Beef: The Birds Don’t Sing, They Screech in Pain Review


Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

Ethan Stone, Staff Reporter

The word “beef” originates from the Old French word “boef” which is a combination of the latin roots “bos” and “bov” which means cow. In modern times, the word is used in slang to mean grudge or dislike of someone. But now, beef has taken on a new meaning.

Lee Sung Jin’s new show “Beef” released on Netflix on April 6. The show stars Academy Award nominee Steven Yeun and Emmy nominee Ali Wong. 

The show follows Danny and Amy, two strangers who develop a hatred for each other, as they spiral out of control down a path of self-destruction just to get back at each other.

It is clear early on that both characters are compulsive, the entire conflict beginning with a mundane event, a near parking lot fender bender, and ending in a car chase leading to destruction of property. And both Yeun and Wong are great at balancing this dilemma. 

They are able to be the most boring people in one moment and I Heart Huckabees David O Russel in the next, usually in the same scene. Especially in their facial expressions, the contrast in mood is both funny and terrifying.

The sound design, in combination with the score, further amplifies the effectiveness of their performances. 

When their anger begins to boil over, every little sound in the environment gets louder, building with the repetitive music into a claustrophobic cacophony that anyone would break down to.

The show also critiques compulsive nature when it comes to finances.

George, Danny’s roommate, is originally shown to be a slacker living off of Danny’s earnings, but later we learn this is due to him losing all of his money after investing into cryptocurrency. This mirrors countless cases in real life like the Bitconnect incident where hardworking people lost their life savings.

With overnight millionaires and celebrity endorsements going viral on social media, common people are put under the threat of missing out and investing immediately without much thought.

Beef’s opening episode perfectly establishes the series’ tone, central conflict, and promises nine more interesting episodes. The episode is well worth a watch and serves as a reminder that, in an anxiety inducing world, it’s important to step back and relax.