• Luis Gomez

'The Queen's Gambit' is Netflix's Dazzling New Must-See Series

Updated: Nov 3, 2021

'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 its debut on October 23, 2020. This is a testament to the quality of the show, and it marks a career high for both its 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 its 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. As Elizabeth Harmon, Anya Taylor commands attention in every shot she is in. Taylor-Joy misses no beat, she portrays Harmon as both a genius who is not above making stupid decisions. Similarly, Harmon shows us with great precision how Elizabeth is emotionally damaged and vulnerable, while still being equally strong, calculating, and intelligent. Remember this, 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. Elizabeth’s mother was never fully present or reliable as a parent because of her own personal demons. Later on, after becoming an orphan, Elizabeth manages to make several connections with others in her early years, and it is through the camaraderie in the world of chess, that she is able to form life-long friendships. The humor. At a quick glance, 'The Queen's Gambit' can come off as just a drama, but it does an excellent job at balancing its darker themes and scenes with comedy. This dichotomy between drama and comedy ensured 'The Queen's Gambit' never felt overly heavy or saccharine, and helped it keep a consistent running narrative pace. Dramas tend to drag on and 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. Elizabeth’s style and fashion consistently elevated and improved which formed an undeniable connection between her improvements in the world of fashion and her mastery of chess.

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.

Image: Netflix | YouTube