No, chef! Season 2 of ‘The Bear’ is noisy and boring

You’d think “The Bear” is the “Citizen Kane” of television dramedy, given all the critical hyperventilating/ kowtowing over Season 2, which premiered June 23 (the FX series streams exclusively on Hulu).

It’s not — at least in the first half of this 10-episode season, already ruined for me by a Deadline interview with series star Jeremy Allen White in which he describes his “Season 2 finale breakdown.”

Cool, thanks so much for spoiling everything — something we try very hard not to do here unless absolutely necessary.

This was not necessary. Delayed viewing, anyone?

From what I’ve seen so far, Season 2 of “The Bear” is just meh — and is meandering through a sophomore slump, perhaps vis-á-vis the pressure to outdo its stellar inaugural season.

Carmy (Jeremy Allen White) and Richie (Ebon Moss-Bachrach)
Carmy (Jeremy Allen White) and Richie (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) arguing … again ….
Chuck Hodes

That intrigue has largely vanished now, replaced by an annoying — and at times, boring — story arc as still-depressed chef Carmen “Carmy” Berzatto (and his hair) rebrands and rebuilds his down-and-out Chicago eatery amidst the bickering and workplace/personal drama that was somewhat charming in Season 1 as the main characters, particularly Carmy, traveled on their journeys of self-discovery.

“The Bear” is way too loud, both in its audio and contextual dimensions.

Its decibel level is aided and abetted by too-precious cinematography and editing — a trap into which “Better Call Saul” stepped in trying to replicate the visual style of its predecessor, “Breaking Bad.”

There are frenetically shot, way-too-noisy arguments in which it’s hard to understand who’s saying what as Carmy’s army talk over each other in that Robert Altman-type of way — almost as if they’re standing on a jetway trying to outshout each other above above the engines’ roar.

Ayo Edibiri, Abby Elliott and Jeremy Allen White as Sydney, Natalie and Carmey. They're standing side-by-side inside the restaurant, which is being renovated. Sydney has her hands in her pockets, Natalie looks worried and Carmey is staring off into space.
Sydney (Ayo Edebiri), Natalie (Abby Elliott) and Carmy ponder their situation while doing the rebuild.
FX Networks

Sure, it creates tension … but in a negative, cacophonous way.

And how many times do we need to hear that obnoxious phrase “Yes, Chef!” from the lead characters?

Is this is really how colleagues in the restaurant business address each other behind closed doors — and, if so, even in dumps like the former Original Beef of Chicagoland? Really?

Seems to me just sad and self-involved.

They’re creating food that will be woofed down by customers without a second thought. No one outside the kitchen really cares about the inside-baseball verbiage behind those swinging doors.

Enough already.

Sydney and Marcus (Lionel Boyce) share a moment amidst the chaos of rebuilding the restaurant.
Sydney and Marcus (Lionel Boyce) share a moment amidst the chaos of rebuilding the restaurant.
Chuck Hodes

(I was on a press call, years ago, with Gordon Ramsay; obsequious reporters addressed him as “Chef” and I wanted to reach out through the phone wires and slap them upside their heads.)

“The Bear” will rightfully earn a handful (or more) of well-deserved kudos July 12 for stars White, Ayo Edibiri (Sydney) and Ebon Moss-Bacharach (Richie) — and, perhaps, for supporting players Liza Colón-Zayas (Tina) and Lionel Boyce (Marcus) — when nominations for the 75th Annual Emmy Awards are announced.

And Season 2 guest stars including Bob Odenkirk, Jamie Lee Curtis, Olivia Colman and John Mulaney are on the way, so there’s that.

So far, though, “The Bear” has failed to roar and, more often than not, is just clattering, check-your-watch background noise.

Get it together, people.

There’s a new restaurant to launch and even less time to capture viewers’ fancy before “The Bear” is off their menus and it’s on to one of the other 464,786 series out there in TV land.

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