Why ‘The Queen’s Gambit’ deserves the attention it’s been getting

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The Netflix limited series has nailed the story it wanted to tell

The Queen’s Gambit has become the most popular scripted limited series in the streaming giant’s history. In the month since it has been released, the drama series surrounding the world of professional chess has been watched by 62 million subscribers, and ranks at the number one spot in 62 countries. Who knew that season four of The Crown had to make way for a show on chess.

Showrunner Scott Frank announced earlier this week that he’s still delighted and dazed by the immense popularity the show was enjoying. So why is it so good? Read on.

A bedtime story

Netflix

First of all, you don’t have to know chess properly to enjoy the show. It takes us to the 1950s and 1960s where you get to marvel at the groovy and ravishing buildings, mid century hotels, and the trending attires people had at the time (which might make a return thanks to this series). A lot of foreign destinations such as Kentucky, Cincinnati, Mexico City and Moscow have also been shown.

Also, there’s something about chess that makes us feel like intelligent and layered human beings – even if we’re complete idiots. It was reported last week that chess set sales went up, and so have Google searches related to the game. The series has definitely made an impact.

Another major reason to watch the series is that it’s not dark and gloomy, despite the lead Beth Harmon (played brilliantly by Anya Taylor-Joy) having lost her mother at a young age, got an addiction with prescription drugs, and is always a bit drunk but the series doesn’t show her as a victim, and neither does she want to be considered as one. Her only goal is to be the greatest chess player in the world, and that’s all she cares about.

(Cover: Netflix)