The Queen's Gambit (2020) One of the most enjoyable miniseries I've seen in awhile

by TD 11 Replies latest social entertainment

  • TD

    The Queen's Gambit is a 7 episode Netflix miniseries about a female chess prodigy in the 1950's and 60's.

    The story chronicles the life of the fictitious character, Elizabeth Harmon (Anja Taylor-Joy) from the time she learns the game as an orphan clear up to the point where she defeats Russian Grand Master, Vasily Borgov (Marcin Dorociński) to become the world champion.

    Female grandmasters are a rarity, so I was afraid the series was going to morph into an anti-male screed. (It easily could have)

    It didn't

    Nearly every male character in the series, from the gruff but kindly William Shaibel, the custodian at the orphanage who taught her the basics of the game and fronted her the money for her first tournament to Vasily Borgov himself is gracious and clearly delighted to play against a woman so talented in a sport dominated by men.

    Two notable exceptions were her POS adopted father who didn't care about her or his wife and a Russian player who got a little salty when she kicked his butt in 21 moves. But every story needs antagonists...

    One of the high points for me was when Elizabeth returned to the orphanage after Shaibel's death and saw the cork board where he had meticulously documented her career. Clearly he was as proud of her as if she had actually been his daughter.

    One of the only criticisms of the series I've heard that had any merit as far as I'm concerned is that everybody is way too attractive for the roles they're playing, but that really doesn't detract from the story and comes across as petty.

    Anja Taylor-Joy won a Golden Globe for her performance and it was well deserved IMO.

    Two thumbs up from me

  • stan livedeath
    stan livedeath


    yep--my kind of sport ( but merely as a spectator ! )

  • dropoffyourkeylee

    I am an avid chessplayer (see my avatar)! very average in skill, but I surely love it.

  • ScenicViewer

    I saw this several weeks back and enjoyed it immensely. I have absolutely no interest in the game but got caught up in the great story and the characters. I would like to have watched it a little at a time, stretching it out to make it last, but I couldn't help myself and binge watched it.

  • TD
    very average in skill, but I surely love it.

    I love chess too, but I'm only mediocre and will only ever be mediocre.

    Oh well....

  • sloppyjoe2

    I enjoyed this miniseries as well. A couple others I watched that I was surprised with how much I liked them are as follows. 11.22.63 which is on Hulu, it is made about a Stephen King book and the JFK assasination. Also on Hulu is a mini series called little fires everywhere. Both of these i found to be well done.

  • Brock Talon
    Brock Talon

    Interesting. I think I might want to watch this movie. Thanks for the tip.

    I recently saw The Coldest Game on Netflix, which is a chess game / spy thriller. While it may sound exceedingly dull (it is chess after all) it was actually a surprisingly good movie. The protagonist was played by Bill Pullman (a Hollywood actor I enjoy watching) and a bunch of other very capable actors I don't think I ever saw before. They were placed in the Cuban Missile Crisis era and the lead plays a part in that famous JFK event as well as being a key person in the making of the atomic bomb years before.

    With a flawed hero, deadly assassins, ruthless KGB and double agents, this movie is all fiction but based on real events.

    It kind of made me want things to have actually gone that way in real life.

  • TD
  • TD
  • LoveUniHateExams

    Good OP.

    I haven't seen it yet, I'll have to wait for it to come out on DVD.

    I liked Anya Taylor-Joy in The Witch (2015).

    I used to play chess a little when I was younger, but I kinda stopped at 15 and have never wanted to start playing again.

    I also think it's slightly weird that professional chess is so dominated by men because it's a non-physical sport in that men's natural advantages of strength and speed mean nothing.

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