The new Netflix and A24 show, Beef features crows as a recurring theme that holds great significance for the characters.
The season finale of Beef opens with a surreal scene where two crows discuss Amy and Danny, remembering Danny feeding one of them and Amy scaring another with a gun after Danny’s shocking behavior. The crows comically declare Amy their enemy, contributing to the show’s broader themes.
Crows’ presence in Beef is a narrative device that foreshadows the protagonist’s unfortunate outcomes. Crows are often used as omens of death, and their proximity to Danny and Amy signifies their doomed fate and the destruction they bring to others.
Creator Lee Sung Jin intentionally uses crows to drive Danny and Amy’s shocking characters to their inevitable outcomes in season 1.
Crows symbolize bad luck in fiction and some cultures. In Korea, spotting a crow in the morning is a sign of bad luck, and Amy sees one as she enters Jordan’s house for the first time. Danny claims that crows love him before nearly falling to his death. The first episode’s title, “The Birds Don’t Sing, They Screech In Pain,” foreshadows the pessimistic outlook of both Danny and Amy.
A Korean proverb states that a crow tit walking like a stork will break its legs, suggesting that imitating others will lead to hardship. This describes Danny and Amy’s character flaws and main challenges throughout season 1. They are forced to pretend to be someone else to maintain financial success, but their outcomes prove the proverb’s lesson.
The reoccurring theme of crows in Beef signifies the misfortune and disaster both characters are destined to face from their schemes of deception and infidelity. The crows act omnipresent figures over Danny and Amy, karmically influencing their lives and intervening in their conflicts, including their fight for a gun in the season 1 finale.