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The Bear Cast And Creators Comment On That Eye-Catching Opening Scene

Clearly, Jeremy Allen White has not had his fill of Chicago. After over a decade playing Lip Gallagher on Showtime's "Shameless," he returns to the familiar city in FX's half-hour restaurant series, "The Bear." Reeling from his brother's suicide, Carmen Berzatto (White) — also known as Carmy — takes ownership of the family sandwich shop, The Original Beef of Chicagoland. 

Carmy and the rest of the kitchen staff grate against each other as he tries to implement changes in order to keep the restaurant afloat. As Carmy comes from the high-end restaurant world, his fellow chefs do not understand his system and actively push back against him. From the specific kitchen lingo in "The Bear" to its vibrant characters, the series has been heralded as one of the most realistic depictions of restaurant life. But surprisingly, the first scene pulls back from the loud and furious hustle of the kitchen. A rare scene actually taking place outside the restaurant, the opening sequence was written for a specific purpose.

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline​ at​ 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.

The creators wanted to grab viewers' attention

Viewers may be familiar with what "The Bear" becomes, which can only be described as a fast-paced anxiety attack. But the first scene of the series is something else entirely. At night over the Chicago River, Carmy walks down a deserted bridge, where a bear growls in a cage. He quietly advances on the beast, trying to calm the bear before opening the cage and getting attacked. Carmy wakes up with a start, a victim of just one of many stress dreams the chef has to endure. According to showrunner Joanna Calo, this was meant to entice viewers into watching.

"You have to trick people into watching more!" Calo explained to Complex. Though she was not completely serious about tricking audiences, grabbing the audience's attention immediately is an important element. With so much content out there, it's a mad dash to get viewers to tune in. Jeremy Allen White also loved added elements when watching a cut of the episode.

"There's this sound effect that wasn't there before of a burner struggling to get on, which I thought was really nice," White noted. Right before the scene fades from black, there is a clicking sound of a burner, which foreshadows perfectly the chaos of Carmy's life. This is in addition to the eerie view of the Chicago bridge, which was completely shut down for filming. A calm before the storm, this somber beginning contrasts beautifully with the wild intensity the rest of the show employs.

The reviews are in and The Bear is a success

If the creators of "The Bear" were concerned about getting viewers, that certainly isn't a concern any longer. Since "The Bear" hit Hulu in late June of 2022, the monumental buzz around the show is undeniable. Now Certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, it maintains a critic rating of 100%. From its exploration of grief to its laugh-out-loud moments, the series has had outlets such as NPR raving.

But what fans cannot help but talk about is the man himself, Jeremy Allen White — so much so that even White is aware of the public perception of Carmy. During his profile for GQ, the actor spoke about viewers' love for the character.

"What I find attractive in people is a determination. If you're truly good at something, that's incredibly attractive," White told the publication. "I understand people having a crush on Carmy. I think I have a bit of a crush on Carmy." Carmy is undeniably too traumatized to have a romantic life, but that doesn't mean that fans aren't thirsting for more content. The talented chef struggles under the weight of his responsibilities and feeling complicit in his brother's death, all making for captivating television. With only eight episodes in Season 1, many may be wondering if there will be a follow-up.

"To me, the whole first season feels almost like a prelude to what the show actually is," White said, in hopes for a Season 2.