Pawn Away your Free Time for This New TV Hit

Pawn Away your Free Time for This New TV Hit

Pilar Melendez, Reporter

Even if you aren’t a chess enthusiast, The Queen’s Gambit will suck you into a world full of 8×8 grids, pawns, kings, and queens. 


The compelling story of Beth Harmon (played by Anya Taylor-Joy), emerging from the basement of the Methuen Home for Girls in Kentucky as a chess prodigy in the making, is only the beginning to this magnificent reincarnation of Walter Tevis’s novel. 


For Beth Harmon, chess was her refuge, a sense of normality in her chaotic life. Orphaned at the age of 9, Beth’s happiness was spending her day in a basement with Mr. Shaibel, a janitor at the orphanage who taught her how to play chess. At Methuen, Beth was introduced to tranquilizers, as they made her hallucinate chess grids and pieces on the ceiling- an early insight to what would become a battling addiction throughout her life. 


The miniseries quickly moves into Beth’s teenage years, when she is adopted by Alma Wheatley (played by Marielle Heller) and her husband. Alma’s character is nothing but an ardent retelling of the atypical midcentury troubled housewife- but even then, Beth and Alma’s connection is one of eternal, ethereal companionship. 


Early on, Beth is pictured obliterating male opponents that are often more experienced and older than her. We see Beth as a curious mastermind, eager to learn more about the game and delve into lengthy texts on how to enrich her every move on 64 black and white squares. Throughout, we see every facet of Beth: her successes, her battle with drugs, her introverted yet eloquent risk-taking, all pushed into a melting pot of challenges and broad determination to become the best at her own game. 


What makes The Queen’s Gambit so fascinating and an extraordinary interpretation of Walter Tevis’s novel is the character of Beth Harmond herself: an elegant, geeky, and ambitious individual amid a tempest of challenges that are deep-seeded in her addiction, depression, and loss. This miniseries is the perfect escapism that any individual who is an avid reader should not miss!