'The Queen's Gambit' is Netflix's Dazzling New Must-See Series
Updated: Nov 7, 2020
'The Queen's Gambit' is Netflix's new original mini-series about a chess prodigy that is a must watch show. The mini-series has consistently been at the number one spot on Netflix's "Top 10 in the U.S. Today" list since it's debut on October 23, 2020. This is a testament to the quality of the show, and it marks a career high for both it's superbly talented lead actress, Anya Taylor-Joy, and for it's equally skilled Director/Screenwriter Scott Frank.
'The Queen's Gambit' defies the odds with it's popularity because chess is not known as the most exciting of subjects...there I said it! But, I will concede, I was wrong about chess, and my opinion changed because of 'The Queen's Gambit.' 'The Queen's Gambit' is not about vampires, stealing cars, breaking into vaults, going to Paris, or chasing ghosts, instead what it offers is unique and unlike most of what is on Netflix or anywhere else.
So, why should you watch 'The Queen's Gambit'?
Anya Taylor-Joy as Elizabeth Harmon, 'The Queen's Gambit' lead character, commands attention in every shot she is in. Taylor-Joy misses no beat, she portrays Harmon as both a genius but not without doing stupid things, and emotionally damaged and vulnerable while being equally strong, calculating, and intelligent. Taylor-Joy never stops being captivating to watch.
Chess. The world of chess has never been more mysterious and charming. Chess may seem like a solitary game, but as we see, the path to becoming "Grand Master" involves the help of others. Elizabeth Harmon is continuously seen as a loner, even when she had her mother as a young girl, the mother was never fully there for her. Later on, after becoming an orphan, she makes few connections with others in her early years, and it is through the camaraderie in chess, that she is able to form life-long friendships.
The humor. 'The Queen's Gambit' will likely be seen as a drama, but it balances its darker themes and scenes with comedy. This masterful balance between drama and comedy ensured 'The Queen's Gambit' never felt overly heavy or saccharine, and helped it keep a good narrative pace. Dramas sometimes drag on, this one never did.
The memorable supporting cast. Who doesn't hate watching a movie or show in which the lead is amazing in their role, but everyone else is unremarkable or just bad. Notably, 'The Queen's Gambit' seems to be a home for British child actors, insert Dudley, Harry Potter's troll of a cousin, and the all grown up funny kid from "Love Actually." Bill Camp was pitch perfect in his role as janitor/mentor to a young Elizabeth. And, not enough can be said of how good both Moses Ingram and Marielle Heller, are in their respective roles.
The Russians. Stemming from the days of "The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends," the Russians have always made for the perfect "enemy" for American characters. But don't be mistaken, the Russians in 'The Queen's Gambit' are not one-dimensional "Boris" and "Natasha" depictions. 'The Queen's Gambit' portrays Russians as formidable, and the best in chess, but they are also seen as emotional, curious, and honorable.
The fashion. 'Emily in Paris,' another Netflix original series, was supposed to deliver F-A-S-H-I-O-N. It takes place in Paris no less! But, Emily never quite delivered in the fashion department, whose fashion were perfectly nice, but anyone with access to a nearby mall could get those exact looks. In 'The Queen's Gambit' the fashion is an important tool used to show the development of Elizabeth Harmon from poor awkward young girl to well to-do confident young woman, and her style and fashion always slayed.
Although you could watch something else, why would you? 'The Queen's Gambit' check-mates it's competition, and simply put, it's the best damn thing on Netflix today.
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