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Taking a Deep Dive Into Beef: A Review

Directed by Lee Sungjin, Beef is a highly-rated show that follows two very mentally unstable characters whose lives were both ruined and saved by a road rage incident. With wonderful names in this cast such as Ali Wong and Steven Yeun, paired with the beautiful writing and cinematography, these are all factors that make Beef a new must-watch show.

The name of the show is clever; beef is slang for engaging in a fight with an individual and disliking someone. This is a common theme throughout the series, which is introduced by Amy and Danny, the two main characters.

Amy, played by Ali Wong, is a businesswoman, mother, and wife who is unhappy with her life, which is caused by her flawed relationships with her husband, mother-in-law, and boss. Amy’s relationship with her husband comes up quite a bit in the series. She is the primary money maker in the house, and it’s painfully obvious that this takes a toll on her since she desperately wants to be with her family instead. Her husband, George, can’t seem to understand her, and this builds a wall between them. Eventually, this leads to both of them being disloyal to one another. George has an emotional affair with Amy’s employee and Amy has an affair with Danny’s brother, Paul.

She is in search (and need) of a break, so when the situation plays out between her and Danny, it gives her a perfect excuse to put her mind and focus on something else besides her dreadful work and family.
Danny, played by Steven Yung, is a contractor who is struggling immensely with money and has suicidal tendencies. Danny’s struggle with maintaining a job and having a steady income is a popular topic in this production. We see this slowly become a bigger concern for Danny, to the point where this becomes the main reason why Danny and Ali hate each other. Danny’s ultimate goal is to build a house for his parents to live in when they come back from Korea, but as of now, he doesn’t have enough money to do so.

Amy and Danny make a multitude of questionable decisions throughout the whole show, which silently reminds the audience that these characters are not protagonists. In my opinion, this makes the show much more interesting. Amy cheats on her husband, vandalizes, and lies more than she should in this comedy. Obviously, she is not the sanest person. Danny is not off the hook either. He tries to blow up Amy’s car, kidnaps her child, and tried to rob her! There are these moments in the show where Danny and Amy catch themselves going crazy and say “What am I doing?”, but they are too deep in their own hatred to stop themselves.

Despite the chaoticness of the show, the ending shot is perfect. It shows the calm within the storm; Danny and Amy cuddled together in a hospital bed after they barely survived being in the woods together. Danny’s brother, Paul, isn’t talking to him, Amy’s husband wants a divorce and is taking their child. Their beef ripped their life apart, so now all they have is each other, and they huddle together in the small bed for a small ounce of comfort.

So far, Beef has accumulated over 962 million minutes watched since its release. This is an exceedingly interesting and enjoyable show. It’s definitely not something that has been done before. Because of its uniqueness, it is a show that I and many others will be waiting for its second season eagerly.

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