The Queen’s Gambit: Netflix chess drama leaves viewers stunned by how good it is

Adam White
·3-min read
Anya Taylor-Joy in Netflix’s ‘The Queen’s Gambit' (Phil Bray/Netflix)
Anya Taylor-Joy in Netflix’s ‘The Queen’s Gambit' (Phil Bray/Netflix)

The Queen’s Gambit, Netflix’s new limited series starring Anya Taylor-Joy, has been met with unanimous praise, with many viewers surprised a show about chess could be so riveting.

The seven-episode period drama stars Taylor-Joy as Beth Harmon, a young chess prodigy striving to become a grandmaster in the game while struggling with addiction.

Thomas Brodie-Sangster plays her fiercest competitor, while Bill Camp and filmmaker Marielle Heller (who directed Can You Ever Forgive Me? and A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood) also star.

Despite receiving little of the same attention as recent Netflix content including Emily in Paris and the remake of Rebecca, both of which provoked widespread scorn, The Queen’s Gambit has already become a sleeper hit among viewers.

“I really thought The Queen’s Gambit would just be something to put on in the background,” tweeted one fan. “It’s now 9:45 on a school night and I’m fully entranced.”

“I never knew Anya Taylor-Joy and Thomas Brodie-Sangster playing chess could be so hot,” another viewer joked.

Another added: “Anya Taylor-Joy can do anything, and that includes make seven hours of TV about chess riveting and kind of sexy.”

Agadmator, a popular chess YouTuber, also expressed surprise at the show’s quality.

“Just finished the first episode of Queen’s Gambit,” he tweeted. “Have to say, much better than I thought it’d be.”

Others have also claimed that the show is among the greatest limited series ever made, particularly by Netflix, while praising its costuming and performances.

“A hot take but, The Queen’s Gambit is so far the best Netflix original,” one viewer tweeted. “Happy tears for the stellar 70’s set style and costume design.”

Anya Taylor-Joy in Netflix’s ‘The Queen’s Gambit'Ken Woroner/Netflix
Anya Taylor-Joy in Netflix’s ‘The Queen’s Gambit'Ken Woroner/Netflix

Filmmaker Jason Ragosta tweeted: “The Queen’s Gambit on @Netflix is spectacular from start to finish. If it were a film rather than a limited series I would consider it a sure bet for Oscar contention, if not for the win. Amazing work by all involved. Well done and thank you!”

The Queen’s Gambit, which is entirely fictional despite many viewers wondering if Beth is based on a real person, arrived on Netflix last Friday (23 October).

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