SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS 

Hey, so if you didn't see the bolded, repeated text above, or if you happen to have a case of bolded-text blindness, there will be spoilers for The Queen's Gambit throughout this article. So if you haven't yet seen The Queen's Gambit on Netflix yet, you should stop reading now and go watch it. It's incredible - One of those PRESTIGE DRAMAS (sorry, that's "prestige drama" for anyone with a case of BTB) that everyone talks about for years to come. You've got heavy themes of drug use, abandonment, feminity, intelligence, and so much more all wrapped up in a brilliant narrative and direction that'll change the way you look at chess forever.

For anyone who's already seen the Queen's Gambit, hey, that prestige drama seemed a lot like the Rocky movies, right?

It's not a bad thing. Rocky 1 was kind-of-sort-of a prestige film in its own right (it did win Best Picture), and the subsequent Rocky movies were also great, albeit for much less prestige reasons. (We're looking at you Paulie's robot.) It's just kind of funny that The Queen's Gambit, a pensive miniseries about the world's brainiest game, would mirror the movie the captain of your high school football team would quote before inserting a protein and vodka coated tampon into his asshole. And when you look at the plot beats, The Queen's Gambit is really similar to Rocky.

Beth Harmon is an underdog chess player with a rough upbringing and an informal chess education, similarly to how Rocky wasn't so much a boxer as he was a guy who broke people's legs for money and did a little bit of boxing on the side. Beth comes out of nowhere to take the chess world by storm but initially loses to the US champion (Rocky I). She later beats the US champion in a rematch (Rocky II) and is then trained by him and his team in a match against an even greater opponent from the Soviet Union. (Rocky III and IV)

Of course, there are chess training montages, and Beth even faces her final opponent in the wake of her initial teacher, Mr. Shaibel's death, much like how Rocky had to fight Ivan Drago mourning the loss of Apollo and Mickey. When Beth defeats the Russian Grandmaster in the finale, the entire Russian audience erupts in applause, and Borgov, her nemesis, embraces her in a hug. If Beth had afterward mumbled into a mic, "if I can change, and you can change, everybody can change," then I would be certain this was written by Sylvester Stallone.

Now, are there differences between these two stories? Obviously. One's about chess, and the other is about boxing. Beth's story heavily focuses on her problem with drugs while Rocky only looks like a guy on drugs. Mr. T, sadly, does not make an appearance in The Queen's Gambit, and Rocky and Appollo never end up sleeping together. (Although this clip does leave things a little ambiguous.)

But again, the main tenets are there. Beth struggles to gain legitimacy (at least initially) in the chess world because she's a woman. Rocky struggles to be taken seriously as a boxer because he's an outsider and a little bit weird. Beth's unorthodox style and hard-headedness are what propel her to victory in chess. Rocky's unorthodox style and literal hard-headedness are what propel him to victory in boxing. I do not know if The Queen's Gambit is getting a sequel miniseries, but if it's anything less than Beth Harmon training Michael B. Jordan to be a world chess champion, then I will be shocked.

Support Dan on Twitter and he will talk about his life with you in lieu of getting a therapist.

Top Image: Netflix

Want More Cracked in Your Life?

Get the One Cracked Fact daily newsletter! With exclusive content & links to the best from Cracked every day, it’s the only email you need. 

Forgot Password?