PLOT SUMMARY- Nine-year-old orphan Beth Harmon is quiet, sullen, and by all appearances unremarkable. That is until she plays her first game of ChessChess. Her senses grow sharper, her thinking clearer, and she feels herself entirely in control for the first time in her life. By the age of sixteen, she’s competing for the U.S. Open championship. But as Beth hones her skills on the professional circuit, the stakes get higher, her isolation grows more frightening, and the thought of escape becomes all the more tempting. Based on the book by Walter Tevis.
REVIEW- Top to bottom, scenic design, wardrobe, direction, and casting is a top-notch production. The acting is seamless, and the characters embody their roles perfectly.
One couldn’t hope for a more original or more compelling story. As you might expect from the title, ChessChess plays a central role, and the author’s use of the game as an extended metaphor shifts in ways both nuanced and explosive. For any thinking person, this series is sure to delight.
In my opinion, strong characterization always provides the best entertainment. The producers of “The Queen’s Gambit” tackle the challenging task of creating a compelling story from the characters’ inner lives. Granted, they are working from an excellent novel, but frequently, attempts to bring works that center around the mental rather than the physical journey of the central character fail miserably. In this case, the producers deserve the highest praise. If you like thoughtful stories that expose the characters’ inner lives, don’t miss this one.
While generally acceptable for children, the show contains several adult themes, so parental guidance is recommended.