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The Queen’s Gambit Review: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

This Netflix show is basically a coming-of-age story in the context of the competitive chess world. We get to know Beth, a prodigious chess player as she climbs to the top of the sport. It isn’t based on a true story which was a bit disappointing but at the same time made me want to read the book it’s inspired on.

The good

The first winning point is that the lead character in this show is a young woman!  My Twitter followers would like me to add the following: Anya Taylor-Joy, Smack my ass and call me Judy! With that out of the way, let’s move to the next point.

The show also touches on important subjects such as racism and misogyny which is always good. It also had an interesting attempt at representation showing a polyamory relationship and a gay character (We will talk about that later)

The Queen’s Gambit gave us a nice insight into the chess world. I personally wasn’t very well versed in the sport and was cool to see the intrinsic qualities of it. There’s some romance in the show but it wasn’t the main subject and I’m thankful for it. The characters that were involved in a relationship had great chemistry and I surprisingly found myself rooting for a straight couple (two of them actually) It’s also great in my books that we didn’t get unnecessary sex scenes every 10 minutes. An underlying theme of the show, in my opinion, is the fact the being a genius often isn’t enough and you need to put on the hours and have a smidge of luck to make it big.

The costumes!

I also love the BSO, it was subtle but engaging but my favourite part of The Queen’s Gambit was the costumes. The costume design in this show is everything! It’s clever and extremely accurate. I’m a fashion history nerd and this show made me so happy. I value how characters follow the natural development of fashion with different styles overlapping each other. Beth’s clothes reflect her development as a person and are an important part of the storytelling. I’m glad they didn’t fall for the cliche of dressing her in a masculine way to portray strength (We know clothing has no gender but you know what I mean)  Beth draws strength from her femininity and that’s an unusual concept to see in a show. In this case, it is even more important since she moves in a field dominated by men. She’s a boss in a dress, and I love it.

The bad

There aren’t big problems with this show. It can be slow at times and have a few pacing problems but I enjoyed it all the same. The interesting visuals, montages and great acting take your mind away from its weaknesses.

The ugly

Thomas Brodie Sangster moustache, that’s it. All jokes aside, I’m not sure if the queer representation was quite there. It is obvious that the show tried to do something with it but the scenes were ambiguous and quite confusing.

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Hamlet is our Editor-In-Chief and co-founder of The Fanfic Collective. She has a degree in Communication Studies. Hamlet is currently an English teacher and part-time dancer. She landed on the world of fanfiction after reading a Jonas Brothers fic when she was 12. Her main fandoms are Sherlock, The MCU, Good Omens and Buzzfeed Unsolved. You can catch her on AO3 as Igraine_Smiley.

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