Lessons in Chemistry Season 1 Review

By Adam Lock
Published: October 12, 2023 (Last updated: October 18, 2023)
Previous ArticleView all
Lessons in Chemistry Season 1 Review


Brie Larson has never been better, leading from the front with a mesmerizing performance in this multifaceted period drama series. The Apple original is cinematic in vision and ambitious in scope, exploring tough subject matter and the complexities of love.

The film and TV industry is obsessed with the 1950s, not only for its iconic look and wardrobe but also for the controversial social issues that it raises, mainly concerning the topics of sexism and racism. This highly romanticized yet challenging era is the setting for Apple TV+’s latest period drama series, Lessons in Chemistry, which explores all of those themes and more in a promising Season 1.

Lessons in Chemistry Season 1 review and plot summary

Created by Lee Eisenberg (Jury Duty), from Bonnie Garmus’ best-selling novel of the same name, Lessons in Chemistry tells the story of determined chemist Elizabeth Zott (Brie Larson), who goes on to become a famous TV cook in the late 1950s.

Back in 1951 though, Elizabeth is a methodical and meticulous lab technician, struggling to be taken seriously in a misogynistic man’s world. She hopes to apply for a prestigious grant but is ordered to enter the annual beauty pageant contest instead.

Elizabeth fights the patriarchy, pushing forward with her own important research irrespective of her bosses’ backward opinions. Here she crosses paths with fellow chemist Calvin Evans (Lewis Pullman), an arrogant but brilliant scientist, who is also on the verge of his own major breakthrough. He’s a man who is predicted to one day win a Nobel prize.

The chemists hit it off, leading to a beautifully realized romance that will have viewers smitten. The couple combine their efforts to fight this era’s sex discrimination, whilst pushing their joint research towards further greatness.

READ: Lesson Plan Review

This scientific backdrop may seem like a world away from the glitzy showbiz landscape that follows, but Elizabeth’s journey from aspiring chemist to TV personality is actually grounded in more reality than you’d think. Elizabeth mixes her love for science with her love for food to create her delicious dishes, always finding the right concoction for perfection every time.

Of course, her journey to stardom isn’t without drama; it is in fact an eventful and highly emotive affair overall.

Is Lessons in Chemistry worth watching?

Lessons in Chemistry is another addictive period drama series from Apple, one that will win over fans with its sweet central romance and inspiring, underdog narrative. This eight-part series is also delightfully crafted, making the most of its 50s setting. It looks and feels cinematic, bringing to mind comparisons with Prime Video’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel at times.

The series pulls no punches either, exploring the grittier realities of this beloved era in shocking detail. Elizabeth’s tale addresses the extremes of sexism in the workplace, whilst her neighbor Harriet’s (Aja Naomi King) subplot allows for an exploration of 50s racism. These themes are handled respectably, reminding viewers of the hardships that women and the black community have always endured.

And the series is bolstered further by a faultless performance from our leading actress. Brie Larson (Captain Marvel) is mesmerizing as Elizabeth Zott. She brings humility and intrigue to the role, whilst perfectly balancing Elizabeth’s oddball personality with a surprising warmth. This is an award-worthy performance, no question about it.

The series can be a little over-sentimental in parts, but this is easy to push aside when faced with Larson’s magnetic performance and the show’s intense storylines. It’s impossible not to root for Elizabeth as she battles towards her goals in this unjust world.

What did you think of Lessons in Chemistry Season 1? Comment below.

Additional reading:

Amazon Prime Video, Streaming Service, TV, TV Reviews
Previous ArticleView all