The Bear Season 2 – need to know

Know your beef sandwich toppings from your Olivia Colman cameo with these facts about the second season of the hit restaurant comedy drama.

What’s this?

The second season of the highly acclaimed comedy drama in which a young chef from the fine dining world returns to Chicago to run his family’s sandwich shop following the suicide of his brother.

Sorry, did you say comedy?

Yep, that’s how it’s categorised in TV land and at the big awards, of which it’s won a few. Lots of people are confused because, for its many strong points, dishing out the lols isn’t one of them. One theory is that the length of the episodes (30 mins approx) is the only criterion used for judging whether a show is a comedy or a drama which, when you think about it, is pretty funny.

Who’s in it?

Jeremy Allen White as Carmen ‘Carmy’ Berzatto, Ebon Moss-Bachrach as Richard ‘Richie’ Jeremovich, Ayo Edebiri as Sydney Adamu, and a bunch of other talented actors.

Who created it?

Showrunner and producer Cristopher Storer created The Bear. Originally it was meant to be a film script but then, as he told the Writers Guild of America West, things developed:

… I worked in restaurants. My sister’s a chef. The industry was always a big part of our lives. Friends in Chicago opened and closed restaurants. So I always wanted to do something in that space. I had written a movie that had a lot of similar themes in the show. But, in working on the movie, sometimes you’re just like, “Oh, man, I wish we had more time to get into this,” or, “We really need more time to explain this.” It really was hard to develop. When Kate [at production company FX] and I started talking about a restaurant show, we really reverse engineered it, which was like, “Why hasn’t there been a restaurant show?”

We learned on the first day of production that’s because they’re really hard to make—food and stuff gets very difficult. It’s also such a fast-paced, stressful environment that a lot of the other culinary projects—and, by the way, I love a lot of them—but they tended be focused on the chef being a genius, and perhaps not as much on the small business side of it. There’s a theme of time and death that’s running through the show. As we were going through COVID, I had watched a lot of my friends lose their restaurants and lose their small businesses. It just really hit home how gnarly and tough it is. The survival rate of these things is not great. To put all that in a, quote-unquote, comedy was the mission.

Interview with Christopher Storer on Writers Guild of America West

How many episodes are there in The Bear Season 2?


How long are the episodes?

30 minutes, give or take.

What’s the show’s certification?

In Australia, The Bear Season 2 comes with an MA-15 rating.

Is there a trailer?

Do the critics like it?

Not to sound too bombastic, but S2 currently has a 100% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 59 reviews, and a 91% audience score based on more than 500 ratings. So, you know, yeah, it’s OK …

Here’s what James Poniewozic wrote in The New York Times:

By serving Carmy’s sleepy-eyed charisma in an appetizer portion, the creator, Christopher Storer, gives his cast room to grow and the story space to breathe.

The New York Times reviews The Bear Season 2

How can I speak like I work at The Bear and/or The Original Beef of Chicagoland?

What does Carmy mean when he says ’86’ to his colleagues? What does ‘all day’ mean in the context of the kitchen? Find out in ‘The Bear’: Carmy’s Kitchen Jargon, Explained

Should I go back and watch season 1 of The Bear?

Probably, yeah. Writing for ScreenHub last year, Mel Campbell described it as one of the standout shows of 2022:

This is The Bear’s power: it sneaks its key ideas into moments and places you don’t expect them. Like Carmy himself, it brings a bravura display of elite-level skill to an unassuming setting. It’s a massive achievement in TV. And yet to most people, it’s still that show about the dirty hot chef in his white T-shirt.

ScreenHub reviews The Bear.

Wait, is that Jamie Lee Curtis and Bob Odenkirk and Olivia Colman I see?

It sure is. There are some quality cameos in The Bear S2 and you can browse the whole list here.

Any trivia?

According to IMDB: The restaurant was based on the legendary Chicago Italian sandwich shop Mr. Beef. Also: ‘No hand doubles were used in the making of the show. All of the chopping and prep was done by the actors.’

Don’t say

Sometimes you eat the bear, and sometimes the bear eats you.

Do say

Make mine a braised beef sandwich to go.

When and where can I watch it?

The Bear Season 2 premieres in Australia on 19 July on Disney+.

Paul Dalgarno is author of the novels A Country of Eternal Light (2023) and Poly (2020); the memoir And You May Find Yourself (2015); and the creative non-fiction book Prudish Nation (2023). He was formerly Deputy Editor of The Conversation and joined ScreenHub as Managing Editor in 2022. X: @pauldalgarno. Insta: @dalgarnowrites