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Moral of the Series - Review

The Queen's Gambit (2020)

Drama, Showrunner: Scott Frank | Rating: Friends with Benefits | Published: Sept. 2, 2022, 11:53 a.m.


Natural talent will often get you so far, but no one makes it alone. With the right growth mindset and proper mentorship, you can achieve anything that you set your mind to as long as you don’t lose yourself in the process. Moreover, the rockstar life isn’t what it’s set out to be and that applies to all forms of stardom… including if you’re a chess rockstar. There are certain parts of a person’s life that spotlights don’t shine light on such as the person’s own struggles and traumas, but they are just as important, if not more, as what is being put in the spotlight. In this case, Becky Harmon’s ability to play chess was put on the spotlight, but in addition to her fierce chess battles, she was also fighting inner battles through her struggles with alcohol, drugs, isolation, trusting others, and more.


Anyone who likes an underdog story like Rocky (1976) or Karate Kid (1984) will have a great time with this story of David vs Goliath in the world of chess. Although there’s less physical fighting in this series than in the referenced movies, there is a lot of internal and intellectual battling that seems to be consistent with these sort of inspirational stories. You will especially like The Queen’s Gambit (2020) if you’re interested in those types of battles that these underdogs have to face in their personal lives in addition to the ones in the spotlight.


This review is long overdue since I saw it a while ago, but I thought it was appropriate to continue the Anya Taylor-Joy theme after last week’s review of Emma (2020). This series shows another element of her acting prowess however. The show introduces us to Becky Harmon who is fictional but seems all too real. Her struggles as an orphan, rising chess prodigy, and a young adult keep the show grounded to a level that makes it all seem like it actually happened. That is one of the major successes of this show. It feels so real that you’re actually rooting for this deeply flawed yet inspirational character. We’ve all had obstacles thrown our way. The most important part of life is that we don’t let these obstacles stop us so that we can keep moving forward. Becky Harmon faces a lot of life’s obstacles that are all too common in the real world: addiction, isolation, loss, etc. Yet, she tackles them head on just like when she plays chess: to win. That’s the main moral that I got from this supremely well-made show: keep fighting and overcoming everything that life throws at you. In terms of production, every episode is beautiful shot, meticulously written, and masterfully acted. Netflix should be proud to have this show in its slate of originals and I’m looking forward to what Scott Frank makes with Netflix next.

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