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Why Rival Networks Have a Problem With The Bear, Explained


Summary

  • Awards season unfairly belittles non-drama genres, forcing shows like
    The Bear
    into comedy categories.
  • The Bear
    balances drama and comedy, with deep themes like family violence and mental health overshadowing the humor.
  • Season 3 of
    The Bear
    , premiering June 27, 2024, will hopefully delve deeper into secondary characters and their storylines.



The blurred line between drama and comedy has never been as strong a point as today. Actually, make that drama against everything else, as when it comes to awards season, the distinction between genres is cause for an unfair and idiotic belittling of other “non-awards” genres. Horror doesn’t exist; thrillers have to be intensely dramatic, and fantasy, unless in the Game of Thrones world, is sometimes seen as silly regarding FYC campaigns (the For Your Consideration periods in which studios pitch their content for organization voters).

In the case of television, comedy is such an important genre that it even has a category of its own. Or, as it’s known in other ceremonies, comedy is where everything else that’s not drama gets put. With films, it’s a more notorious decision. Or did everyone forget when films like Ghost, The Martian, and Get Out have been categorized as comedies at the Golden Globes? But again, let’s stick to TV.


In recent years, the strongest player in the conversation has been The Bear, FX’s production about the prodigious chef forced to return to Chicago to take care of the restaurant his late brother left him. Since its release, the show has flooded the comedy categories in award ceremonies. In 2023, it won major awards like Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy at the Globes and Outstanding Comedy Series at the Emmys, among others. As reported by Variety, this streak has put network executives and strategists from other networks on a campaign to convince the TV Academy they have to re-categorize it because it’s not a comedy. But is it a full-blown drama?


Is The Bear a Comedy or a Drama Series?

The Bear

Release Date
June 23, 2022

Seasons
2


The most straightforward answer would be “both.”The Bear has its funny moments, often related to the storylines of secondary characters. In the case of Carmy Berzatto, there are just too many issues to handle. Since Season 1, the chef has been dealing with grief, an overbearing anxiety shroud, and the inability to make his business grow. But in Season 2, as we dove deep into the family dynamics that shaped Carmy, we could recognize the factors that made him who he is. And no, nothing about that is funny.

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It’s no secret that as clever as voters can be, drama is a more powerful player regarding awards and general recognition. When a slightly simpler sitcom competes against shows like The Bear, it becomes obvious which will win. That “disadvantage” has put rival networks on a quest to put The Bear where it might deserve to be: on the drama ballots.

If you disagree with this and are a fan of The Bear, rewatch episodes like its pilot, “System,” and the season 2 finale, “The Bear.” When a “comedy” show makes you feel as stressed and uncomfortable as these episodes, chances are it’s nothing to laugh about.

A Solid Depiction of Serious Themes in a Sometimes Gracious Setting


Throughout its two seasons, The Bear has gone for a different tone than its peers at the awards ballots. The main storyline was always a cause for Carmy’s awkward social performance as a world-renowned chef. But then we found what it actually was about. Mikey Berzatto, his older brother, died by suicide. This revelation put the show on a much gloomier note, and it was the first of significant themes that fueled the discussion of “drama over comedy.”

Alcoholism, substance abuse, and even social turmoil in the streets of Chicago have been some of the themes the show has explored. A mashup of real issues is quite visible in the episode known as “Fishes,” the hour-long exploration of Carmy’s family that quickly turned into the pivotal episode of the show. Themes like mental health and family violence made it a turning point for the show and a broad jump away from comedy territory.

What Can We Expect from Season 3 of The Bear?


While more news arrives about this play by FX’s rival networks, The Bear is set to premiere the entire third season on June 27, 2024, on FX on Hulu. Season 2 ended with the crew opening the remodeled restaurant with staggering results – at least, that’s what clients saw. In the kitchen, Carmy was locked up in a walk-in refrigerator after a highly stressful evening. Cousin Richie and Sydney are able to handle things that night, but Carmy’s spirit is absolutely shattered.

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Everything to Remember From The Bear Before Watching Season 3

With a soft opening, emotionally draining Fishes episode, and a devastating break-up, it’s worth looking back at The Bear’s pivotal season 2 moments.


There aren’t many details about Season 3, but so far, everything points to secondary characters becoming central to the show and having their storylines further developed: Will Richie follow up on his views? Will Sydney meet Coach K? Will Tina become a more prominent chef? All we ask is for more cameos, an expansion of the more impressive ones we saw in Season 2, or perhaps a groundbreaking episode like “Fishes.” But will the series be changed to a drama come awards season? For now, it seems it will stay in the comedy category and likely dominate once again. The Bear is streaming now on Hulu.

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