Review of Netflix’s New Series: The Queen’s Gambit

Ava Kavanagh, Arts and Entertainment Editor

Just as Beth Harmon, the main character, sweeps her opponent’s chessboard, the audience was swept away by this absolutely mesmerizing show–“The Queen’s Gambit”.

No one expected “The Queen’s Gambit” to be a fan-favorite of fall 2020, racking up nearly 62 million viewers within 4 weeks, and quickly reached #1 on Netflix’s watch list in 92 countries. And for good reason, the show is entirely binge-worthy.

“The Queen’s Gambit” is an adaptation of Walter Tevis’ coming-of-age novel which features Beth Harmon, a young orphan, as she struggles with addiction and becoming an ambitious young woman during the Cold War ’50s and ’60s. Beth soon discovers her prodigal gift of chess through the tutorship of the orphanage janitor, Mr. Shaibel. In the following years, the audience watches her as she climbs through the ranks of the chess world.

What makes a show about chess so addicting?

For one, Anya Taylor-Joy plays Beth Harmon perfectly. It’s a classic underdog story, and who doesn’t love an underdog? She’s everything you could possibly want in the main character: talented, determined, modest, unapologetic, unique, and not to mention stylish.

Ok, I’ll stop gushing.

One of the most captivating qualities of the show is its ability to entrench you in Beth Harmon’s world. The plot contains various flashbacks and requires a connection of the plot like pieces of a puzzle in order to form her present. The costume and set design are also very aesthetically pleasing. If you have a love for the ’60s this is definitely the one for you!

The show has something for almost everyone and I highly recommend watching it if you haven’t. But just a warning you might want to buy a chessboard by the end of it. Spoiler alert: there’s one in my Amazon cart.


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