Is The New Netflix Craze Worth A Watch?
The latest Netflix sensation that has taken the world by storm: BEEF. Produced by A24, this darkly humorous show has captivated audiences with its unique storytelling. Creator Lee Sung Yin takes us on a gripping journey that begins with a road rage incident in LA. With the incredible talents of Ali Wong and Steven Yuen leading the cast, BEEF delves deep into compelling themes such as family, identity, monetary values, depression, and the Asian American diaspora.
BEEF presents a rich narrative where Asian American characters are portrayed in diverse and refreshing ways. While some roles may appear clichéd, the show breaks new ground by showcasing a variety of characters with distinct lives and stories, defying stereotypes. Through the contrasting lives of Wong and Yuen’s characters, the series skillfully explores the shared struggles of mental health, reminding us that everyone carries unseen burdens. Prepare to be blown away by the mind-bending finale, as the show escalates to unprecedented heights.
Each episode of BEEF opens with enigmatic titles displayed against David Choe’s thought-provoking artwork. Drawing inspiration from renowned writers like Sylvia Plath, author of The Bell Jar, and Betty Friedan, author of The Feminine Mystique, the episode names incorporate poetry quotes and references. This artistic choice adds an intriguing layer of depth to the viewing experience. Episode One, “The Birds Don’t Sing,” pays homage to German Director Werner Herzog’s documentary titled Burden of Dreams. Episode Two, “The Rapture of Being Alive,” draws from an interview with author Joseph Campbell, exploring the meaning of life.
Now, let’s delve into the fascinating antagonist portrayed by David Choe. As an abstract artist, Choe’s character perfectly aligns with his unique persona. Although his portrayal may be controversial, it is important to note the distinction between the actor and his on-screen role. Choe has been at the center of several controversies due to his provocative statements and creations. One of the most shocking incidents involves his podcast, where he shared a fictional story about coercing a masseuse for sexual favors and was labeled a rapist by a co-host. Choe claims the story was fabricated, emphasizing that he is not a rapist. While these comments are highly inappropriate and disturbing, it’s crucial to consider the other aspects of the show.
Some individuals have expressed frustration over Choe’s casting, which has led to questioning the show’s integrity. However, creator Yin and co-stars Wong and Yuen broke their silence in an exclusive interview with Vanity Fair. They expressed their disagreement with Choe’s comments and acknowledged his efforts to seek mental health support and learn from his past mistakes over the past decade. Although these statements are undoubtedly troubling, it is important to recognize the collective effort behind the show. While Choe’s involvement may warrant criticism and even a boycott, the outstanding performances of Ali Wong and Steven Yuen, the impeccable set designs reflecting the characters’ inner lives, the meticulous attention to wardrobe choices, and the directorial prowess all deserve recognition.
While I understand the concerns surrounding Choe, I personally recommend giving the series a chance if you feel comfortable doing so. We can voice our opinions about Choe’s actions without discrediting the entire show. BEEF offers a compelling viewing experience, combining dark humor, multi-dimensional characters, and unexpected plot twists. Don’t miss out on this remarkable series that pushes boundaries and sparks conversations.