Man vs Bee — Rowan Atkinson doesn’t disappoint in this tragically funny comedy

By Feron Jayawardene — ON Jun 30, 2022
Man vs Bee

Mr Bean is back in the spotlight in a new Netflix mini-drama series that has left many viewers laughing their socks off. Directed by David Kerr and written by Will Davies, the series academically portrays the comedic genius of Rowan Atkinson that binds the wacky plot together. 

The series starts with a bang, loses its focus in the middle and regains its composure towards the end, making it a worthwhile story to watch.

This article is spoiler free!

The loose plot allows Atkinson to shine a bit too much 

The plot cannot be simpler. Rowan Atkinson is Trevor Bingley, a divorced father who is doing his best to go on a dream camping trip with his daughter. After a shoddy job history, he manages to housesit for a vastly wealthy couple, taking care of the dog and making sure the extremely expensive artwork is protected. 

What follows is a bee where Trevor tries his best to chase it away in a comedic fashion. The viewers, throughout the 9 mini-episodes see Trevor’s plans to get rid of the bee, leaving the house and the dog in a very compromising state towards the end. 

The plot twist, in the end, is a saving grace where a certain type of empathy is created towards the life of Trevor as he tries to come to terms with the bee in Tom and Jerry fashion. This simple plot gives Atkinson more freedom to construct his sense of physical comedy, almost making this a spin-off series where Mr Bean talks a lot. 

Perhaps the only time the plot had a continuity error was the backstory of the bee which still doesn’t answer the question about why it traumatises Trevor. 

Atkinson still prevails as the Master of Physical comedy

When it comes to physical comedy, Atkinson has proved his cult status with the portrayals of some noteworthy characters including Mr Bean, Johnny English, and Baldrick. This Trevor Bingley performance too snatches up to the higher echelons of the physical comedy which is, however, a bit different to the characters Atkinson used to play. 

Atkinson while in an interview with The Times, revealed the subtle differences between Trevor as opposed to the previous characters he had played;

“Trevor is different. He is a much nicer and much sweeter and more normal person, I hope — and that was certainly our aim…he seems like a sweet, well-intentioned, perfectly intelligent man, but, of course, he’s got fault lines, his weak spots, and his weak spot is his obsessiveness.”

Despite the simple plot, the series has been well directed and the strong support cast starring Jing Lusi, Tom Basden, and Julian Rhind-Tutt, continues to help in putting up a noteworthy performance.

In summary, the plot underestimates Atkinson’s acting prowess where a stronger plot could have yielded a more impactful performance. But take nothing away from this master of comedy!