‘The Bear’ season two first reviews: “There’s no sophomore slump on this menu”

The new season "keeps up the heat" while taking some "fresh" new approaches

The first reviews for The Bear season two are out, with critics praising new episodes as “electrifying” and “fresh”.

The FX show’s first season, created by Christopher Storer, followed award-winning chef Carmen ‘Carmy’ Berzatto (Jeremy Allen White) who returns to run his family’s Italian beef sandwich shop following the suicide of his older brother.

The second season picks up after Carmy’s decision to close the shop in order to open a new restaurant, with an official synopsis sharing: “Season two follows Carmy, Sydney and Richie as they work to transform their grimy sandwich joint into a next-level spot. As they strip the restaurant down to its bones, the crew undertakes transformational journeys of their own, each forced to confront the past and reckon with who they want to be in the future.”


Early critics’ reviews of the new series are positive, which has given the show a 100 per cent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Rolling Stone described season two as “electrifying” while avoiding a “sophomore slump”.

“The new season has its moments, and even whole episodes, that might not be healthy viewing for anyone under a cardiologist’s care, but the tone is often much lighter, and at times plain joyous,” Alan Sepinwall wrote.

Variety said season two “keeps up the heat” and wisely gets out of the kitchen”. Critic Alison Herman added that certain storylines are “impressive flexes, and winning nods to the show’s niche”, adding that they also help The Bear “feel more like television, a medium that rewards cultivating a deep bench and an adaptable approach”.

Ben Travers of IndieWire, meanwhile, described season two as a “better, richer second course”, adding: “In their intense yet introspective follow-up, Christopher Storer and Joanna Calo’s half-hour drama makes all the right moves.”


He added that while The Bear “indulges here and there”, it “knows exactly why it’s doing so, and the resulting episodes never feel their length”.

Slash Film critic Chris Evangelista agreed that there was “no sophomore slump on the menu”, and instead “serves up something fresh”.

He added: “When you think of The Bear, you probably think of the intensity of the characters yelling at each other in a crowded kitchen, fighting against the clock to get something on the plate. But as Christopher Storer’s series begins its second season, The Bear feels like a kinder, gentler show — at least based on the first four episodes given to critics to review.”

The Daily Beast also praised the direction of season two, sharing: “While The Bear still feels as kinetic and stressful as its award-winning first season, and Carmy is still very much at the center, the series does itself a massive favor by shifting gears in Season 2.”

The Bear made NME‘s list of the top TV shows of 2022, with Alex Flood writing: “Just when you thought you’d got a grip on tense kitchen drama The Bear, it morphed into a completely different dish.

“Starting out as a workplace show stuffed with Succession-style backstabbing, it eventually ended up a wholesome family comedy, stopping off at surrealist psychological portrait along the way.”

The Bear season 2 will premiere on June 22, 2023 on Hulu.

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