rev rank beef

Rating: 9/10

Have you ever hated someone so much that you would stalk them? Pee all over their bathroom? Vandalize their car? Catfish their sibling?

Netflix’s latest trending TV show, “Beef,” is a dark comedy that explores the lives and intense ongoing “beef” of Danny Cho, a contractor played by Steven Yeun, and Amy Lau, a wealthy small business owner played by Ali Wong. Yeun and Wong’s characters meet in a road rage incident that goes viral, kickstarting their strangers-to-enemies storyline.

Cho struggles with money and his career, which in turn impacts his rocky relationship with his brother, Paul, and his parents. He wants to prove himself to his family, but fails to find contracting work and maintain clients.

As the breadwinner for her family, Lau also struggles with her career. She wants to close a deal to advance her career, and everything she does revolves around trying to be the perfect, model businesswoman in order to impress others and maintain her reputation.

Both characters are extremely dissatisfied with their lives and take out their frustrations by trying to get revenge on each other after their road rage incident.

The lengths that these characters go to to make the other person’s life a living hell is entertaining, but the longer you watch, the more it starts to get a little aggravating.

You root for both Cho and Lau, but continuously face disappointment as they continue one upping each other in their seemingly never ending game of revenge. 

It can get a little tiresome at times, but each plot twist in the show makes it feel worth it.

One of the biggest highlights of “Beef” for me was the amount of Asian representation throughout the show. Almost the entire cast is of Asian descent, and as an Asian woman, it felt refreshing to see so much representation without it being the main premise of the show.

Yeun and Wong are acting icons in the Asian community, but their performances in this show are probably their best to date. Their rare ability to deliver humor combined with such heartfelt, emotionally intense drama scenes shines in every moment of “Beef.” 

Each of them brings their characters to life so well, you’ll forget that Yeun and Wong are the ones playing them – which is something that has been difficult for such well-known Asian actors like Yeun and Wong to overcome in previous roles.

“Beef” does have a flair for exaggeration and the dramatic  – you can tell just by each episode’s title screen, which features slightly frightening paintings by one of the cast members – but it's just grounded in realism enough to work. 

There are points in the show where I did roll my eyes. (Watching the upper class, snobby characters in Lau’s life have so many discussions over a basic green chair got particularly annoying at times.) But most of the time, I found myself unable to look away, which is why I finished the show in three days.

The A24-produced series is an insane, mildly anxiety-inducing rollercoaster from start to finish. You may laugh, cry, get scared and almost want to gag while watching it, but “Beef” is a show that you just have to binge.

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