The Queen's Gambit ★★★★

“Now or never”

The Queen’s Gambit had me before I even watched it: reading people's raving reviews and seeing the stylistic screenshots that had me waiting for the right moment when I could binge it all in one sitting!

“I trade rooks all the time.”

Based on Walter Tevis' novel by the same name, this deftly adapted mini-series had everything one could ask for. However, usually a character will learn by trial and error as they work toward reaching a higher level. Anya Taylor-Joy's Beth Harmon is a genius and starts faltering when she ends up meeting her matches only when she's reached the top.

“Be careful what you smoke, honey.”

The series explores Beth Harmon's struggles, first as an orphan, and then an older child who only gets invited to parties after winning chess championships in two states. The coming-of-age/struggling with addiction themes remain strong as Beth grapples with wanting to be wanted while wanting more than what the other girls have their sights on. Despite the last episode being a little anticlimactic for me, the mini-series was solid overall and provided everything one could hope for in terms of acting, cinematography, music, and building tension and emotions.

Vegan alert:
-Heating chicken dinners
-Other non-vegan foods are featured/mentioned

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