Lessons in Chemistry begins with Elizabeth Zott (Brie Larson – Fast X) hosting a cookery show, a la Delia Smith in the ’80s, but since this is set during the ’60s, programmes are filmed live before a stuidio audience, and with female viewers taking notes while watching it, so they can get the same food and end result as she does.
Normally, live TV can often go wrong, but Ms Zott is prim, proper and precise, but as per the synopsis, this wasn’t her chosen destination, as the drama heads back seven years, as her intention was to become a chemist. Alas, the world was full of sexist men, and she was the only woman in her field.
Those in charge also don’t like the fact that she actively works after hours, in her own time, and make up excuses why she should stop – not least, because they know that with her intellect, she’ll show up the lot of them, and so they think all she’s good for, is entering the Little Miss Hastings beauty contest.
I like how she states that she once had an accident with Hydrochloric Acid – which affected her sense of smell – while she was an undergraduate. This reminds me of when I accidentally snorted up some Biactol in 1994, and I’ve had a permanent cold ever since…
Beyond that in the first two episodes, she finds a friend in fellow chemist Calvin (Lewis Pullman – Top Gun: Maverick), but even still with Larson being on good form, it’s largely a pretty dull drama so far, although there was a moment which might make me tune in some more. You’ll have to watch it to find out what that is, though.
As an aside, I find it odd that during the festive season, her organisation leave the Christmas tree lights on in the building when they leave for the night. Isn’t that a fire risk? Then again, things were different back then, and even in the ’80s, health and safety was not top priority.
Lessons in Chemistry is on Apple TV+ from tomorrow, but isn’t yet available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD. Initially, two episodes are available, and additional episodes will stream weekly.
Check out the trailer below:
Running time: 45-50 mins per episode
Release date: October 13th 2023 (first 2 episodes, then weekly)
Studio: Apple TV+
Director: Sarah Adina Smith
Writers: Lee Eisenberg, Elissa Karasik, Victoria Bata, Susannah Grant
Creator for TV: Lee Eisenberg
Novel: Bonnie Garmus
Music: Carlos Rafael Rivera
Elizabeth Zott: Brie Larson
Calvin Evans: Lewis Pullman
Fran Frask: Stephanie Koenig
Madeline Evans Zott: Alice Halsey
Anthony: Joshua Hoover
James ‘Junior’ Sloane: Yasir Hashim Lafond
Tom Clemens: Brandon Gibson
Shari: Joy Jacobson
Amanda Pine: Shoo Shoo Parsells
Junior Sloane – 10yrs: Hero Hunter
Harriet Sloane: Aja Naomi King
Wakely: Patrick Walker
Dr. Robert Donatti: Derek Cecil
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.