Television and film have always been great ways for human beings to escape the perils of reality. Streaming services and the original content they bring have been at the forefront of entertainment throughout this pandemic, as it is easy to access them from the comfort of your own home. Limited series The Queen’s Gambit has had a quick rise to stardom on Netflix.
Based on the 1983 novel of the same name, The Queen’s Gambit has become the number one trending title on Netflix. At first glance, it seems surprising that the series has resonated with many viewers around the world. Who would have thought that a series revolving around the game of chess would be such a hit? However, if you take a deeper look, you will understand its appeal immediately.
Created by Scott Frank and Allan Scott, The Queen’s Gambit follows Elizabeth Harmon (Anya Taylor-Joy) an orphaned girl from Kentucky, USA, who masters the game of chess at a young age in the 1960s. Harmon develops an alcohol and drug dependency while at the orphanage, which trickles into her fame and life as a young woman. Still struggling with the death of her parents, this series gives viewers an inside look at the struggles she goes through as a woman with a rough childhood and addiction problems at an early age.
This series immediately hooks viewers and tells an interesting story. It begins with an older Elizabeth, preparing for a chess match in a room full of men. It then goes back to nine-year-old Elizabeth (Isla Johnston) arriving at the orphanage and shows what she goes through to become a talented chess player. Taylor-Joy and Johnston do a great job of playing the professionally written character of Elizabeth, which is why she resonates with so many viewers.
As a woman playing a male dominated game in the 1960s, Elizabeth is often initially looked down upon by opponents because of her gender. Even in the 21st century, this feeling and attitude is something that many women can still relate to. It is encouraging for viewers to see a young woman succeed in a male dominated profession, especially back then.
Struggles with addiction are also very real and extremely dangerous, which is another reason why this show has taken off the way it did. Many people in the world today struggle with addiction, and it is important for others to understand what they are going through. Walter Tevis, an amateur chess enthusiast and author of the novel, was an alcoholic himself, and was able to accurately display the struggles that addicts go through. The writers of this show were able to translate Tevis’s writing into the series, which is what makes it seem so realistic.
The Queen’s Gambit is a great show. The acting, writing, and directing is phenomenal, which is why the show is such a success. There are seven episodes total, each one more interesting than the last, which is what makes this such a binge worthy show. I’m sure at least one person has told you to watch this show since its release in late October, and if you haven’t yet, this is a sign! This limited series is available for streaming only on Netflix.