Beef is an American comedy-drama television series created by Lee Sung Jin for Netflix. It stars Steven Yeun and Ali Wong as two people whose involvement in a road rage incident begins to consume their lives. Appearing in supporting roles are Joseph Lee, Young Mazino, David Choe, and Patti Yasutake. Beef was released on Netflix on April 6, 2023 to acclaim from critics who praised Yeun and Wong’s performances, as well as the writing and directing. (Wikipedia)

Despite consisting of ten episodes, Beef takes roughly about five hours all told to binge-watch, making it essential weekend viewing. As mentioned above, the premise revolves around two people viz. Amy Lau (Wong) and Danny Cho (Yeun), having a bad day and a worse encounter with each other on the road. Yes, the infamous “road rage” which consumes modern drivers nowadays. Then, for the remainder of the series, this feud between Amy and Danny escalates to epic proportions, sometimes absurd but eminently plausible.

Writer Lee Sung Jin has crafted a plot that keeps the audience on their toes, with both protagonists upping the ante in the most unreasonable (but realistic) way. Also, the manner in which the supporting cast of characters are brought into the main storyline is deftly handled. The fact these are 30 minute episodes also lends itself to this short and sharp narrative.

The characterisation is spot on, and given time and space to develop. As we find out more about Amy and Danny, we begin to understand the reason and rationale for their often irrational behaviour. There is so much self-loathing with abandonment issues baked into their personalities, that it is not difficult to identify and even root for Amy and Danny despite their utterly anti-social actions and behaviours.

In the final analysis, Beef is one of the better Netflix streaming series of 2023. Highly recommended!

Watch now on Netflix

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