Netflix 'Beef' Review: Dark comedy thriller explores intricacies of anger through a road rage feud
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: 'Beef' on Netflix might seem like a simple story involving two individuals but the series has more layers to it than a croissant. The main theme taken is anger and the complexity of anger, how it turns us into an unlikable version of ourselves. 'Beef' dives deep into our consciousness and picks behaviors that are always packed and sealed behind closed doors. But as soon as we get the idea of how twisted the plot is, that's when things start to make sense. The show tells you a story from many perspectives. While that is the best feature of this series, it also shows the audience how a character is feeling and how they perceive life.
The characters are full of scars and wounds, either from generationally passed down trauma or carrying the weight of the world for too long. Ali Wong's Amy and Steven Yeun's Danny get into road rage, where Amy removes all her pent-up anger on Danny when she sees him sitting in the parking lot unbothered. She chases him with her car, which later makes Danny chase her and wonder what is happening. The plot unwraps and we realize that Amy and Danny are more alike than it seems.
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Invigorating and surprising
Both the characters are trying to make something of this world while also trying to survive. Danny is a contractor, who once owned a motel, but due to unknown circumstances, the motel gets sold off. Amy is a hard-working woman who just wants to have some "me" time. Being married into a rich family, it seems she is working more than she had intended to. After the road rage incident, the characters chase each other to take revenge. While Danny finds Amy's house and gets into her home pretending to be a contractor, and ends up pissing all over her bathroom. While seeking revenge, Amy finds Danny's truck and spray paints profanities on it.
The main theme isn't class divisions
Although the main theme would come out as class disparity, it isn't. The series carefully walks with the audience to peel off layers of pressure and expectations, both internal and external. Amy smiles through pain, discomfort, and racial jokes just because she wants to take a break and sell her company. Danny is guilty of sending his parents away to South Korea, so he can build a house for them. In spite of such a drastic difference in their socio-economic status, these two individuals possess striking similarities that the other fails to see when blinded by their initial anger. There isn’t a clear hero or villain, and the lines between the characters get blurrier as the episodes progress.
The show is full of absurd comedy and drama that is held by fine performances by the leads, Steven Yeun and Ali Wong. The actors did a fine job making us believe the difficulties people hold inside of them and while it may seem anger is a fast relief for all your worries, it does bring along with it a deep well of chaos.
All in all, 'Beef' is something that tries to be dark, but comes out as emotional and therapeutic in many ways. It is totally worth a watch, as it is now available exclusively on Netflix.