What a week. I’m totally drained. So much craziness at the office. All I want to do is slip into my PJs, pop some Orville Redenbacher, and stream that new show that’s getting so much buzz. The one Marcus and Jenny and my other coworkers have been raving about. What was it called again? The Cook? No—it’s about a cook. Some hot cook who comes back to Chicago to run the family restaurant even though he’s a top chef at a four-star New York eatery.

Let me look online. Oh, that’s right: The Bear. Maybe that’s his nickname or something.

Damn, it’s on Hulu, which I don’t have. But wait—it’s also on YouTube? Well, here goes nothing.

This is older than I expected, but I guess people are getting into Kate Bush again too. No accounting for what’ll resurface.

[Five minutes later] Wow, this is gorgeous. Beautiful scenery. I can see why people have been talking it up. Though—is this supposed to be like, ancient Chicago, before the city was founded?

Ah—there we have the titular bear. Oops—it got killed. That’s heavy, man.

Oh, but look—a little cub. The cub’s gonna be okay, I know it.

I thought there was supposed to be a kitchen? This must be backstory or allegory or something. Running a restaurant is like “surviving in the wilderness.” Interesting choice, I totally see it.

That poor cub. I can relate. Abandoned. Alone in the world. Foraging. Trying to stay alive. Just like working a service job in the big city!

[Twenty minutes later] This is a pretty extended metaphor, but I hear Chicago can be a rough place. Survival of the fittest. The old Darwinian struggle to come out on top.

But still. I could have sworn there was a restaurant involved.

I guess salmon’s on the menu?

[Ten minutes later] I don’t want to kink shame, but this seems like a weird thing for Jenny and Marcus and everyone to get horny about.

Okay, here are some people, at last! Hunters. Uh-oh.

I guess they’re pretty hunky, for the nineteenth century. And people today do get all hot and bothered for villains. Plus, social media loves to fetishize normal jobs, especially if they’re blue collar-y. Still, these hunters aren’t doing a lot for me. Maybe Jenny’s into it. Figures.

[Ten minutes later] Is all the buzz… ironic?

I wouldn’t call this a “restaurant” show, unless by “restaurant” you mean “the great outdoors.”

I thought this was being promoted on late-night shows, though. Did they get Letterman’s animal handler back?

[Ten minutes later] Is this cruel trolling? Are all those people on Twitter just making fun of this? Is there even such a thing as ironic horniness? For a bear cub or for foreign hunters? Maybe I’m just too old to get the hip new thing. Marcus says I wear old-man pants.

The comments on this YouTube video are weird: “Can you imagine what kind of training, patience, and artistry it took to fulfill this vision?” Ho-kay.

[Ten minutes later,] Wow, this is one long pilot episode. More like a movie. Just a few minutes left, though. It’ll give me something to talk about on Monday with the rest of the office.

I hope they show those hot dogs that are served Chicago style—without ketchup but with a pickle spear and some celery salt. Maybe in the credits.

Wait a second. Is “Chicago dog” code for “bear,” like the Chicago Bears, the football team? Have I just been confused about Midwest lingo this whole time?

Very nice paws. Lush thick coat. But I still don’t get why it’s so popular. Maybe it picks up in the second episode? You see that a lot with shows these days. Jenny is always like, “Just wait till it kicks in—you need to give it at least four episodes!”

I shouldn’t be a hater. I’m glad that people are getting into more avant-garde stuff! Like—the culture’s not dead yet!

I think I get it now.

[Ten minutes later] Is The Bear my favorite new show? Probably not. But at least it’s not another hit of that ol’ Marvel IP!

Just goes to show you that writing something off because it’s “buzzy” doesn’t mean that it’s not challenging.

Still, that’s a lot of salmon.