On paper, “The Queen’s Gambit” won’t sound like a compelling drama: Based mostly on a novel by Walter Tevis, the Netflix sequence tells the story of Beth Harmon as she rises by way of the world of aggressive chess, finally taking over the world champion from the Soviet Union.
However on the most recent episode of the Unique Content material podcast, your hosts are unanimous of their love for the sequence. We speak a bit about a number of the flaws (a setup-heavy first episode, the unsatisfying remedy of Beth’s buddy Jolene), however for essentially the most half, we’re blissful to spend our time praising the present.
A few of that has to do with the interval setting — “The Queen’s Gambit” traces Beth’s life by way of the Fifties and ’60s, with some delightfully retro units and costumes, together with a clear-eyed method in the direction of the condescension and sexism that Beth faces in her early matches.
On the identical time, it’s Beth (performed by Anya Taylor-Pleasure) who pulls you thru all eight episodes as they depict her advanced relationship together with her foster mom, her struggles with substance abuse and her friendships with different chess gamers. Whereas Beth has a handful traits you’ll acknowledge from different troublesome geniuses portrayed on-screen, she’s finally too advanced to boil right down to a single thought or logline.
And when you don’t have to know a lot about chess to take pleasure in “The Queen’s Gambit,” the present’s concentrate on character and character permits it to depict aggressive chess in a approach that’s, in truth, thrilling.
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f you’d wish to skip forward, right here’s how the episode breaks down:
4:28 “The Queen’s Gambit” evaluation
34:11 “The Queen’s Gambit” spoiler dialogue