The Queen’s Gambit is arguably the biggest television hit of the last year. Not to be cliché, but nearly everyone has been talking about it. It has skyrocketed Anya Taylor-Joy to household name status, raked in Best Limited Series and Best Actress awards at this year’s Golden Globes, and is responsible for hundreds of thousands of people discovering a new-found interest in chess. Seriously. My family played more chess over Christmas holiday than we had in the last decade.
Now, all of these accomplishments are rightfully earned. The Queen’s Gambit is a stunning feat of television. Every department is at the top of its game, the writing is superb, the costume and set design is jaw-dropping, the cinematography is sickening(ly good), and the acting brings a tear of joy to my eye. A tear of Anya Taylor-Joy.
It is certainly one of those shows, that as soon as it ends, you are googling when, where and how you will watch another season?! Well… sorry to say folks, we’ve lost out on a second season of the gambit for the moment. So, what to watch instead…?
First, You’ve Got to Know…
What was it about The Queen’s Gambit that made it such a slamming hit? It’s really hard to narrow it down when they’ve hit a home-run in so many areas. Well not to worry my eager chess enthusiasts, I’ve done that work for you.
#1 – Fierce Female Lead
Anya Taylor-Joy is dazzling as Beth Harmon, while her cast mates are also strong, she still manages to carry the entire show with her mesmerizing performance. Not only is she giving the performance of a life time, the character of Beth allows Taylor-Joy to fully embody an independent, brilliant woman who knows what she wants and fully goes after it.
It’s more than that Beth Harmon is a boss-babe that we can all look up too, it’s that she is real. She is a real person, who is messy, who has problems and who makes mistakes. We can relate to her. That makes the story inspiring. Plus, as a woman, it is so gratifying to watch her stick it to her male counterparts after being told she couldn’t compete in the same league.
#2 – Visually Stunning Period Piece
Wow. I mean wow, was The Queen’s Gambit gorgeous to look at. The hair, the makeup-up, the outfits! It was almost painfully pleasing. The show gives us a peek of the glamorous world of the mid 50’s to early 60’s, and I have to say that after watching, I wanted to run to the nearest vintage shop ASAP.
In addition to those beautiful costumes. The cinematography is killer, and totally innovative. Did you know that in order to keep each chess game intriguing, they filmed each match in a completely unique and stunning way?
#3 – A Glimpse of Another World
Specifically, the chess world. Not surprisingly, so many that watched gained a new appreciation for chess. Some even deciding to learn and pick up the game themselves. This is a huge part of the show. It’s so motivating to watch Beth Harmon discover her life’s passion and go after it with all she’s got.
I loved falling in love with this world. It truly felt like I was there. Like I was one of the players that was about to face off in a quick round of speed chess for practice.
So, What to Watch Next?
I have the perfect things to satisfy your cravings, if The Queen’s Gambit left you wanting more.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel!
This has been one of my favorite TV shows of all time. Every time a season ends, I am itching for the next. So good news for you, this gem has everything that made The Queen’s Gambit a hit.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is set in the late 1950’s in New York City, and follows the story of Midge Maisel, a house-wife who finds herself newly separated and for the first time, challenged with making her own way in life. Much to our luck, she is hilarious and falls sideways into a career as a comedienne.
Meet Mrs. Maisel
You’re going to fall in love with the witty, sweet, firecracker that is Midge Maisel. Actress Rachel Brosnahan does the character absolute justice and has actually already picked up two Golden Globes for her starring role as Mrs. Maisel.
Similarly to our favorite gal, Beth Harmon, Midge has to make it in a male dominated industry where no one is giving her any breaks.
A 1950’s-1960’s New York City
Yesss! Give it to me baby! The costumes and sets in this series are simply the best. Dare I say, even better than The Queen’s Gambit. Hey! Don’t snap! You’ll just have to watch and find out for yourself!
The cinematography team for The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel gives us the same type of cutting-edge creativity that makes The Queen’s Gambit so delicious. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel team is known for the long-shot, a particularly large section of a scene where there are no cuts. This technique really throws you straight into the world, making you feel like you are right there in the scene with the characters.
Fun fact! Many of the main actors are Broadway stars, meaning they are used to having to do long, meticulously choreographed scenes without being able to stop for breaks!
Welcome to the World of Comedy!
Ooo, is it ever fun! The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, takes us on-stage, back-stage and on the road on comedy tours across the country and into Europe! It’s very satisfying to get a behind-the-scenes look at how famous comedians and comediennes might operate. Apparently, it gives a pretty accurate depiction at that, according to the one and only Joe Rogan
“@arishaffir and I agreed about the stand up comedy aspects of the show that they mostly got it right, which is really hard to do. In fact, it might be the best fictional representation of stand up ever when you think about it. Almost every movie on stand up comedy has some pretty severe “cut the shit” moments where as a comic, it’s hard for me to relate to the story because the stand up seems so fake, but this show manages to somehow avoid all those traps. If you’re looking for something to binge watch check it out.”
So, there you have it folks. If you don’t believe me, then believe Joe Rogan. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is sure to satisfy your needs if you are looking for a fix after The Queen’s Gambit.
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