TV Review: The Queen’s Gambit ♟️

The Queen’s Gambit is an exciting limited series that takes audiences into the world of competitive chess.

Anya Taylor-Joy stars as Beth Harmon in The Queen's Gambit. CREDIT: Netflix

Anya Taylor-Joy stars as Beth Harmon in The Queen’s Gambit. CREDIT: Netflix

This post for The Queen’s Gambit is spoiler-free.
I’ve never thought much about the game of chess, or how it could be turned into a TV series, until The Queen’s Gambit (2020, created by Scott Frank and Allan Scott) popped up on my radar. A Netflix limited series, this seven-episode show stars Anya Taylor-Joy as Elizabeth (Beth) Harmon, an enthused chess player who finds her way to becoming the world champion.

Set in the 60s, The Queen’s Gambit features an exciting time period of fashion, livelihood and culture. Each episode shows an insight of Beth’s upbringing through excellent direction from Scott Frank. Accompanied with some visual effects, The Queen’s Gambit really brings the game of chess to life in unimaginable ways.

Taylor-Joy’s performance as Beth is astounding, and perhaps her best one to date in her young career. Her character transition from teen to adult in this series is impressive and effortless, with plenty of emotional cues that are just worthy of an Emmy award. With swift moves on the chess board and chess dialogue that most commoners wouldn’t comprehend, Taylor-Joy is extremely convincing as a Grandmaster. In scenes where Beth is full of concentration during a chess match, that’s when Taylor Joy truly shines, as she brings to life the non-verbal moments and internal struggles of Beth through her emotive face and eyes.

The Queen’s Gambit is a highly recommendable and must-watch piece of work from Frank. The series also stars Bill Camp, Moses Ingram, Thomas Brodie-Sangster and Marielle Heller in supporting roles that help Beth’s character shine through.

Rating: 5/5


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