As published on Caderno B+
A fight in a parking lot – one car backs up and almost hits the other one who is honking – would normally end in curses and ugly signals, an anger that can even generate a physical reaction from the driver, but without personal confrontations and everything would pass, with life moving on. normal course. But it’s a bad day for Danny (Steven Yeun) and Amy (Ali Wong), they chase each other, attack each other (causing more accidents on the way) and clash with surprising consequences.
Beef‘s premise is international. From the porch of my house, every late afternoon I see citizens in imported cars cursing each other, honking like there’s no tomorrow and there have been death threats coming from a lady that I would never imagine had so much violence stored in her. The misfortune has not yet happened on the street stage, but then there would be no history, right?
I confess that even in the face of all the praise, I myself had difficulty digesting Beef, but I made a point of facing it until the end. The way Danny and Amy’s lives intersect, and how their decisions transform their lives are perfect material for the actors’ great performances. What is easily defined as a black comedy about an incident of rage is also an interesting study of anger, in frustration, and as Tolstoy so brilliantly put it in the opening of Anna Karenina: “All happy families are alike; the unhappy ones are unhappy each in their own way”. And Amy’s unhappiness, in particular, is different and frighteningly fascinating. She doesn’t just want to hurt Danny, she wants total destruction. With a true reciprocal.
Created by Lee Sung Jin, who signed, among others, the also praised Silicon Valley, Beef is part of a movement in Hollywood to give prominence to the Korean-American community, as we noticed at the 2023 Oscars. Betting on a situation so generic and close to everyone is what makes us want to know how Beef will resolve the impasse between the two protagonists and the study how the hypocrisy of everyday life can sow something wild and strange.
Those who saw Relatos Selvagens will remember a sequence that also reminds Beef‘s story, but the intelligence of the series’ script gives us an unexpected conclusion. With the great performances, and an extremely well-applied soundtrack, here’s the tip to face intelligent content, even if uncomfortable. If production scandals do not interfere, it will certainly be one of the most awarded series at the Emmys. Fairly.