Beef 2023 Netflix Series Review: Barring the Concept, Goofiness, and the Final Showdown, Beef is Somewhat a Non-Evocative Black Dramedy

After The Night Agent and Unstable, Netflix is back with the next American show, Beef.

If you are wondering why I didn’t post many reviews this week; well, that’s because there weren’t any new releases until today.

Some tell me that Beef is a highly anticipated Netflix series. Though it premiered on the platform on 6th April 2023, the IMDb page of the show had twenty critic reviews at least three days before that.

I researched a bit and couldn’t find any information regarding early screenings of Beef (except for the SXSW festival). It makes me wonder how can non-prominent websites or critics review a show three days before the release date.

Well, that’s another point to ponder over.

Beef has ten episodes, averaging around a little under six hours. It is an offbeat comedy show, according to the description on Netflix, in case you were wondering.

What is the Synopsis of Beef (2023)?

A road rage incident turns into a lifetime enmity after the two drivers involved begin plotting revenge schemes against one another.

Beef. Steven Yeun as Danny in episode 101 of Beef. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2023

Created by Lee Sung Jin, Beef stars Steven Yeun (Danny), Ali Wong (Amy), Joseph Lee (George), Young Mazino (Paul), David Choe (Isaac), and others.

Positive Aspects of Beef

Two strangers begin animosity out of nowhere. And it keeps growing by the minute. The way Beef has been set up is quite startling.

Its concept is fresh. I am not talking about the story. Just the idea of the show. You don’t get to have these kinds of outlines these days.

Further, the makers have done well to execute the second half of the series, specifically the end. Especially when they had lost a lot of ground at an early stage.

The final showdown between the protagonists evokes bitter emotions, which was probably the goal set by the creators of Beef.

Beef. Ali Wong as Amy in episode 104 of Beef. Cr. Andrew Cooper/Netflix © 2023

You don’t cry or laugh or do a combination of both. You simply watch the hostile nature of events unfolding in the most bizarre manner.

Moreover, Beef succeeds in displaying the last leashes of psychic imbalances. We have a lot of shows talking about mental health these days.

But they sometimes become bland in presentation. On the contrary, Beef gets up and casually towers antipathy alongside emotional well-being.

The show doesn’t plot all of it together. It is like mental health minus the ostentatious melodrama.

Additionally, the serene music soothes your soul and leaves a long-lasting impression. And yes, Beef is goofy.

How are the Performances?

Steven Yeun plays Danny in Beef and, in his typical impromptu style, the actor triggers volumes of emotional disturbances on screen.

As a fed-up guy who is desperate to find something to hold on to, Yeun pulls every string from his acting quiver.

The moments where he sheds tears are equally powerful when compared to the dramedy mode he is mostly in. Also, Yeun’s vocal variations are noteworthy.

Image Credits: Netflix

Ali Wong’s messed up presentation of Amy is a blessing for Beef. She leaves a mark in all spheres. Her ability to keep talking while holding up tears looks blatantly natural.

There wouldn’t have been much to celebrate for Beef if not for Wong’s nuanced expressions. The anger, the quietness, and the roaring intensity, at times, are all features of her amazing outing.

She is different than what we saw in Paper Girls.

Joseph Lee portrays George in Beef. His immaculately restricted countenance puts the series at an advantage. The actor is humbly grounded and still manages to entice the viewer.

As Paun, Young Mazino youthfully treads forward in the Netflix show. He mixes innocence with a flashy attitude to make things more genuine from his end.

Mazino’s improvisations work well in Beef.

The Downsides of Beef

Sadly, the storyline is brief, where the occurrences give a forceful impression on several occasions. Some of the twists are too much to endure in Beef.

I also found the first half of the series slow, making it come late to the party. Episodes 2 to 5 are not what you’d expect after an exciting first episode.

Moreover, the comedy lacks laughter. At no point, I had the urge to laugh out loud. The most it could extract was a grin.

I expected more from Beef than a surface-level, non-evocative drama.

Should you Stream or Skip Beef?

Beef is a dark dramedy instead of a dark comedy, as it was being marketed before release. People lacking patience are advised to skip it.

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