Sweetbitter (2018– )
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So far I've seen two episodes and am not going to continue to watch this. It's very cliched and has wooden dialogue. I don't know the point -- does the main character want to become a chef or what? The lead actress walks around like she's a half-wit with her mouth gaping open, gawking at people as if she's never seen humans before. Her first day at the restaurant, she walks around in a daze and does absolutely nothing. In such a high-end restaurant, I think she'd be shown the door after 10 minutes of this behavior, but no, she manages to somehow get away with doing nothing. She supposedly has a degree in literature but tells the manager in her interview that she's not reading anything right now when he asks her -- couldn't they have a least have her state a book or two? Everyone ignores her on her first day and rush around manically, maybe this is normal restaurant staff etiquette but I found it annoying. She was supposed to fill salt shakers and bus some plates but fails to do most of this.There are some cliches like the dramatic gay guy, the aggressive lesbian, the aloof wine expert, the hot bartender, the stuffy manager, and so on. In the second episode, she leaves to go home at the end of her shift, orders food, realizes she forgot her wallet at work, returns to work to find a big party going on, and is told it's a nightly thing. Why didn't anyone tell her? Then she goes to another bar (forgets her wallet again), gets hit in the face at the other bar, does cocaine, drinks a ton of shots (also acting like she's never done cocaine by readily snorts it after having had some put on her split lip), and goes to pay for the drinks (EVERONE'S DRINKS?) and realizes she again (third time) didn't have her wallet. I was really irritated by this -- I hope her wallet is long gone. I'm out!
First, this series isn't exactly dedicated to the culture of a chef's life or how intense the world of serving is working world wide renoun star rated restaurants, well, kinda.
This show is on the caliber of series like Flesh and Bone, The Girlfriend Experience, and Mozart in the jungle. Though these shows are entirely different, they share the same kind of unniverse and platform; STARZ, except for Primes Mozart.
Sweet bitter is very engaging and each episode ends too quickly as you want it to continue much longer since each grows as the minutes go by with intrigue, same with the seasons. The lead is very seductive and likable as shes so amiable and graceful. We know nothing about her history for half the first season, as it remains intriguing to learn who she was before moving to NY and what kind of life she led. I was very surprised to read the negative reviews and felt like I watched a different show. Our first impression of her is she's moved to a city, NYC, that seems like it's the last place for her.
She works in NYC best notable restaurant owned by the great actor from House of Cards (the author Francis employed to write the book), and his onscreen presence captures the restuarants tone so well. The behind the scenes look is always compelling and portrays how difficult it is to be a server in upscale places.
This show is less about plot, and more about characters. I personally dont give a damnas like as the writing is great! And thus it is. It's a series that naturally grows letting the characters aet the pace in their actions and decisions first. This series is massively underrated and a 7 on here is just comical!
I have a high standard when it comes to investing my time in a series and these days not many shows Wow me or making me binge like a few years ago. This is very addicting and the reason I added the names kd the above shows, is because if you liked any of them, you will surely like this one.
Dismiss the low rating and negative comments. But then not people appreciate these kind of unique and very different shows.
Watched one episode, painfully stupid.
My wife and I like food porn. So despite the mediochre reviews, we gave it a shot, hoping to see something cool set in a fine dining restaurant.
The first few minutes are fine. Then we get the millennial job interview. She has no skills. She knows how to bus and that's it. So, since she has no experience doing anything remotely useful, the interviewer asks her "I see you graduated with a BFA in English. What are you reading now?" "I'm not reading anything now."
This could have been a good spot to enhance the character with some insight into her personality. It could have been a good spot to give the interviewer a reason to hire her. It could have been a number of things. INstead. "I'm not reading anything right now." Really? You want to talk about something you read in the past? A book you loved? A book you just finished? No? None of that? Just stare out the windows? "I'm not reading anything right now." Done. And wow.
She leaves the interview with "I've been to a lot of places today but this place is different."
Not, "I like what you're going for here. I really like this place. I felt a real connection to you. I feel like I belong here, give me a shot." Nope. This place is different. Thanks I guess?
So of course she gets the job and then spends her first day doing, essentially nothing. Not as far as work is concerned. She wanders around staring at people, gets cut somehow, I'm still not sure how since she was never near a knife. She is told to "wipe down salt shakers" and fails to complete this very basic task. Literally, someone else takes care of the 12 salt shakers because she got distracted.
Then finishes the day (having done zero work) by drinking champagne and eating oysters in the walk in cooler.
When the guy is opening oysters she asks "How do you even learn how to do something like that."
What the actual hell does that even mean? THE SAME WAY YOU LEARN ANYTHING ELSE? WHAT ARE YOU EVEN ASKING?
As she tastes her first oyster she sees sunsets and the ocean and her head explodes (I wish.) When asked what she tastes, she says "Salt. Can I have another?"
How about "I taste the ocean and summer and life and adventure."
Nope. She tastes salt. Horrible.
I can only assume this is a show by millennials for millennials. Give me a job because I'm special without showing you why I'm special and then I will show up and vapidly stare at things and not actually work.
Yikes, it's bad. Surprisingly bad. The lead actress is very pretty, but looks alone is clearly not enough. I can't tell if it's her acting or if it's the director's fault, but her "I'm so wide-eyed and curious," bit made my gorge rise. I wanted to poke her with something sharp.
I'd rather watch a "Survivor" rerun than this drivel.
While Ella Purnell for Tess is an OK-choice, I can't understand many of the other decisions concerning the cast, especially Simone and Will.
But that aside: What makes the book so special is how sensual the story of developing a palate (both for food and men) is told. Stephanie Danlers writing is very lyrical, focuses a lot on small details and special observations. Almost all of that is lost in the TV-adaption - because it's impossible to bring across in picture, what you can do with words.
If the plot of the book was stronger, the stroy had more drive, it would have worked. But the storytelling comes second to the sensual, human experience of entering a foreign field, a new crowd.
Therefore only 4 stars from me. But the book was bomb.
So, it's a no for me.
In the first episode, she finds employment in a upscale restaurant. She is surrounded by people who seem to have the key to an exclusive club that is foreign to her. Everything seems to come easy to them, so she studies their every word and movement.
This is, obviously, a fish-out-of-water story melded with a coming-of-age story, and much of its success hangs on Purnell's believability and the viewer's desire to follow her down the rabbit hole. Fortunately, her character is likable and she portrays well the earnest innocence of "the new kid".
The show's attention to detail is apparent in every set, every action. The casting is near perfect, surrounding Purnell with characters you want to learn about.
The music deserves mention. It feels perfectly wedded to every scene.
The writing is nuanced and sparse (in the best way).
In one scene, the main character is walking across the Williamsburg Bridge and I felt I could smell the oily, human dirtiness of the city.
If you watch the first few episodes, notice how many times they mention the main character's name. It's a small item, but it informs the viewer in a subtle way.