Podflix & Chill
Podflix & Chill

Episode 2 · 1 year ago

The Queen's Gambit - Netflix

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In the Netflix miniseries, The Queen's Gambit, Beth Harmon is orphaned at the age of 8 - right around the same time, she discovers chess. She becomes a prodigy, quickly rising through the ranks of the chess world until she is poised to become the U.S. Open Champion at the age of 16. The show examines the cost of fame against the backdrop of the 1960s and the growing threat of the Soviet Union.


Starring Anya Taylor-Joy, Harry Melling, Thomas Brodie-Sangster.

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If you've ever thought about starting apodcast, let me tell you about anchor anchor is a free tool that makes itincredibly easy to get started with your new podcast. In fact, it's what Iuse with anchor. You can record and edit your show directly from your phoneor computer. They will distribute your show to major podcast platforms likeapple podcast and spotify. For you, you can even monetize your podcast with nominimum listener requirement. Oh, and did I mention it's free? All you have to do to get started, isdownload the free anchor APP or go to Anchor Dot FM. That's an CH, O R dot, FM anchor. It's everything you need to make a podcast in one place for the better part of the last year.The streaming wars have reached new heights. The biggest names have reacheda combined subscriber count of approximately five hundred millionpeople. They are not stopped. Two Thousand and nineteen streamingpahemits spent billions of dollars in producing new original content todrawin more people. Atflixis budget alone was reported to be close tofourteen billion dollars with so many services offering so much originalcontent. It's hard to keep UPP. That's where I come in hi. I'm Andrew Self proclaimed TV junkjoin me on my journey to watch as much original content fom the strangeservices as I can I'll give you insight NTO. The shows that you just don't havethe time to watch fair morning. This show will mostlikely contain spoilers. So if that's not your thingturn back now don't mind spoilers. Let's dive manwelcome to Hotquix and chill, what's going on, guys welcome to thefirst ever episode of Potflix and Chill I'm your host Andrew and before we diveinto today's topic. I just want to say a huge thank you to whoever islistening. However, you found out about the show. I greatly appreciate youtuning in and checking us out to see what we're all about. If you enjoy theshow. Please do me a favor and subscribe, so you get notified for whenwe post future episodes leave us a review. Let me know how I'm doing andmost importantly, share the show. If you think that you know somebody whowould enjoy it as much as I enjoy making it, I want to grow this thinginto something big, and I cannot do that without you guys. So, pleasesubscribe leave us a review and share. You can also follow the show onInstagram at Podflix and chill that's podflix, the letter n chill you followus on there I'll be posting updates every so often, and you can even shootme a message with ideas for future episodes. I'd love to hear from youguys and hear what sort of content you're watching keep in mind that itdoes not have to be exclusively netflix stuff. I know the name of the podcastis pod, flick and chill, but there's tons of streaming services out thereguys so, whatever it is you're watching on any of those services. I want toknow about it all right, but now that that parts out of the way, let's diveinto the show that I want to talk about today, which is the Queen's Gambit,it's a Netflix mini series, it just premiered at the end of October October.Twenty third, I think- and I binged it in less than twenty fourhours. Okay, it's only seven episodes long. So, even if you take theconservative approach and watch an episode Aday, it's still only aboutseven hours out of your time. So it's one episode a day for a week. You willnot be disappointed that you took the time to watch this show it is aboutwell, in fact, how about I read the plot summary for you off of IMDB. Okay.Here we go nine year old, Orphan Beth...

...harmon is quiet, Sullen and by allappearances, unremarkable. That is until she plays her first game of chess.Her senses grow sharper, her thinking clearer and for the first time in herlife, she feels herself fully and control by the age of sixteen she'scompeting for the US Open Championship, but as Beth howns, her skills on theprofessional circuit, the stakes get higher. Her isolation grows morefrightening and the thought of escape becomes all the more tempting based onthe book by Walter Tevis. So yes, the Queen's Gambet was N, onethousand nine hundred and eighty three novel written by a man named WalterTevis and in fact, when I finished the series on Netflix, I bought the bookand read the book just to see how it compared and Cudos to Netflix. Theystayed very, very true to the source material. Obviously, whenever studiosget a hand on some of these adaptations, they tend to ramp things up a littlebit for the big screen or for the small screen in this case, and that did holdtrue for a couple of different points throughout which we can get into later.But overall everything remained pretty accurate. The book is written from bestpoint of view, so a lot of the book descriptors, the internal monologuethat Beth is having a lot of that was turned into actual dialogue in the showbetween Beth and other characters. So I thought that was really neat. It's oneof the first things I picked up on when I was reading and full disclaimer hereto you guys do not need to understand anything about chess to enjoy. Thisshow my own chest. Knowledge is rudimentary,I know the names of the pieces, how they move on the board and that theobjective is to capture the opposing players- king, but I didn't know therewas opening strategy, Middle Game Strategy and strategy. I didn't knowthat there's apparently hundreds upon, probably thousands of books writtenabout chess. I did know that it was a very big dealaround the s and the s and even into the s, because there were a lot of real lifeplayers around the same time who were almost the same age as Beth growing upthat competed on a professional circuit. There were a lot of younger chestchampionships and it became a very big deal around that era with the Cold Warwith the Soviet Union and Communism. So a lot of that that is actually depictedin the book in the series is accurate. It's accurate to real life, but thischaracter of Beth and her particular story is completely fictional. But Iwanted to dive into sort of the character of Beth. Let's start there,because the first time Weud really truly meet her. We 're seeing her just after a caraccident in which her mother is killed and Beth is standing on the side of theroad just completely in shock. Obviously, she's just experienced ahuge trauma really for the first few minutes of the show. We, I don't thinkshe talks, I don't think the character of Beth talks for a little while so wekind of get the sense that that's her that's her temperament throughout andit's true she's, very isolated and introverted throughout the entireseries, because the series takes place over such a long period of time. Weactually get three different actresses playing Beth. We have a five year oldbeath that we see through flashbacks, and then we have the eight and nineyear old Beth who we really only see for episode, one into the secondepisode, and then we have the main actess who plays Beth from agethirteenup and that's on your tailor. Joy and honestly, I did not know who OniaTaylor joy was before this, but she played casy Cook in the emnit shamelonfilms, split and glass. So she's had some recent successes and I thought shedid a outstanding job of depicting the...

...character of Beth harmon. So afterBeth's mother's death, we see her taken to an orphanage and all girls orphanagewhere she very quickly becomes addicted to what we're introduced to astranquillizer pills and theyre. These little green quote unquote vitaminsthat they give the girls to sort of sedate them and make them easier todeal with, but theyare. These prescription pills that the girls getgiven one a day and Beth starts to hoard them in her tooth brushholder andtake two three four five ten at a time and really quickly becomes addicted tothem, and we see that culminate to the end of episode, one where she's,actually, the the orphanage gets in trouble. There's a new State Law inKentucky that they're no longer allowed to give children these pills, so theyget put under lock and key, but they're still at the school. So Beth deviseshis plan to break into the pharmacy climb over the counter and beginsshoveling pills into her mouth. She must have taken at least thirty, andthen she starts stuffing her pockets with them, and then she decides. That'snot enough. So she's going to take this big giant glass jar with it's roughlythe size of her torso and steal it and she gets caught in the act, but rightas she gets caught she ods on these pills. The Jar goes crashing to thefloor. She falls over it and that's the end of the episode in the book you find out. She goes tothe hospital, gets her stomach pumped and she's back the next day and getsreprimanded, but it doesn't dive too too much into that in the series.Additionally, throughout this first episode, we are introduced to twocharacters who sort of are a driving force for Beth throughout the rest ofthe series. The first character is Jo line. That's one of her best friends inthe orphanage and we really kind of see like a mentor relationship happendbecause joline's a bit of an older girl in the book. It's not quite as rainbowy. There there's actually areally uncomfortable scene that takes place in which joline the character,molests Beth, one of her first like couple of weeks at the orphanage andBeth, doesn't really like Joline, but grows to appreciate her and like herlater on in life. For obvious reason, since they were using child actors,they did not include that scene in the show so good on you Netflix, but the other character that we'reintroduced to is Mr Schibel and he's the orphanage custodian who actuallywinds up teaching Beth how to play chess. She goes into the basement. Shesees him playing and she starts asking him a bunch of questions andreluctantly. He starts teaching her and she quickly gets very, very good. Shestarts out playing him and he realizes that. There's nothing else that he canteach her. So he invites one of his friends from the local chess club towatch Beth play, and he also is the moderator of the school chess team, thelocal high school's chess team. He invites her to come to the high schooland play all twelve members of the chest team at the same time and shewhoops their butts. It's actually a really great scene. I liked it becausethis is the first time that Bet's really been outside of the orphanage,so she's, very awkward and uncomfortable. She doesn't quite knowhow to make it work and she's just surrounded by these twelve high schoolboys, who are just giving her the stairdown and think they're tough shitfor being good at chess, and she just like decimates all of them. So that'spretty cool but moving into episode to we see Beth get adopted, and this iswhere the actress aniotailer joy takes over for Beth at the age of thirteen,so Beth gets adopted by the Wheatley family and moves into their house intoKentucky, so she has to start adapting to life there again very awkward, herlearning how to socially interact with high schoolers, it's very uncomfortablesituation, but she finds a local chess...

...tournament and decides to startcompeting. She goes to the chest tournament. She rises through the ranksot the chest tornment and there is where we meet two more characters,actually four more characters Mike and Matt. These twin brothers, who are the registration table at thetournament, but then two other characters who become prominent figuresin Beth's life. We have Harry Beltick, WHO's, the Kentucky state champion andhe's played by Harry Melling, who played Dudley Dirsley in the hairypotter films. Interestingly enough, Harry melling was also in anothernetflix original movie titled. The old guard, which was a great film, maybeI'll, do a future episode on it, but it was. It was absolutely fantastic. Ihighly recommend that as well and the other character we meet is dl towns. Wenever get a first name he's just known as towns throughout the show and he isplayed by actor Jacob Fortune Lloyd, and I thought he looked familiarthroughout. He was actually a syth fleet officer in the most recent starwar saga, film, so the rise of skywalker he played it, throw a bad guyliterally his his film credit on, I N DB, says scyth fleet officer sowhatever, but those are two characters that we meet at the tournament therethat become prominent figures throughout bens through Beths. Excuseme life and she actually develops sexual feelings towards dl towns, butthey never wind up culminating into anything and they just become reallygood friends. By the end of the last episode. Moving on from there we seeBeth's adopted mother. Mrs Wheatley take a an interest in beths chestplaying and she starts galavanting Beth all across the country to compete intournaments and win the prize money. Mister Wheetley at this point we'verealized as a dead beat he moves off to Denver somewhere and we don't see himagain for a few more episodes, but bets adoptive mother really takes her in andstarts helping her book. All these chess tournaments to win the prizemoney and we really see Beth, get a mother figurethat she's that she hasn't had in her life, which makes it all the moredevastating in episode. Four or five, when MSS Wheatley dies in t e, Herhotel room in Mexico City Beth has a huge match against her one of the topRussian players in the world. Vasile Borgolf and she goes into the matchvery frightened and insecure about her playing ability and MSS Wheatley nevershows up to the match. So she gets back to the hotel room starts telling misssWheatley how she lost and how devastating it was and miss wees. MrsWhealey's, not reacting. Beth goes over to her on the bed and just finds thatshe's died. It's really heartbreaking and upsetting, because you just seeeverywhere in Beth's life every time she sort of takes a step forwardtowards whatever it is that she wants she's met with something else in herlife. That goes wrong, but that makes it all the more devastating when yourealize that the throughout the show that she's reintroduced to thetranquilizer pills and begins getting addicted to them again, and she alsobecomes an alcoholic and gets addicted to that, and that is very ramped upthroughout this throughout the series. I think it's elevated to a level moreso than what it was in the book, but it parallels the book very very closelyand again looking at the character of Beth. You know she witnessed her motherintentionally drive into oncoming traffic to kill herself, then the onlymother figure she's ever known dies in a hotel room in Mexico, city and she'snever had a father figure. Her mother and father was separated when she wasyounger and her adopted father decides to run off to Denver because he doesn'twant to deal with a daughter or a wife. He couldn't cut it as a dad, so he justbails so it makes sense that the character of Beth would turn to drugsand alcohol and chess chess as she...

...describes it. In the show, there was agreat scene where she's answering an interview, question and she just sortof says. The first thing she noticed about chess was the board. It's. Thistiny little square made up of sixty four other squares in which there'sperfect control. There's nothing from the outside can hurt her or get her,and she just has to focus on what's going on within that little world andcontrol what's going on in there and it's a really powerful insight intoBeth's character. But moving on from that, as Beth gets more and moreaccolades, she competes in more tournaments in one of the is the USOpen where she winds up coachampion with another on again off again rival,Benny Watt, Benny Watts is played by Thomas Brody Sangster, who was JojanReed in the HBO Series Game, Wifh Thrones and it also looks like he wasin the mazerunner movies as well, which I've never seen, but ie recognized himfrom game with thrones. So her and Benny had this on again off againrivalry, because Benny is just a really well studied chess player andBeth sort of plays more by intuition. So it destroys her when Benny is better than her plus the fact that hewas winning championships when she was eight or when he was eight and shedidn't start competing until she was thirteen. So, even though she was justas good as him when she was eight, so she's really frustrated by that, butthey wind up co champion the US Open, and then he decides to help her train later on in the film after she loses toBorgov in Mexico City. She has to play him again in Paris and Benny invitesBeth to stay with him in New York, city and train for the Paris Match, and thiswas another interesting divergence between the book and the show, becausein the book we get a lot of detail and insight into their weeks. Together.They wind up having a sexual relationship and Beth goes into the Paris Matchextremely extremely confident and almost looks like she's going to win ituntil Borgolf. Just turns the tide and and beats her in the show. We only seeBenny and Beth sleep together once there's still the level and commitmentto training, but her match with Borgov in the show is introduced as her goingon a bender the night, before sleeping with a one night stand and thenthrowing up to her chest match completely hung over and that's why sheloses the match, not because Borgolf was just that good, but because she washungover and she didn't dedicate the time to study or practice or anythingthe night before, so that was that was an interesting divergence and then,finally, after the Paris Match the show sort of ends with the Moscowinvitational in Russia, that Beth has been invited to she's competing withfour other top or I'm sorry, three other top chess players from around theworld and for the top Russian players, and it all winds up coming down to amatch between her and Borgov, who again has beaten her at the last two of theirinteractions right and she goes into that match clean and with the help of all of her friends. At this point,she's gotten help from Harry beltick she's, gotten help from Benny Watch,she's gotten help from dl towns and they all sort of coach her and trainher to beat Borgoff by the end of the match, and it's a really great scene,because even Borgoff who's had this icy demeanor. The entire show. you see himbreak a smile and clap for her and give her a hug, and I think, there's even amention in the book of her being like confused or taken aback by it and and then the show ends with her walkingthrough a park in Moscow. Where there's...

...you know tons of old guys playing chessat these boards that are set up sort of like the scenes that you see in centralpark and one of them recognizes her and she's just surrounded by this crowd ofpeople, cheering her name and applauding her and shaking her hand,because she's done something that nobody else has she's a woman, asuccessful woman in the world of chess in the s she's just beaten, one of thetop Russian players in the world I mean, even though there were strainedrelations between the Soviet Union and with America. You know, that's still apretty big deal kind of like the end of rocky four. When Rocky Beats Drago, youknow. If I can change, you can change, overbo could churge yeah. You know itkind of had that feel to it, but a little bit more grounded in reality,and it was actually a really cool moment. That's also depicted in thebook just a the book. Has It depict it a little bit earlier, but again thatthat's pretty much as detailed as I want to get into the summary of theshow, because I really think itwould be cool for you guys to check it out onyour own and watch it. But I will say that you know outside of the actualplot. I thought the costume design and the set design were out of this world.I didn't grow up in the S, so I know nothing about it in real life, but itlooks like it would actually look were that time frame. I thought thecostumes were great. I thought the the set aesthetic was fantastic. Everything was on point to keep youengaged and watching throughout the show. I did a little background digging intoit. I couldn't find the production budget specifically for the show, butit's very clear that they had a big one and just a little fun tidbit. That Idiscovered was that they hired a man named Bruce Pandolphini, as a chessconsultant for the actors to make sure that everything was accurate and lookedright and sounded right and all that good stuff and Bruce Pandolfhinis.Actually a chess coach in real life, and he was a chess coach to a childprodigy back in the day of the name. Joshua Waitskin, who had his own moviemade about him called searching for Bobby Fisher and searching for Bobby Fisher, is allabout Joshua waitskin learning how to play speed chess from a guy in acentral park. You know, and so his dad hires him. A professional chess coach named Bruce Pandalphini,who, in the film, was portrayed by Ben Kingsley, who I think is one of thegreatest actors of all time and it's Josh's struggle. The movie is Josh'sstruggle to sort of combine his love, his just asnatural love and talent for chess and speed ches with what Bruce wants him tobe as a player, because Bruce really wants him to be and thinks he can be.The next Bobby Fisher and Bobby Fisher was one of the most famous child chessprodigies to come out of the states. He wound up actually being a world chesschampion in one thousand nine hundred and seventy two I think at the age ofsixteen. I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure it was sixteen and I'mpretty sure he beat one of the top Russian players as well. So I washoping for a little bit more of a link between Beth's character andsomebody like a Bobby Fisher, but that didn't happen. Unfortunately, butthat's okay, it was still a great show to watch. I still really really enjoyedit and I think you guys will enjoy it as well, so definitely definitely checkout the queen's Gambit on Netflix. Like I said it's a seven episode mini series...

...conservatively. You could watch anepisode a day and be done in a week or you could be a little bit moreaggressive like me, and watch all pretty much all seven episodes in lessthan twenty four hours totally up to you, whatever your preference is butyeah. I would definitely give the show like a four out of five. I thought itwas very well done. I can't say it enough. I think it's definitely one youguys should check out and that's that's the show guys so again, if you likedthe show. Please do me favor and subscribe leave a review share thiswith your friends and let's help grow. This thing follow us on Instagram atPodflix and chill, and let me know what other shows you'd want me to review forfuture episodes until next time. Guys, thanks for tuning in I'm your hostAndrew, and this is Potflix and chill.

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