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Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations Seasons 1-5


Louisa Chu
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I enjoyed the Korea show immensely as well.  Tony better watch his back after having Nari (Nary?) so thoroughly steal the show from him, though.  Hell, Rachel Ray better watch her back while we're at it: I'd be much more inclined to watch a Nari-hosted $40/Day or Tasty Travels.

Yeah, Nari reminds me of Rachel Ray too, only sincere.

Will Travel Channel make her Kathy Lee to Tony's Regis? Only time will tell. :laugh:

Edited by rcianci (log)
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On the show's Travel Channel Discussion Board there's some anti-Nari sentiment being expressed by, oddly enough, people who at least claim to be Korean? :huh:

SB (suspects it's a case of sour grapes)(or, maybe sour cabbage?) :wink:

Oh, it's sour grapes all right. Unfortunately the TC boards are a haven for trolls and it's not just the "No Reservation" boards.

I loved seeing the interaction between Bourdain and Nari. I'd love to see a little more of her too. Maybe Korea part 2?

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On the show's Travel Channel Discussion Board

I loved seeing the interaction between Bourdain and Nari. I'd love to see a little more of her too. Maybe Korea part 2?

Nari was adorable - and a perfect foil for AB's occasional world-weary cynicism. But I think her chirpiness as a foil to Tony's snarkiness ONLY works in Korea, since she was obviously stoked to be home, and on very strong ground. Tony could not refute her homegrown credentials or her enthusiasm and energy at being in HER homeland. I don't know that she'd necessarily be as bouyant - or adamant! - anywhere else, but man, did she crack me up every time she (sweetly) put her little size 5(?) foot down and said, "To-NY!" Tony was right - a tiny little 5 foot dynamo pulled all 6'4" of hisdark cynicism along in her irrestible wake. We will NEVER see Tony in a karoake joint - HOLDING A TEDDY BEAR - ever again. Remember that visual, folks!

:biggrin:

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I think the Korea episode was the only show Ling and I didn't enjoy as much. I felt the show focussed way too much on Nari, and not enough on the food. Ling thought the food experiences on this show seemed more touristy and lacked the depth seen on other episodes.

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As I marvelled at how someone with no TV experience could have such command of the screen, I realized that this was deja vu, I've seen this in other episodes. My own instinct is to believe that those who put themselves in the hands of the production crew, the team players, were the ones who presented themselves best. The real stars of this show are the folks behind the scenes that spend hours guiding the action, reviewing everything, editing, arranging and finally arguing about what will make Tony look his best. Nari succeeded brilliantly because she is naturally talented AND can follow the masterful, experienced direction of the crew.

The funny thing is, I probably wouldn't realize this if I hadn't seen "Next FN Star." Rachael Ray's success can probably be attributed to her qualities as a team player more than anything else.

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Not that I know anything about it, and not to start any rumors, but one of the sweetest things in the episode was the way Tony was looking at her...I got the feeling there might be something between them. I've never seen him smile so much on any show.

Anyway she IS adorable. If Rachel Ray should ever fall under a bus--I mean, decide to retire--Nari would be a great replacement.

And how many women can be cute and businesslike while wearing that fur hat in the scene near the DMZ?

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[

Recently, I watched a travel show where the host was watching a local woman in India prepare a dish in her home. Wonderful ingredients, and she added each one with loving care. When it came to the (what she called) 'spice'...the host sort of coughed and stepped back. As the air filled with the heat the camera crew started gagging and a few ran for the door and some fresh air. She couldn't imagine what their problem was. Tears were running down their faces and they had their shirts pulled up over their noses to stifle the firey fumes. What? It was dinner! And I'm sure she had a small dish of cumin seeds to chew on after the meal, just to settle the stomach.

Clearing up a few misconceptions:

There is one step in cooking many Indian dishes

that involves toasting or frying the spices.

That always releases pungent fumes into the air,

but it's soon over as the spices are folded into the final

dish. The final dish does not taste that way.

And people chew fennel (not cumin) seeds after dinner

as a mouth freshener, not to settle the stomach.

:wacko:

Milagai

yes, the 'fumes' when the spice is added is what set off the difficulty in breathing...the indian woman had no reaction, though, she was used to it.

we ate at an indian restaurant in jackson heights, NYC...and they had a small bowl of cumin seeds (toasted) on the counter where you paid your bill. there was a small spoon in it and guests would take a dab and put it in the palm of their hand and eat them. i asked about it. the proprietor said it was cumin seed and that it settled the stomach after a big meal.

the food was wonderful, by the way.

Edited by cowpati (log)
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Not that I know anything about it, and not to start any rumors, but one of the sweetest things in the episode was the way Tony was looking at her...I got the feeling there might be something between them. I've never seen him smile so much on any show.

Something between them? Avuncular, I'm sure.

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Not that I know anything about it, and not to start any rumors, but one of the sweetest things in the episode was the way Tony was looking at her...I got the feeling there might be something between them. I've never seen him smile so much on any show.

Something between them? Avuncular, I'm sure.

How could anyone not have smiled so much?

SB :smile::smile::smile::smile::smile::smile::smile::smile::smile::smile:

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On the show's Travel Channel Discussion Board there's some anti-Nari sentiment being expressed by, oddly enough, people who at least claim to be Korean? :huh:

SB (suspects it's a case of sour grapes)(or, maybe sour cabbage?) :wink:

I'm pretty sure I'm korean and while I didn't completely dislike her, found her to be fairly annoying. To be fair the show wasn't about her so about the show...

There were some moments that I think were very genuine and made for outstanding TV. I really love the lunch scene with her grand father. It seemed sincere and I could relate since those stores are still common in many korean families.

As for the rest of the show, I wished they had moved away from the same old cliche about korea that's wore tired...Tae Kwon Do, eating live octopus (done better on the lonely planet show when Ian goes to korea), karaoke, video games, etc.

I wished they had focus a bit more on food and food culture or even about the country. She could have shown more on the youth partying lifestyle or the drinking? She could have show something about the food delivery service (which I think is great). She could have shown more about street food? How about talking about Chosuk much like how they wrapped the japanese show around a family gathering holiday. They could have even explain the concept of Banchan. Didn't happen. A week from now, I think what I'll remember is the lunch scene and the sound of constant talking of Nari and not much about korea. Too bad.

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FINALLY!!!!! Thank you Tony for doing a show on Korea. Its about time. I have been waiting for a few years now (including cook's tour era) for you to do a bit on my country (well, my mother's country).

I loved Na-ri/nare (sp?), I thought she was funny and as excited about Korean food as I am...which is a big plus. There should've been more explanations on the various banchan and dishes though. I knew what everything was, but I had to constantly explain to my boyfriend what each dish was. Everything looked delicious by the way.

The last meal was the best though. I have never seen such an elaborate spread for a korean dinner. I believe most of the dishes (the radish wrap) are/were originally reserved for Kings and Queens.

Also, in the hangover soup...was the meat pork neck bones? If so, that is my all time favorite hangover cure in korea. I have had a really good example of that in Incheon and it was amazing.

BEARS, BEETS, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA
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I'm pretty sure I'm korean and while I didn't completely dislike her, found her to be fairly annoying. To be fair the show wasn't about her so about the show...

jeez......this reminds me. My boyfriend said and I quote "you are more annoying about Korea than this girl" :sad:

what's wrong with being "overly" passionate about your heritage/food? come on now. In the 2nd to last scene when they were having sam gyup sal/various gogi bbq, I agreed with her 100% when she said she was the most happiest as she was dipping her chile pepper in go chu jang

I am so glad I am visiting my Korean mother in July

BEARS, BEETS, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA
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As for the rest of the show, I wished they had moved away from the same old cliche about korea that's wore tired...Tae Kwon Do, eating live octopus (done better on the lonely planet show when Ian goes to korea), karaoke, video games, etc.

I wished they had focus a bit more on food and food culture or even about the country.  She could have shown more on the youth partying lifestyle or the drinking?  She could have show something about the food delivery service (which I think is great).  She could have shown more about street food?  How about talking about Chosuk much like how they wrapped the japanese show around a family gathering holiday.  They could have even explain the concept of Banchan.  Didn't happen.  A week from now, I think what  I'll remember is the lunch scene and the sound of constant talking of Nari and not much about korea.  Too bad.

I suspect the people familiar with every country featured on Tony's show have similar complaints. There's only so much you can fit into an hour program.

This particular episode seems to have generated more interest than most due to Nari's personality. I know I have shamefully little knowledge of Korean food and culture, and I've become interested enough to want to learn more. Fomenting an interest in other cultures through food is the show's premise afterall.

SB (would definitely buy a cd of the outtakes!) :wink:

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I'm pretty sure I'm korean and while I didn't completely dislike her, found her to be fairly annoying. To be fair the show wasn't about her so about the show...

jeez......this reminds me. My boyfriend said and I quote "you are more annoying about Korea than this girl" :sad:

what's wrong with being "overly" passionate about your heritage/food? come on now. In the 2nd to last scene when they were having sam gyup sal/various gogi bbq, I agreed with her 100% when she said she was the most happiest as she was dipping her chile pepper in go chu jang

I am so glad I am visiting my Korean mother in July

Why don't you consider doing a mini-food blog while you're over there?

SB (likes annoying Korean girls) :wink:

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Not that I know anything about it, and not to start any rumors, but one of the sweetest things in the episode was the way Tony was looking at her...I got the feeling there might be something between them. I've never seen him smile so much on any show.

Anyway she IS adorable. If Rachel Ray should ever fall under a bus--I mean, decide to retire--Nari would be a great replacement.

And how many women can be cute and businesslike while wearing that fur hat in the scene near the DMZ?

Actually, I think AB is holding out for Rosario Dawson (!) I think he was more bemused that this pretty, bouyant, funny and DETERMINED little dynamo could charm, drag and beguile a strong, dark, occasionally grouchy and cynical soul as himself into doing things he normally would not do. Keep in mind that all the shows are story-boarded before AB gets to the country, so he does know what he's doing (mostly) before he gets there. And he certainly knew how sweetly persistent Nari could be - he went to Korea because of her persistence and enthusiasm. Having said that, of course he didn't know he was going to be so badly jetlagged - which just made Nari's sweet strongheadedness even funnier.

I think you we saw AB for the first time (on camera) in the company of someone he's genuinely fond of, as a person, and works with - and very bemused by. (And who wouldn't be? I think Nari is a riot!) And let's not forget that AB is instinctually good enough in front of a camera to know when to look like he's at the mercy of his tour guide, fixer, host, strange locals - and, occasionally, his producers (!) I don't think anyone could have convinced AB to have that Uzbeki massage OR venture into a karoake joint for onscreen embarassment if he himself didn't have a sense of humor about himself, and was willing to submit to it. He was very willing to look like an older, world-weary man being relentlessly dragged in the wake of a chirpy, sweetly steely little dynamo (and perhaps being charmed by it) - he's good at being an Everyman in occasionally exotic or culturally bizarre situations. It's the flip side of his "bad boy" appeal, I think.

PS: Keep in mind that, for many years, AB admits he was totally "bossed" (as most cat lovers are) by his six pound cat - so, theoretically, I think another sweet but steely-willed petite little person could charm and strong-arm him at the same time (!!)

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I can't wait to see this episode! After living in Korea for so long, it'll be great to see it get some attention. The only other shows I can think of that have visited there were the Lonely Planet show, and the Thirsty Traveller. I showed the Thirsty Traveller show about soju to many of my classes, and they were thrilled. It's a shame that there wasn't a more in-depth look at panchan, which as I understood from relentless questioning of my students, made up the majority of their daily eating...rice, soup and side dishes..the holy trinity!

Gratuitous panchan shot:

gallery_41378_2343_10546.jpg

If they did an "extreme eating" bit, it's too bad they didn't go for bbeondaeggi. The smell alone would have sent the crew reeling.

Gratuitous Bbeondaeggi shot:

gallery_41378_2343_42336.jpg

My typical Saturday night in Seoul was to meet the friends for meat (we always ended up in Sinchon, where all the students went - if anyone's in the neighbourhood, I strongly recommend "Donmania!"), go to a "rock bar" and drink pitchers of Hite or Soju cocktail "rainbows", and end up in a singing room, smuggling in soju and yangpa rings. Off to the jimjilbang for a scrub and a nap until the subway opened and back home to sleep all Sunday. It would have been completely surreal to see Tony do similar.

Unfortunately, my options for seeing this episode are both illegal; one, buy a black market satellite receiver; which are technically forbidden by the government here in Vietnam; or download it via on-line torrents. Which is the lesser of two evils?

(edited for image link)

Edited by nakji (log)
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Unfortunately, my options for seeing this episode are both illegal; one, buy a black market satellite receiver; which are technically forbidden by the government here in Vietnam; or download it via on-line torrents. Which is the lesser of two evils?

(edited for image link)

"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

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I planned to camouflage it with banana palms.

:unsure:

I think they're monitoring my downloads, too.... :biggrin:

Anyway, I thought that if I got the satellite I wouldn't be screwing Discovery Travel and Living out of their revenue source....but then, it's illegal anyway, so what are the odds that the cable channel is seeing any of that money...?

hmmm

/...scuttles off to bittorrent/

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For me, the highlight of the Korea episode was the arcade scene: I *finally* got to see what the arcade version of the Taiko Drum Master (US name) video game looks like. When they started showing the Dance Dance Revolution machines, I wondered....and there it was! I'm so addicted to the PS2 version of this game, someday I want play the arcade version (a good enough reason to travel for me!).

And yes, I'm over 40.

(Ok, the food looked great, too, especially the kim chee. But it didn't hold the same degree of excitement.)

Marcia.

Don't forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he wanted...he lived happily ever after. -- Willy Wonka

eGullet foodblog

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