The Queen’s Gambit (Scott Frank, 2020)
The Queen’s Gambit is a 1960’s period piece whose narrative structure and cinematography fall somewhere between Peaky Blinders and Euphoria. Directed by Scott Frank and based on Walter Tevis’ 1983 novel, the show tells the story of an orphan, Beth Harmon, who upon discovering chess finds that she is a natural prodigy. As Beth, played by the breathtaking Ana Taylor-Joy, navigates young adulthood, a certain lack of nurture and her being thrust into the spotlight results in an intense display of substance abuse that clouds her innocence.
Similarly to Euphoria, the rampant drug use gives the show an almost psychedelic edge and visually it allows the director to play on her intoxication with experimental cuts and effects. The result is tasteful, the dialogue is poignant, and you’ll find yourself relating to and loving Beth’s character a bit more with each episode.
Everything from the supporting cast to the soundtrack appear to be meticulously thought out and the critics are all over this series for good reason. For those looking for a show that is anything but mindless and will have you emotionally invested by the end of episode 2, look no further.