In the limited series “Lessons in Chemistry” on Apple TV+, Brie Larson portrays Elizabeth Zott, a chemist who takes on the roles of caregiver and host while trying to find balance and success.
When she is fired from her lab, she becomes a cooking show host and teaches a nation of housewives and men about more than just recipes. The series is based on the bestselling novel by Bonnie Garmas and has received high praise for its storytelling and acting.
With her Masters in chemistry, she is a force to be reckoned with at the lab, surpassing even the PHD-holding chemists. Not only does she excel in her professional life, but she also indulges in her passion for cooking, recognizing the chemistry behind it.
This story takes us through a significant period of her life, experiencing both the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. Brie Larson delivers a magnificent performance in the starring role, effortlessly capturing the endearing quirks and idiosyncrasies of her character.
Her natural comedic timing shines through as she effortlessly delivers witty and clever remarks that had me laughing out loud throughout the show. Larson’s talent extends far beyond her Marvel superhero roles, as she commands the screen with her presence.
The character of May is portrayed as sometimes overbearing, but Brie Larson’s performance as an uptight Larssen embodies an overflowing charm that draws the audience into her world.
Through her palpable emotions, the audience is invited to be part of the experience and not just watch an actor perform a character. Similarly, LS Pullman’s performance as Calvin Evans is superb, creating a perfect counterpart to Larson’s character with amazing chemistry between them.
They create a powerhouse team that is passionate about research, science, their goals, and each other. The love story depicted in this series is both intense and satisfying, filled with passion and conflict.
It is expertly portrayed, making it a standout in the series. Aza Naomi King’s portrayal of Harriet Sloan, Z’s neighbor, adds a dynamic touch to the story. Her interactions with Pullman and Larsson are touching and inspiring, showcasing a genuine friendship that becomes like family.
King’s character, a legal aid fighter fighting against developers, brings more depth to the story, imparting wisdom and love while navigating life’s complications. Around the 50-minute mark, you’ll find yourself craving more after each episode.
While some parts of the narrative may feel a bit lengthy, especially in the beginning, it’s because we’re given a wealth of context about the characters. What’s great about this series is that not all of the context is revealed at once or right from the start.
We gradually get to know the characters in the present, and later we’re shown their histories, which helps us understand their mindsets and motivations. The show cleverly weaves together various scenes and experiments without slowing down the storytelling.
Instead, we get glimpses of work being done, accompanied by narration, inner thoughts, or period-appropriate music. What sets this series apart from others is its ability to capture breathtaking shots that also allow the setting to speak for itself.
One particular scene that stands out is when Elson and Pullman are sitting on a deck by a lake. The wide shot beautifully showcases the peacefulness of the setting, leaving a lasting impression.
The scene in question was completely dominated by the actors, as it remained static for a significant duration of around 10 seconds or more. Although it may not appear lengthy, it takes quite a substantial amount of time to maintain a fixed position without any dialogue or action.
Instead, it allowed the audience to fully absorb the breathtaking beauty of the lake, trees, and sky. While some may dismiss it, I found it to be a remarkable shot that left a lasting impression on me.
Just like in any love story or drama, complications, and sadness can be just as impactful as love and laughter. The show includes heart-wrenching and even shocking moments, especially for those who haven’t read the novel.
These moments add depth to the storytelling and shape the overall narrative. Certain elements are revisited throughout the series, making them even more powerful and poignant without becoming repetitive or overused.
I understand that my explanation may seem vague, but it is necessary to maintain the surprise and impact for viewers. There is one particular episode that stands out as both unique and fitting within the series.
This episode primarily focuses on one character, showcasing their journey compellingly. This particular episode presents a unique perspective, which can be challenging to execute successfully without becoming absurd or detached from reality.
However, it manages to stay true to the spirit of the book and fits well within the overall narrative of the show. I appreciate the insight it provides and the fact that this storytelling approach is only used once in the series.
If this episode doesn’t resonate with you, rest assured that it won’t be repeated. There are many other aspects of the series to enjoy, such as the captivating arc surrounding Z’s TV show, which is both fascinating and entertaining.
It offers another avenue for character development and keeps the audience engaged throughout. Additionally, there is a significant storyline that gains prominence in the final few episodes.
While the outcome may be predictable, it remains satisfying and not disappointing. The anticipation leading up to the reveal is exciting, and even if you had guessed the answer, it still feels rewarding because it’s the answer you expected.
This series is one that I am rooting for to win all the awards. It is so engaging and gripping that it reminds me of Oprah’s famous line “You get an award; you get an award; everybody gets an award”.
Although some characters have been combined and certain elements are shown in a different order than the book, the spirit of the novel is still present within the show.
The interactions between Zot and Evans have been omitted from the series, but the intensity, passion, and feelings that the two shared are still captured. This series remains a captivating and educational portrayal of a scientist who utilizes chemistry to both educate and entertain.
As a mother, cook, and TV host, she seamlessly combines these roles to create a truly remarkable show. I highly recommend this series, as it is truly one of those shows that you absolutely must watch.
While it does not contain any explicit content, there is some brief nudity, profanity, and violence. I give this series a perfect rating of five out of five couches. Please share your top-rated series in the comments below.