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No Reservations: The Anthony Bourdain Thread
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Midline Shift



Joined: 22 Apr 2010
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2011 7:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tony was back Monday night with the most depressing episode I've seen yet - Haiti. This felt even more hopeless than the Sierra Leone show. It was definitely a 'good' episode, just not something that was especially enjoyable because I felt like a POS while watching. The saddest part for me was the hotel owner that Tony chatted with, describing the coming hurricane (which thankfully took a turn north and mostly missed the island), and the rain, floods, and landslides it would bring:

"Bad time to live in a tent."

I did enjoy the segment about the Haitian artists, but even that was tempered by the fact that, as Tony said, none of them will ever see a dime for their work.

The food wasn't particularly appealing to me, but that's personal preference. I did think that chicken creole something or other toward the beginning of the show looked pretty good.


Simon
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jdw
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2011 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From the promos, it sounds like Tony is going to more "this isn't all food porn" places this year. I think Hati was chosen to specifically set the tone.

John
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jdw
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 10:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This season has been exceptional.

The opening murderers row trio of Haiti, Cambodia and Nicaragua were just nailed. Brutal, depressing, thought provoking... far removed from food porn.

Vienna was close to a "normal" episode, but with the hook that it's a place Tony never wanted to do a show on and turned out quite blown away with.

Ozarks is similar to a standard "comedy No Reservations" episode where you know you're going to have fun with a slightly goofy local, with the hook that Tony instead had a good deal of respect for the place and its people.

Amazon tonight is another close to normal episode that Tony does well: see and experiance things new and fresh to him, unlike things he's seen before, and capture them with his writing and speaking supported with that great crew of his. Good show.

John
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Midline Shift



Joined: 22 Apr 2010
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 6:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Haven't watched the Amazon show yet but it looks cool.

I've really enjoyed this season so far. The Haiti episode was brutally depressing, and although Cambodia and Nicaragua were also difficult Tony & Co. did a good job showing that there was at least some hope for the future. That feeling was utterly absent from Haiti.

Vienna and the Ozarks were good shows for exactly the reasons you said. I would have liked to see a bit more on the pastries of Vienna but that's just me (I love sweets). I also enjoy Tony's fish out of water segments like the hunting and gigging in the Ozarks. It was really cool to see him help the locals see the light about the joys of eating duck.


Simon
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Midline Shift



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 5:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Woohoo!

Another Evening with Tony coming up in October... only this time he's bringing Eric Ripert with him!


Simon,
super stoked
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jdw
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 7:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow... is he coming to SoCal? :)

John
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Midline Shift



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They were in Santa Barbara sometime in May, I think. They'll be in San Diego on October 28th.

I stumbled across this page of clips from an interview with Tony & Eric earlier today while looking for tour dates. I liked the bit about fast food. I got to be part of the audience Q&A when I saw Tony speak last year and wished I had asked him something similar. Instead I asked a stupid question about the music played before the show, since "Sonic Reducer" was part of the playlist and he's name checked the Dead Boys plenty of times.

Travel Channel re-aired an episode from a season or two ago last week that my DVR picked up for some unknown reason. (It's set for only new eps.) It was the one with clips from Out of the Pain, Into the Fire, the Bourdain profile by Dmitri Kasterine. I had somehow missed this episode before but I thought it was terrific. It was great to see clips of Old Tony working in the kitchen at Les Halles and dealing with the changes in his life as he went from journeyman chef/fuck up to Food Superstar. I especially dug the part showing his first meeting with Ripert, where Tony seemed like a teenage girl meeting Justin Bieber.


Simon
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jdw
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 11:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

October 28th is a Friday. Maybe take off of work early to avoid the traffic, go to the show, then come back up the coast and stay over at my folks. :)

John
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Midline Shift



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 7:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great fucking show last night from Kurdistan. I really loved this one. It started out with Tony and the crew going through training from security personnel since they'd be going to Iraq, which was really interesting to see. The scenes in Kurdistan were revealing. I expected something of a shit hole but it wasn't at all. Unlike some of the other shows in places with bleak history (i.e. the uber depressing Haiti episode) this one was not depressing at all. In fact, quite the opposite - it was pretty uplifting to see how positive and optimistic the Kurds are.

The Ukraine show from last week was good too. I get a kick out of Zamir. I always wondered if they made him look like a goofball through creative editing, then he started talking about vodka made from chicken turds and I had my answer.


Simon
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jdw
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 9:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Haven't seen Kurdistan yet. Did do a fair amount of catching up:

Boston: Tony gets to hang out with a rocker he likes and drink a lot. Food aspect not super interesting. Tony drinking is less interesting as the years go by.

Japan: it's odd, but I'm almost forgetting this show entirely. :(

Cuba: was interesting to watch as Tony tried very carefully to dance around the differences between the Tourist Cuba and Real Cuba. You could tell people were a little uncomfy in that one resturuant scene when he got to the subject. :)

Macau: for the most part, kind of just there.

Naples: standard solid show that they do when Tony is eating food he enjoys with people that he enjoys in places that he enjoys.

El Bulli: it's food porn, but quite well done. Lots of small things, then climaxed by the food porn meal with Adria, which Tony nailed one of the most enjoyable things about it: Adria marking out for his own food. :)

US Desert: a little hit and miss because there isn't a ton of interesting stuff or food in the area. They made about as much of it as they could, and I think Josh Homme was pretty game in trying to get across his area of the country... but overall not enough for a full show. It almost could have been 1/2 or 1/3 of a show that covered more of the non-LA / non-SD parts of Southern California.

Ukraine: some fun stuff as Zamir is a long running gag on the show. Chernobyl is always scary-interesting. Food-wise... not an amazing show. The McD's rip off was funny in general, but then the food looked pretty crappy. :)

John
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Midline Shift



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 7:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

John, have you caught Tony's new show The Layover?

It's not all that different from No Reservations so I really dig it. It's like a more practical version of No Res for regular traveling folk. Let's face it, none of us are gonna be dining at El Bulli or having lunch with Joel Robuchon & Eric Ripert. Tony gives tips on how to get from the airport, where to stay, ways to travel around the city, and (obviously) where and what to eat. He even gives recommendations with regards to budget.

The New York show was great because it's Tony's home and Rome was cool if for no other reason than Crazy Roman Pizza Guy. I missed the Singapore episode but will try to catch it On Demand, and Miami is up tonight.

Tony also has a holiday show on tonight, which sounds interesting because the cable blurb noted that frequent Tony punching bag Samantha Brown will be involved.


Simon
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jdw
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 8:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have not caught The Layover yet. Was going to set a series recording when college football season was over, grabbing the repeats. :)

Sounded fun and interesting.

John
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Midline Shift



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 11:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tony's annual Christmas show aired Monday night. It was good as usual, the highlight for me being the discovery of two weird ass European Christmas traditions, the Krampus and the Tio de Nadal.

According to Austrians, while Santa gives toys to the good kids, his companion the Krampus carries a big sack that he stuffs bad kids in to do God knows what to later. I wish we'd had the Krampus when I was younger so that asshole up the street would've been whisked away to be devoured for Christmas dinner or something. If I ever have kids, I'm definitely teaching them about the Krampus.

Nutty as that is, it doesn't hold a candle to Tio de Nadal, the Catalan poop log. Yes, poop log. In Catalunya, they sing a song begging a hat-wearing face-painted log to shit nuts and cheese (but not herrings, because they're too salty!) or they'll hit it with a stick. There are even little ornaments featuring Santa (and others) taking a dump. WTF? There are no words.

You can imagine the fun Tony had with that shit.

Other interesting bits were the vegan death metal song, Christopher Walken cooking octopus, and an appearance by frequent Tony punching bag Samantha Brown.


Simon
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jdw
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 12:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I LOVED!!!! this year's Christmas special.

Yes, there was the Goofy Shit that they were having fun with, like the poop log. That was good and fun. But I was digging the variety of traditional christmas food they were tossing together.

The Jesus Christmas Meal was really quite interesting, and you had to enjoy how much Tony enjoyed the end result.

Tony + Walken + Lidia Bastianich was really a treat. Lidia can talk her ass off (in a good way), which is natural given she has done her own shows for more than a decade and runs a food empire. Tony and his folks did a great job of editing the segment to put both her over and also Walken... just really good Tony backing off, asking questions, not trying to hard to get himself over. Again, the love of food came through not just from Tony for these very simple, basic dishes they slapped together, but also from Walken. A really enjoyable segment.

The English segment with Bloomfield was solid, again reflecting love of food and Tony probably surprising a lot of us for putting over the country for nailing Christmas food. The Austrian meal was cool... hell, I loved him going back to Les Halles to get his balls busted by Carlos. :)

The Samantha Brown finish struck me as perhaps the funniest skit that they've ever done. I thought Brown was great... production was wonderfully seedy... the writing for Brown's stuff was a hoot.

Loads of fun.

I did catch my first Layover, the one in Miami. Pretty solid, if quick run through a city. You don't really want to see Tony get run into the ground, but considering Season 6 (2010) of No Reservations had 26 episodes... perhaps I wouldn't mind a split of 16-18 No Reservations and 8-10 Layovers, making No Reservations closer to a real "season" rather than the spawling thing it was in 2010. Then Layover being a nice "short season" bridge between seasons of NR.

I'm eyeballing one of the Collections to start watching the old stuff in some focused fashion:

Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations - Collections One-Four

That looks like 50 episodes. :)

John
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Midline Shift



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 12:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I forgot about the Jesus meal. That was really interesting and it looked pretty damn good too.

Thumbs up to Samantha Brown for being a good sport and taking part.

I'm really digging The Layover. I like the idea of a split between NR and the Layover. NR is great and I don't want to lose that, but I do love Tony giving practical tips about where to eat and what to do, especially since he's keen to avoid tourist traps and shtick-y places. Whenever I travel, I want to eat/see the same kind of shit.


Simon
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