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    "The Queen's Gambit" Is Honestly One Of The Best New Series Of 2020, And Here Are 19 Reasons Why

    Does someone want to start an Anya Taylor-Joy fan club with me?

    If you've been on Netflix in the last few weeks, chances are you've seen The Queen's Gambit slowly make its way to #1 on Netflix's Top 10 list.


    Honestly, I haven't stopped thinking about the series since finishing it because it was just that good.


    It has been a while since I was utterly taken aback by how flawless a TV series has come together.

    And I'm not the only one. Everyone seems to be in agreement that The Queen's Gambit might be one of the best limited series of all time.

    I've watched a lot of TV during this cursed year--I know I'm not alone--and the best of the best is THE QUEEN'S GAMBIT, on Netflix. Utterly thrilling. I thought nothing would beat THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO SEVEN, but this does.

    StephenKing / Via Twitter: @StephenKing

    in unrelated news I binge watched The Queen’s Gambit to keep myself sane the past few days. Can’t tell who I have a bigger crush on. Anya Taylor-Joy or Thomas Brodie-Sangster !!!!

    halsey / Via Twitter: @halsey

    So, to celebrate The Queen's Gambit, here are 19 reasons why it is a perfect season of television:

    1. First, The Queen's Gambit is based on Walter Tevis's 1983 novel of the same name and was almost developed into a movie before — notably, Heath Ledger was attached to direct a movie version before he died in 2008.

    Anya Taylor-Joy as Beth Harmon in The Queen's Gambit sitting during a chess match
    Charlie Gray / Netflix

    This coming-of-age book translates perfectly to a coming-of-age TV series.

    2. Looking behind the camera, the series was created and written by Scott Frank and Allan Scott, who have been attached to adapt the book for several years.

    Anya Taylor-Joy
    Phil Bray / Netflix

    Previously, Scott wrote some iconic movies like Marley & Me, Logan, and Minority Report, to name a few.

    3. Scott Frank also directed all seven episodes of The Queen's Gambit, which helps give it the movie-like feel that makes it the perfect binge-watch.

    4. While the smart writing and directing are something I could talk about for hours, the costumes and set design bring this show to the next level.

    Beth sitting alone at a chess tournament
    Phil Bray / Netflix

    Every set that set decorator Ingeborg Heinemann helped bring to life has a perfect muted-yet-vibrant tone that allows Beth to simultaneously stand out and blend in.

    5. Gabriele Binder's costume design not only gives viewers some of the best period costumes since Mad Men, but her use of checkerboard patterns in Beth's clothing add another important detail to the story.

    Beth out shopping while wearing a checkerboard printed winter coat
    Phil Bray / Netflix

    I mean, only a genius could come up with Beth being in an all-white outfit at the end of the series so she literally looks like a chess piece. Remember, whoever plays white always makes the first move.

    6. And to bring the writing, directing, set design, and costume design together, cinematographer Steven Meizler gifts us with some visually stunning wide shots and close-ups that perfectly drag you into Beth's world.

    Wide shots of a hall filled with people, Beth reading and smoking in her bed, and Beth holding a suitcase while standing at the entrance to a room

    7. In terms of cast, Anya Taylor-Joy is a force and I couldn't imagine anyone else leading this series as Beth Harmon — the emotional range she's able to give Beth is a thing of beauty.


    I mean, her work in the finale alone is nothing short of Emmy Award–worthy.

    8. If you didn't know Anya before this, then I highly recommend going back and watching her previous work — her performance in The Witch, which was her first movie, is simply stunning, and it's incredible to see what she's able to do with little dialogue.

    Netflix, A24 / Everett Collection

    Also, Anya is going to star as a young Furiosa in the Mad Max: Fury Road prequel and she's starring alongside Nicole Kidman in Northman. Basically, she's going places.

    9. And if you weren't completely impressed with Anya as Beth before, she was also taught all of the moves Beth would make in a chess game minutes before a scene was filmed, which is just amazing.

    Closeup of a chessboard

    I can barely remember what I had for breakfast, but Anya is out here learning ENTIRE chess games minutes before filming highly stressful and emotional scenes.

    10. While the character of Beth was beautifully written, Anya also brought her own charm to the role, which can be felt so clearly on screen — she came up with a specific way Beth would move the chess pieces so it felt feminine and helped set her apart from her male counterparts.


    Anya explained, "I wanted her to have a very distinctive way of moving the pieces that was still, whilst very quick and ruthless, undeniably feminine. Beth doesn't have to choose."

    11. Alongside Anya, the rest of the cast fits into place perfectly — Thomas Brodie-Sangster as Benny, Harry Melling as Harry, and Jacob Fortune-Lloyd as Townes are the perfect competitors and friends to Anya's Beth.


    Benny, Harry, and Townes have some great character development in just seven episodes.

    12. Meanwhile, Marielle Heller and Bill Camp as Alma Wheatley and Mr. Shaibel help deliver some of the most emotional moments of the entire series — yes, I wept over each of their final moments and I wasn't expecting it.


    13. And Jolene is Moses Ingram's first major role and tbh, I cannot wait to see what she does next because Jolene was such a standout among all of these notable actors.

    Jolene and Beth laying on a bed as Beth reads a book

    14. Of course, The Queen's Gambit does center on chess, and the game has been brought to life in such a thrilling way that I think this might be my new favorite sports series.

    Beth and Benny face off in a chess match as several people watch

    The way each match was filmed allows viewers to be right in on the action and nothing ever feels slow. Also, the fact that most of the chess games focus more on the players than the board is flawless.

    15. Every single move during the chess games was brilliantly choreographed by chess consultants Garry Kasparov and Bruce Pandolfini so that it has an authentic feel.

    Beth shaking the hand of an opponent
    Phil Bray / Netflix

    Garry is a Russian chess grandmaster and Bruce is a renowned American chess teacher.

    16. And all of the games shown on screen were actually played by the actors, including the fast-paced speed chess matches — just the attention to detail and pre-production that went into making everything feel real is amazing.

    Beth and an opponent staring each other down during a match
    Phil Bray / Netflix

    17. What also makes The Queen's Gambit so special is that while it's centered on chess, the series is able to tell some incredible stories about grief, addiction, trauma, found family, and being a woman in a male-dominated field.

    Beth in a disoriented state

    18. The series uses chess as a launching point to dive deeper into Beth's past and present, which was just so smart and a great way to develop her character throughout the series.

    Beth awake during a flight

    19. And finally, The Queen's Gambit truly combines all of the best parts of the "prestige TV shows" that have come before it and creates a perfectly bingeable series from beginning to end.

    Beth reading a pamphlet while sitting in front a chess board
    Phil Bray / Netflix

    The show took the period drama aspects of Mad Men and The Crown and sprinkled in the directing style that made The West Wing iconic.

    Basically, I wish there was some way for me to erase The Queen's Gambit from my mind and watch it all again because I don't want it to be over.

    Beth and Benny standing in front of a lecture hall

    The Queen's Gambit is currently streaming on Netflix.