LESSONS IN CHEMISTRY (2023)
Season One. [Premiere]
Aired On: Apple TV+
Release Date: 10/13/23
"Set in the early 1960s, Elizabeth Zott's dream of being a chemist is put on hold when she finds herself pregnant, alone, and fired from her lab."
On this week’s episodic docket, the Apple TV+ original Lessons in Chemistry is yet another lesson in Brie Larson's onscreen brilliance.
The premiere opens on the set of a 1960’s televised cooking show, where a woman stands at a fake kitchen counter, in charge of the room. We then jump back to the past. Often mistaken for a receptionist, Elizabeth Zott is in fact a lab tech, where she is treated like a waitress by the male scientists around her, constantly being asked to make beaker coffee. With no family or social life, she spends her free time at home using the concepts she learned in the lab to concoct the perfect taste palate for dishes. That is, until the grumpy guy in the lab down the hall from her starts to take interest in her.
I am a sucker for stories that begin in the future/present and then hop back in time. This reminds me a lot of The Queen’s Gambit pilot, in that we open focusing on the lead in a crucial “I’m sure you’re wondering how I got here” moment. This is obviously not a new concept, but it never fails to pull me right in. And with retro production design like this, you bet your bottom dollar I’m sticking around.
Sadly I haven’t read the book of the same name by Bonnie Garmus, as it's on a very long wait at my library so I can't make any comparisons. However, with a pilot built like this, I will surely be seated every week. Episode 1 is now streaming on Apple TV+.