“Beef” Is A Meaty Show On Netflix

In a pre-summer season devoid of quality entertainment, Netflix has saved us by releasing its well-received dark series, Beef. With a Coen Brothers meets Breaking Bad style cadence of self-destruction and aspiration colliding with the inevitable humor of a suburban feud, this show is scratching the itch created by the usual midseason breaks.


The entire plot of Beef is kicked off by a random parking lot encounter and road rage incident that sends two people spiraling. The feud completely consumes them and becomes their new reason for living. It also helps them to ignore their personal lives that were miserable in their own right, although on opposite ends of the emotional and financial spectrums.

Steven Yeun shows why he’s Oscar-nominated, delivering incredible performances in every episode. He’s pathetic, he’s funny, he’s the everyman character of Danny Cho, a handyman trying to piece his life together after losing his family’s money on a motel deal gone bad.

His nemesis is Ali Wong, who flexes her range of acting muscles comedically and seriously as Amy Lay. She’s a plant store entrepreneur and overworked suburban resident trying to ink a buyout with a nationwide hardware chain and become a stay-at-home mom to escape her current existence.

The “beef” between them is a great vehicle for tying in the bizarre and fractured relationships that exist in their own families. These are shown to be the root of the angst that they then internalize and secretly yearn to inflict on someone outside of their immediate circle.

Danny Cho (Yeun) is a constantly unemployed contractor, ever emasculated by his younger, smarter, and better-looking brother who tries less and succeeds more. Coupled with a crook of a cousin that never seems to be short on cash or schemes, Danny is pushed to see which path he’ll walk to rise up from Koreatown apartment poverty and call himself a success.

On the opposing side is the already successful Amy Lay (Wong). She has a beautiful family, gorgeous home, rich social life, and thriving career in upper-crust Calabasas. She wants to escape all of it and do nothing. She would likely enjoy Danny’s life if she could leave her soft husband and overbearing mother-in-law to sit in silence with her toddler. She has no outlets or hobbies, nor does she make time for them, until Danny Cho enters her life.

The two hate themselves as much as each other and devise ways to make their new enemy miserable via modern methods. You root for and against both of them in every scene as the crux of the feud is so asinine there really can be no winners. The old adage that “hurt people, hurt people” is on full display through catfishing, writing bad reviews online, defacing automobiles, and relentlessly tracking each other with apps, causing their personal aspirations to crumble.

Each episode showcases hilarious, modern pettiness in a realm of nonviolence and softness that exists in the tech-savvy, passive-aggressive era. It’s as much a show about redeeming oneself and letting go as it is about vengeance. Despite the two major talents headlining, they share few scenes together, despite constantly affecting the vector of the other.

Beef is a refreshing change-up pitch in the barrage of reality garbage and action movies crammed down our throat this season. Enjoy the fruits of spite and learn new ways to smite your own suburban enemies by binging all episodes of this dark comedy now on Netflix.