Netflix’s new limited series, “The Queen’s Gambit,” leads the site’s top ten most popular list for the third straight week since its late October premiere, making it one of the platform’s most-watched shows of 2020. This feat is all the more impressive considering the steep competition among streaming providers this year.
Adapted from Walter Tevis’s 1983 novel and brought to life by veteran screenwriters Scott Frank and Allan Scott, the mini-series depicts the unexpectedly cutthroat world of 1960s chess against the lavish backdrop of the Cold War era, when chess boards were just another arena in which rival nations competed for hegemony. “Gambit” shines brightest in Anya Taylor-Joy’s mesmerizing performance as enigmatic orphan Beth Harmon, a chess wunderkind who takes the male-dominated sport by storm as she blossoms from a peculiar teenage phenom into a beguiling, international superstar.
Throughout her rise, Beth fights addiction to little green “tranquilizer” pills first given to her by her Kentucky orphanage, which likely