitely will be a season three for a minute. There is definitely going to be some fallout from Claire listening in on Carmy’s declaration that she was the reason he took his eyes off the ball in the run-up to the opening. The relationship between him and Richie may also need repairing.
Whereas we were all overjoyed for Marcus’ success and development as a chef, we also all saw how many missed calls he had had from his mother’s nurse – so that’s going to be emotional too.
The thing about The Bear is that we would watch a spin-off show about any of the characters. It is that good. And we will be eagerly awaiting the announcement of a new season – hopefully arriving in the summer of 2024.
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