Man vs. Bee is a 2022 British comedy streaming television series created and written by Rowan Atkinson and William Davies. The show consists of nine episodes, each of them directed by David Kerr. Atkinson stars as a down-on-his-luck man who finds himself entrenched in a battle with a bee while house sitting a rich couple’s modern mansion. Jing Lusi, Claudie Blakley, Tom Basden, Julian Rhind-Tutt, Greg McHugh and India Fowler also feature. Man vs. Bee premiered on Netflix on 24 June 2022 and received generally positive reviews from critics.
- Rowan Atkinson as Trevor Bingley, a house sitter who finds himself in a battle with a bee as he causes irreparable damage.
- Jing Lusi as Nina Kolstad-Bergenbatten, the owner of the luxurious mansion that Trevor is house-sitting. She also owns a pet dog named Cupcake.
- Julian Rhind-Tutt as Christian Kolstad-Bergenbatten, Nina’s husband.
- Greg McHugh as The Gardener.
- India Fowler as Maddy, Trevor’s daughter.
- Claudie Blakley as Jess, Trevor’s ex-wife.
- Tom Basden as the Police Officer.
Man vs. Bee was created by Atkinson and William Davies. The series was written by Davies, and directed by David Kerr. Davies had “been unsuccessfully pitching bee battles to Atkinson for years”. Atkinson described the process as creating a story “roughly the length of a movie”, then editing to 10 episodes. The series was originally designed for a different network, but when they rejected the series, it was offered to Netflix. Atkinson said the series was inspired by a segment of Mr. Bean from 1992. The editing process included creating cliffhangers for the end of episodes, that would not be needed for a movie. Atkinson described his character as “different” to Mr. Bean, “much nicer and much sweeter and more normal person” with a “weak spot” of “obsessiveness”, compared to Mr. Bean’s “self-centred, narcissistic anarchist”. The first script meeting occurred just over three years before, and filmed a year before, release. While promoting the series, Kerr left the possibility of a second season open.
The series was announced 13 December 2020. The cast and release date were announced on 14 April 2022. The trailer for the series was released 26 May 2022. Nine episodes were released on Netflix 24 June 2022. Promotion for the series included a billboard in Manchester, and a Beano comic strip by Nigel Parkinson. Three sculptures of Atkinson were created and unveiled at St Paul’s Cathedral to promote the series and raise awareness for the issues faced by “native species of British bees and pollinators”.
- E01 – “Chapter 1”
- E02 – “Chapter 2”
- E03 – “Chapter 3”
- E04 – “Chapter 4”
- E05 – “Chapter 5”
- E06 – “Chapter 6”
- E07 – “Chapter 7”
- E08 – “Chapter 8”
- E09 – “Chapter 9”
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