What is Beef about? New Netflix series explained

Ali Wong in Beef on NetflixNetflix

Beef, Netflix’s hit new comedy-drama show, has just dropped to rave reviews – so, here’s what it’s about, who’s in the cast, and if it’s worth watching.

Netflix has been keeping audiences busy in 2023, with a full range of TV shows and movies for all tastes – from Shawn Ryan’s political thriller The Night Agent to its adorable new family adventure film Chupa.

The streamer’s latest entry, Beef, is a binge-worthy ride, telling the story of two strangers who let their resentments get the better of them amid a sense of deep-rooted familial pressure. 

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With the show holding its position in Netflix’s top 10 chart and earning critical acclaim, here’s everything you need to know about Beef.

What is Beef about?

Beef is a 10-episode comedy-drama, and though the plot starts with a road rage clash, there is far more going on behind the scenes as the narrative introduces each character and their relationships.

Check out the trailer below:

The official synopsis reads: “Beef follows the aftermath of a road rage incident between two strangers. Danny Cho, a failing contractor with a chip on his shoulder, goes head-to-head with Amy Lau, a self-made entrepreneur with a picturesque life.

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“The increasing stakes of their feud unravel their lives and relationships in this darkly comedic and deeply moving series.”

Speaking about the process of writing the script, showrunner Lee Sung Jin discussed how Beef came to be both “completely unpredictable” and yet “deeply personal in surprising ways.”

“Once the writer’s room opened up and we brought in all these great people, we didn’t spend a lot of time trying to write the scripts per se,” he said. “We spent a huge chunk of time just gathering personal stories, anecdotes, and observations about people in our lives.” 

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Jin later added: “A lot of rooms I’ve been in historically haven’t had a lot of Asian Americans in it, but our show did, so I think that’s why so many of the specificities feel so real.”

Beef cast: Who’s in it?

Netflix’s Beef cast includes:

  • Steven Yeun as Danny Cho
  • Ali Wong as Amy Lau
  • Joseph Lee as George Nakai
  • Young Mazino as Paul Cho
  • David Choe as Isaac Cho
  • Patti Yasutake as Fumi Nakai
  • Maria Bello as Jordan Forster
  • Ashley Park as Naomi Forster
  • Justin H. Min as Edwin
  • Mia Serafino as Mia
  • Remy Holt as June
  • Andrew Santino as Michael
  • Rek Lee as Bobby

Ali Wong explained what drew her to the female lead character Amy, saying: “I think what really resonated with me was the rage that these two characters feel, especially for Amy, whose life is so seemingly perfect. You just never know what’s going on in someone’s head and in someone’s personal life.”

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Beef Netflix Steven YeunNetflix
Steven Yeun portrays failing contractor Danny Cho

As for Steven Yeun, the actor described playing male lead Danny as “an exploration of some of the impulses we all have when we’re in a constant state of fear, or living with a constant sense of insecurity.”

He added: “That type of consciousness was really hilarious, painful, beautiful, and cringey to explore.”

You can read more about the cast of Netflix’s Beef here.

Is Beef worth watching?

Beef has debuted to positive reviews, with the Netflix show earning a 99% score on Rotten Tomatoes’ Tomatometer and 94% on the Audience Score.

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The New York Times wrote: “What makes this one of the most invigorating, surprising and insightful debuts of the past year is how personally and culturally specific its study of anger is.”

Vulture highlighted the “paradoxically pleasurable sensation of anxiety and satisfaction,” adding: “Yeun and Wong’s vibrating, hostile chemistry makes for engaging feel-bad TV that critiques the very notion of inner peace.”

Beef is available for streaming on Netflix now. You can find out more about the show’s cast here, if it’s based on a true story here, and if we should expect Season 2 here. And check out our other Netflix hubs below:

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The Night Agent Season 2 | The Gentlemen | Will there be Firefly Lane Season 3? | Sex Education Season 4 | Beef Season 2 | Monster Season 2 | Will there be Ginny and Georgia Season 3? | Black Mirror Season 6 | All the Light We Cannot See | Stranger Things Season 5 | The Witcher Season 3 | Chicken Run 2 | Heartstopper Season 2 | FUBAR | Florida Man Season 2 | Obsession Season 2 | The Sandman Season 2

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