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Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations Season 6


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(The NR topic for seasons 1-5 can be found here)

Well folks, the new season is upon us, starting Jan. 11 in Panama. From the website

Tony travels to Panama, which is rumored to have originated from an Amerindian word meaning "an abundance of fish." One of Tony's stops includes the Mercado de Mariscos, a swank new fish market to sample the national go-to dish: ceviche.

Who's watching?

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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It's a good show. I watched it "On Demand" on my cable system the other night (the new show sometimes shows up a few days ahead of the actual cablecast).

Brought back memories . . . of Manuel Noriega, invasions, etc. The eye-opener (which really shouldn't have surprised me if I had stopped to think about it) is the presence of a substantial Chinese community (think laborers on the Panama Canal).

Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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Season six already, wow, where do the years go?

There is no food-related show that I enjoy more than this one. Panama, eh? AB must have one of the best jobs in the world.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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Ahh Bourdain never ceases to intruige :) With his brash attitude and satirical sense of humor, what's not to love :P

my favorite tony-ism from this episode was something like "msg-- i love that stuff. I'd sprinkle that stuff on my breakfast cereal, that is, if i ate breakfast" hahaha. he will perpetually blast our country's tentative eaters and food-a-phobics. I love it. hahaha

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I don't know -- I watched the Panama episode and my husband and I thought it was just so-so... I guess I like his more food-centric episodes, and didn't think Panama was really one of them... The lengthy sequence in Noriega's house was tedious, and ultimately, if I don't leave the episode groaning in desperation to eat what he's eating, the episode is missing something to me.

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Go to the fallout shelters. Loot the grocery stores. You thought the financial meltdown was the apocalypse? I thought I was watching an episode of the twilight zone. Somebody affirm that I saw this last night. Tony is sitting in the Istanbul sidewalk tapas/small plate joint with two lovely local ladies, they have the obligatory "all of these dishes form the backbone of this (insert cuisine) country's food heritage"discussion. It seems to be Ramadan and as the sun goes down the cafe starts to fill up with folks breaking their fasts and Tony says, "Gotta go. Let me get this one." The camera cuts to a hand with a bright blue credit card emblazoned with Chase Sapphire and holds for a five count. The episode then just moves along.

You know Tony it's not the Adult diapers or Cialis that you always joke about but it's pretty damned close.

Bob

Edited by RWells (log)

Even Samantha Brown would have hard time summoning a "wow" for this. Anthony Bourdain

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The camera cuts to a hand with a bright blue credit card emblazoned with Chase Saphire (sp) and holds for a five count.

That was absolutely jarring, and made me think about sharks as hurdles.

I find the timing of this whole incident interesting. The whole ad concept for the new season of No Reservations has been the concept of "Good Tony" vs. "Bad Tony". It is fairly obvious that this is a response to mounting criticism from some of the show's long term fans that Tony has softened and has lost his snarky edge. Many of us are old enough to remember what Tony is truly good at, calling a spade, a spade with incite and clarity with a dose of the smart ass.

Bob

Even Samantha Brown would have hard time summoning a "wow" for this. Anthony Bourdain

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The camera cuts to a hand with a bright blue credit card emblazoned with Chase Saphire (sp) and holds for a five count.

That was absolutely jarring, and made me think about sharks as hurdles.

That made me shiver and twitch as well, but I thought the karmic payback was perfect. The commercial break that came immediately after that abomination was for Chase credit cards !!!!! :raz::laugh::raz:

--Roberta--

"Let's slip out of these wet clothes, and into a dry Martini" - Robert Benchley

Pierogi's eG Foodblog

My *outside* blog, "A Pound Of Yeast"

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It seems to me that there's been quite a lot of product placement within No Reservations. Cars come to mind. This Chase one did seem pretty blatant, but effective. I usually DVR the shows and watch the commercials in slow motion so I can savor...um wait....No I don't. I fast-forward through those suckers to get to the good bits. The Chase ad is the only one I remember.

But I suspect there might also be a story behind it.

Edited by IndyRob (log)
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I'm liking it very much. It seems as though Bourdain has passed through his "Reefer Madness" phase where every other sentence used to be a reference to either drugs or an Iron Butterfly album. There seems to be more focus on the food this season and that's the way I like it. So far.

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He didn't seem to be wearing the dust mask tightly during the cocaine scene... :blink:

Yeah, that Chase card scene was annoying, but he made up for it by making fun of Sandra Lee.

Dan

"Salt is born of the purest of parents: the sun and the sea." --Pythagoras.

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I am probably in the minority but my wife and I actually laughed at the credit card scene. In a way it came off as ironic and (I assume) purposefully awkward and cheesy. The fact that it was so brazen is something I can respect. More subversive placement, like in Seinfeld when George holds up a bag of Rold Gold pretzels, annoys me much more.

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He didn't seem to be wearing the dust mask tightly during the cocaine scene... :blink:

Yeah, that Chase card scene was annoying, but he made up for it by making fun of Sandra Lee.

Dan

I didn't catch the Sandra Lee comment. Somebody quote it for me, I'll hope it can make up for cheesy product placement.

Bob

Even Samantha Brown would have hard time summoning a "wow" for this. Anthony Bourdain

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I thought the Panama one was OK.

I missed the Istanbul episode, but found it in 5 segments on YouTube. I watched it on my netbook, and I can, and may watch it again. No commercials (except the blue card thing) though it takes a bit to find and start each segment. We had good stuff in Turkey, but of course they always pick the really good places for him. Plus he has personal guides choosing the most interesting dishes and explaining things. My idea of how to travel. He was very gracious at home dinner, wish there were recipes.

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He didn't seem to be wearing the dust mask tightly during the cocaine scene... :blink:

Yeah, that Chase card scene was annoying, but he made up for it by making fun of Sandra Lee.

Dan

I didn't catch the Sandra Lee comment. Somebody quote it for me, I'll hope it can make up for cheesy product placement.

Bob

During the section about roasting the goats in the hole he said that it was so easy that Sandra Lee could do it, if it came in a can (or was is especially if it came in a can?)

The product placement does worry me as well about the integrity of the show. If they are taking paid placements, could some of his comments be paid for by tourism bureaus or restaurants? I doubt it, and sure hope not...

Dan

"Salt is born of the purest of parents: the sun and the sea." --Pythagoras.

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I wouldn't worry about it. The Top Chef/Michelob blog thing worried me more because we lost something there. I laughed out loud when I saw the Chase plug. There is only one reason he's on the air and that's to draw eyeballs for others (paying advertisers). And it's clear when he's doing it. This wasn't the first time. It was just the least subtle.

In the end it's the advertiser's dollars who are paying his way. And I don't think Chase gives a hoot whether he pans or praises the street food in Juarez, Mexico.

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I like Anthony Bourdain and what he is doing a lot but I am really surprised how much people are willing to overlook just because he is Anthony Bourdain. If any other person on TV would do such product placement everybody on this (and other) boards would be disappointed and would call it a sell-out. For some reason people tend to be very uncritical about Bourdain which I think is unjustified. Bourdain as somebody who is never shy of making comments about other people and what kind of losers they are loses a lot of credibility by doing this kind of product placement.

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Um, Top Chef with Kenmore and the Glad Family of Products (among others)? I like Top Chef more than I dislike commercials.

Hey I am a huge Tony fan from way back. The folks of Top Chef have never claimed to be anything more than what they are, a vehicle for Bravo to make as much advertising revenue as they can. Tony on the other hand has long expressed revulsion with the sellouts and "Applebys' Hawkers" of the food world. I think it is time that Bad Tony reflect on what makes him so special to the world. A clue, it does not involve shilling for credit cards from the evilest of empires. Many have expressed that we, the unwashed, just don't understand Bad Tony's newly found vehicle of irony and the profound use of the tongue in cheek. Advertising for Cialis or adult diapers would have been funny, shilling for the entity that threatens the very existence of this country is neither funny or cool.

Bob

Even Samantha Brown would have hard time summoning a "wow" for this. Anthony Bourdain

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Um, Top Chef with Kenmore and the Glad Family of Products (among others)? I like Top Chef more than I dislike commercials.

Hey I am a huge Tony fan from way back. The folks of Top Chef have never claimed to be anything more than what they are, a vehicle for Bravo to make as much advertising revenue as they can. Tony on the other hand has long expressed revulsion with the sellouts and "Applebys' Hawkers" of the food world. I think it is time that Bad Tony reflect on what makes him so special to the world. A clue, it does not involve shilling for credit cards from the evilest of empires. Many have expressed that we, the unwashed, just don't understand Bad Tony's newly found vehicle of irony and the profound use of the tongue in cheek. Advertising for Cialis or adult diapers would have been funny, shilling for the entity that threatens the very existence of this country is neither funny or cool.

Bob

I think we are going a bit too crazy here. Sure, the Chase thing was blatant and bit annoying, but kinda funny. Sort of like when Tina Fey on 30 Rock blatantly "endorses" something with a wink. Point being, the show has expenses and someone needs to pay them. Why is this "selling out"? If he starts eating at Applebee's or praising the awesome cuisine of TGI Friday's, then it's a different story. I remember when Bayless did that stupid commercial for Burger King. That was "selling out". The way I see it, it's a plug for a damn credit card, whether it's Chase, Amex or Visa. It does not matter and has no real impact on the content of the show!

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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"Sure, the Chase thing was blatant and bit annoying, but kinda funny" - I don't see where it was in any way funny. It was only annoying.

"Why is this "selling out"? - For somebody who always tried to portrait himself as "different", "outsider, not following the mainstream" and making jokes about the mainstream this is a sell out.

"It does not matter and has no real impact on the content of the show!" - How do you know ? How do you know that other companies / tourist organizations don't influence the content of the show ?

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"Sure, the Chase thing was blatant and bit annoying, but kinda funny" - I don't see where it was in any way funny. It was only annoying.

"Why is this "selling out"? - For somebody who always tried to portrait himself as "different", "outsider, not following the mainstream" and making jokes about the mainstream this is a sell out.

"It does not matter and has no real impact on the content of the show!" - How do you know ? How do you know that other companies / tourist organizations don't influence the content of the show ?

I guess it's a matter of opinion as to what is funny and what is not. Really? Taking money from an advertiser that has nothing to do with food is a selling out? The show still works the same way on screen as far as I can tell. I do not see them "toning it down" to appeal to a mass audience and the content is still as varied as it always has been (to kick it off we get a non-food focused Panama and then Turkey with almost nothing but food!).

As far as influencing the show, like I said, it is not evident. Now, you can be all conspiracy theory and say it was all a plot by big bad Chase to send him to Turkey so he can eat at this place that they own and hang out with the cute chick who in reality works for Chase PR. I don't buy that because the show would've worked exactly the same with or without Chase and a 2.5 second plug for them helped pay the bill. With DVR and TiVo most advertiser are resorting to one trick or another to get you to see their products. That's all there is to it. Again, when he starts shilling for a food-related company/product that I am pretty sure he does not believe in, I'll be the first to bash him as a sellout.

When on Top Chef, the contestants are asked to improvise a meal using nothing but "Product X", that's how you know advertisers, in this case whoever makes "Product X", ARE influencing content and script. Figured and example might help.

Edited by FoodMan (log)

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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