Beginning in the mid-1950s and proceeding into the 1960s, The Queen's Gambit (2020) follows the life of Beth Harmon (Anya Taylor-Joy), an orphaned chess prodigy on her rise to the top of the chess world while struggling with drug and alcohol dependency.
Very good show about chess - actual Grandmasters worked together with the production team so the games themselves are of pretty good quality. But this show is about much more than the game of chess, it just provides a great background for the story of Beth Harmon. Beth was dealt a pretty rough hand in life, being orphaned in her childhood because her psychotic mother could not take care of her. She eventually gets adopted but even then it's not all smiles and sunshine as life still manages to throw a wrench in the gears every time it's looking up for her.
One thing to critique about the show is Moses Ingram's character, Beth's childhood friend Jolene whom she met at the orphanage. She turns up later in the series again to become the Black Woman Ex Machina and despite the show lampshading it, it still comes off as very tropey. Other than that though, it was a thoroughly enjoyable ride and for sure has sparked my passion for chess recently.
Hands down, my favorite series to come out of 2020. It has all the components for a stellar series: phenomenal production, sharp writing, controlled and precise pacing... all masterfully delivered in gifted performances from a perfect cast. 10/10