My favorite new show of 2023 is coming to Netflix — and it's 100% on Rotten Tomatoes

Vinette Robinson as Carly in Boiling Point coming to Netflix in April
(Image credit: BBC)

If you find “The Bear” a stress-inducing watch, then you’re not prepared for the pressure levels in “Boiling Point”. This BBC mini-series also focuses on the hectic nature of working in a professional kitchen, and the tension levels are ratcheted up to such a high degree, that you might find yourself breaking into a sweat at home. 

Debuting in its native Britain last October, “Boiling Point” was easily among the best new shows I watched in 2023, and it’s due to arrive on Netflix in the U.S. on April 29, 2024 (thanks, What's on Netflix). On this date all four episodes will drop (it’s a British show, so naturally it’s a short season), and if you’re a fan of “The Bear” — or just excellent TV in general — it’s an essential watch.

The drama series is a follow-up to the 2021 movie of the same name (currently streaming on Prime Video), and centers on a fine dining restaurant called Point North in the vibrant city of Manchester, England. The restaurant’s head chef is a determined cook named Carly (Vinette Robinson), who is working overtime to keep her staff employed and the lights switched on. 

Despite Carly’s best efforts, and the hard work of Point North's well-meaning crew of service workers, the realities of running a restaurant in challenging economic conditions take their toll, and tough shifts lead to heated exchanges and costly mistakes. 

‘Boiling Point’ is a Michelin star masterpiece  

“Boiling Point” is a very apt name, because during more than one of the show’s four hour-long episodes, the tension spikes to such a degree that an explosion feels inevitable, and in the show’s second episode, something genuinely traumatizing occurs. 

But so long as your stress levels can handle it, you’ll want to stick with “Boiling Point” because underneath the snarky dialogue and aggressive shouting matches, there’s masterful character work. Vinettee Robinson is the lead, and the unequivocal star of the show, she brings a steely determination to Carly, but also a weariness as the restaurant negatively impacts her relationships and her mental well-being. 

The show also features sporadic appearances from Stephen Graham, who played the lead in the original "Boiling Point" movie. Graham leaves a notable mark as Andy, Carly’s former boss, and a seasoned chef dealing with his own demons and failures.  

Other standouts include Ray Panthaki as Freeman, a hot-headed sous-chef, and Shaun Fagan, an insult-spewing cook with such a strong Liverpool accent I expect American viewers may need subtitles to understand him. But my favorite member of the cast is Hannah Walters who plays Emily, the restaurant's head pastry chef, and a mother figure to understudy Jamie (Stephen McMillan). Her arc is devastating. 

Throw these well-rounded characters into a pot, along with the show's excellent writing, and you get some of the best dramatic sequences that you’ll find in any  television show this year. And when you factor in the masterful direction (first episode begins with an 11-minute single-take sequence as a homage to the original movie which was presented as one shot), you’ve got a rich recipe for success. “Boiling Point” is a rare treat that should be savored. 

Don’t just take my word for it 

If I haven’t quite convinced you to give “Boiling Point” a watch when it arrives on Netflix in just a few weeks, then perhaps its perfect 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes will sway you. And its audience rating is similarly high at an impressive 90% on the review aggregate site. 

Joel Golby of The Observer called it “British TV at its very finest” labeling it “one of the best things on television.” The Daily Telegraph’s Anita Singh was similarly impressed, describing the show as “a ferociously good four-part drama” and Boyd Hilton of Empire Magazine commented on the high levels of tension throughout, saying “If the series occasionally feels almost too stressful to enjoy, that’s a testament to just how realistic it is.” 

“Boiling Point” is a constantly compelling drama, and while its realistic portrayal of working in a high-stress environment can make for uncomfortable viewing, its fleshed-out character brought to life by across-the-board incredible performances will keep you hooked throughout. Its arrival on Netflix U.S. should get this masterful show in front of more people, and hopefully renewed for a season 2!   

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Rory Mellon
Entertainment Editor (UK)

Rory is an Entertainment Editor at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics but with a particular focus on gaming and streaming. When he’s not reviewing the latest games, searching for hidden gems on Netflix, or writing hot takes on new gaming hardware, TV shows and movies, he can be found attending music festivals and getting far too emotionally invested in his favorite football team.