In BEEF, a road rage incident kicks off a feud that spells disaster for Danny and Amy, two people whose lives are worlds apart and yet very similar. The show is now streaming on Netflix.
Danny is a struggling contractor whose parents had to move to Korea when their family lost their motel. Danny needs to put together enough money to bring his parents back to the US as well as take care of his younger brother, Paul.
Amy is a successful business owner who now wants to sell her business to be there for her daughter. Amy’s relationship with her husband, George, looks perfect on the surface, but it is not as perfect as it seems.
One day, Danny and Amy’s cars almost crash into each other, and the two then get involved in a car chase, but Amy manages to get away. After the incident, Danny looks for Amy’s home address to get his revenge.
The two start annoying and provoking each other at every step, and soon, their lives become entangled. Amy and Danny are just very angry, and perhaps this is what makes them so similar.
Steven Yeun is a great actor and stands up to the audience’s expectations in BEEF as well. He makes Danny seem angry, as per the needs of the script, but more importantly, he makes it seem like Danny has a sense of loneliness, which makes the audience sympathize with him.
Ali Wong is just as good at depicting anger as she is at making people laugh. Even when her character, Amy, is smiling, the audience can almost see the pent-up feelings that she is trying to hide.
Apart from the two lead actors, David Choe’s performance makes his character, Isaac, stand out. The rest of the cast also performed their parts well, which made the show as good as it is.
BEEF is a show that takes human anger and puts it under the microscope. Anger is not simply destructive; it is liberating for people like Amy and Danny who are trapped in their lives. In a world where there is no space for emotions that are considered negative, this depiction of anger is unique and refreshing, to say the least.
Most of the characters in the show have their own issues, even minor characters like Naomi, Edwin, and Fumi. It is a show about suffering adults with empty lives, and the audience can relate to them, which means they cannot really dislike any of them.
In a way, the show paints a picture of our modern reality, where every person is angry. That rage stems from the need to be loved unconditionally, to be accepted, and to not be lonely. Amy’s conversation with her therapist is a well-executed scene that highlights this.
The show also comments on human existence and happiness. Amy does not feel fulfilled even after getting everything that she wanted. BEEF tries to tell the audience, “We’re just a snake eating its own tail.” Amy’s remark leaves a lasting impact.
The show deals with these strong emotions and the human condition, but not without a dose of dark humor. The punchline comes when the audience least expects it, and it has the desired effect.
In the beginning, it is hard to get invested in the story because the show starts with the road rage incident, which does not make sense until the audience gets to know the characters and their lives.
Towards the end, the tension keeps building up, but it comes to an abrupt stop when the two lead characters get drugged. It spends more time than necessary focusing on their drugged state before the thrill returns, which somewhat dampens the conclusion.
BEEF is a unique show that succeeds in depicting the human condition of our times. There is a lot of anger, but it is seen as a complex emotion that is carefully examined. This show should definitely be on your watchlist.
Director: Jake Schreier, Hikari, Lee Sung Jin
Date Created: 2023-04-06 23:21