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Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations Seasons 1-5


Louisa Chu
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There was something about Tony seeking out the kitchen for comfort, familiarity and let's face it, something to keep him busy and his mind occupied.  Cooking has to be one of the best things to do, when your world is spinning away from you.  A way to take control over a little piece of it, bend it to your will and produce more comfort for others.  The world seems a little more normal, when viewed from the kitchen, no matter what is going on outside.

Well said, indeed .. once there was a thread on how cooking helped to relieve the pain of mourning ... will look for it ...

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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Well produced, thought provoking and a depressing reminder of the state of the world and the future of mankind....imagine a world where bento boxes are dropped from F-16s rather than bombs...

Edited by Segue (log)
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I caught this last night - powerful and respectful. Well done. Just watching your face as you talked about what you saw was more effective than a thousand canned reports on CNN. I cried like a little girl.

"An appetite for destruction, but I scrape the plate."

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Wow, what a fine show! I think Anthony and his talented crew created something truly meaningful, funny, sad and beautiful with the Beirut show.

For me it brought back the feelings of being stranded in Saigon for four weeks right after 9-11, while US Immigration withheld visas for my daughter and several other newly adopted babies. Of course it was far less frightening and terrible than the experience of the crew of NR (and the Beirutis), but the show reminded me what it felt like to be so out of control of your immediate future, just not knowing when you could go home, yet around great food and people. I think Tony really did show us a lot of the indomitable Beiruti character, too, even if he felt he didn't get to do them justice.

Jennifer Brizzi

Author of "Ravenous," a food column for Ulster Publishing (Woodstock Times, Kingston Times, Dutchess Beat etc.) and the food blog "Tripe Soup"

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  The world seems a little more normal, when viewed from the kitchen, no matter what is going on outside.

THIS is so true. And it's interesting to see the ways in which we comfort ourselves. Be it cooking, or sitting down to a bowl of mac & cheese.

Edited by BeauNoze (log)
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  The world seems a little more normal, when viewed from the kitchen, no matter what is going on outside.
THIS is so true. And it's interesting to see the ways in which we comfort ourselves. Be it cooking, or sitting down to a bowl of mac & cheese.

And I'm hoping that Tony will give us the recipe for that delicious-looking meal he cooked. The meal that prompted one of his crew to say, "Tony, I think you should go back to your day job."

:cool:

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Ditto on the show last nights.

One thing I really like was the slight departure from the regular format. He did a lot more commentary before we saw the footage/shot and after. Just him and the camera. I not sure if they were trying to fill air time but it worked for me. I hope he does more of this in other episode.

I was a bit surprise that he seems to skim over his experience in dealing with the american embassy.

I also like the US Mexico border show. He seems to be closing out a lot of shows with a family meal (he did in Japan, Korea, Mexico and China). I think it speaks volumes to how he see where heart of cooking is.

BTW, travel network should do a tony marathon.

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I also like the US Mexico border show.  He seems to be closing out a lot of shows with a family meal (he did in Japan, Korea, Mexico and China).  I think it speaks volumes to how he see where heart of cooking is.

I cannot believe I missed this episode again. I spend a lot of time down on that border, and was so looking forward to it. My cable went out just before it aired last night and although I'm thrilled to death that it came back on in time to catch the Beirut episode, I missed the border one. The first time around, the TIVO just didn't get it, for some reason.

I suspect that this was my last chance, but if anyone knows if and when the TC might possibly rerun it yet again, I'm begging you to tell me.

Please?

Edited by Jaymes (log)

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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I was a bit surprise that he seems to skim over his experience in dealing with the american embassy. 

Voicing displeasure with the embassy might be cathartic but, with an eye toward future international travel and whatever peril may ensue, it's hardly in anyone's best interest to be overly critical. Heaven forbid he finds himself in harm's way again, he wouldn't get moved up on the evacuation priority list is he's recognized as "that guy who launched a nationally televised screed against the Beirut embassy." Sometimes discretion is the better part of valor.

Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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I don't post as often as I’d like but I had to chime in...

Despite the Beirut show transforming into an episode he never intended to make, I truly feel this was one of Tony and the No Reservations crews' best episodes to date. I agree with the poster who said the episode is Emmy worthy. It truly is.

Seeing the uncertainty in the reaction of his contact in Beirut – Tony reverting back to his comfort food and cooking for the crew – the slow decline in morale each day when Tony knew they would be unable to leave – his happiness about having tuna casserole when Tony and the crew finally made it on board the ship. Though I do love his caustic wit and sarcasm, it was quite a sobering glimpse into what was no doubt terrifying.

I'm grateful The Travel Channel gave Tony and the folks at Zero Point Zero the opportunity to create this episode using the footage captured. I feel as though it has given American's the opportunity to view what was no doubt a beautiful place full of friendly and proud individuals and to understand that the majority of the people inhabiting the country aren't participating in nor pro the activity and behavior perpetuated by Hezbollah – they’re just as frightened for their lives.

For whatever it is worth – though it changed your world view forever, thank you for making this episode, Tony.

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Erring on the side of brevity, I will simply ditto eveyone's previously written thoughts.

In a day and age of sitcoms written by monkeys, reality show whores, and teenage dramas, it was great to see such an honest, thought-provoking, and well produced piece of television. I was really blown away.

Additionally I can't help but echo the sentiments regarding the restrained political commentary (read: lack of preaching) by AB and crew as well as the honest portrayal of the marines as positive, human, and caring. Quite a refreshing and different perspective compared to the descriptions common today in some of our major news sources.

Bravo.

"A man's got to believe in something...I believe I'll have another drink." -W.C. Fields

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"I thought the middle of the show dragged out a bit, but I suppose that's evocative of their own experience. The end of the show got really interesting and it was interesting to see his experiences after having read about them. The final monologue, however, was a bit troubling. Was that Bourdain being his melodramatic self or was there perhaps a darker streak of truth in his somewhat pessimistic voiced-over confession? Do experiences like this change one's world view that fundamentally?"

In response to Bryan Z's rumination above:

I don't think AB was being melodramatic. If you read his first post(s) upon getting home safe, he specifically makes that statement about not being sure if the world was as good and kind a place as he had come, despite his native pessimism, to believe. Also, if you look at the tone of his post (circa 7/21? I'll have to check), you can see he was badly rattled, drained and depressed-sounding - he might not have been scared, per se, but he certainly sounded . . . devastated, I guess. Devastated at witnessing a vibrant culture and a beautiful city get crushed by war. He sounded like a man trying to regain his inner equilibrium, and since he did those voiceovers not long after he got back, I don't believe he was being melodramatic - I think he really was wiped. Besides, as good a personality as he is on screen, I really don't believe he's THAT good an actor - I think he was being his candid self, and that came through. Does he have an operatic streak in his make-up? Probably. But I think both his feelings and his expression of them were totally honest.

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Tony looked scared s***less in a large part of this "episode". Bigger men than him have rolled up in the fetal positions clutching their balls when someone screamed incoming.

Raoul

"I drink to make other people interesting".

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I was a bit surprise that he seems to skim over his experience in dealing with the american embassy. 

Voicing displeasure with the embassy might be cathartic but, with an eye toward future international travel and whatever peril may ensue, it's hardly in anyone's best interest to be overly critical. Heaven forbid he finds himself in harm's way again, he wouldn't get moved up on the evacuation priority list is he's recognized as "that guy who launched a nationally televised screed against the Beirut embassy." Sometimes discretion is the better part of valor.

I think his honest "take no prison" attitute toward how he presenting his views are one of the core characteristics that I think people like. I hardly think he or anyone else gets move on the "evac priority list" because any remarks about his experience. I have to believe professionalism would prevail.

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I thought the middle of the show dragged out a bit, but I suppose that's evocative of their own experience.  The end of the show got really interesting and it was interesting to see his experiences after having read about them.  The final monologue, however, was a bit troubling.  Was that Bourdain being his melodramatic self or was there perhaps a darker streak of truth in his somewhat pessimistic voiced-over confession?  Do experiences like this change one's world view that fundamentally?

Yes - being caught in something like this can change one's world view. I know how I felt after Hurricane Andrew destroyed the part of the world where I lived - and how I felt when I was trapped in Manhattan on 9/11.

On the other hand - perhaps you wouldn't have noticed as much pessimism had the original attitude toward Lebanon been more realistic to start with. After all - this is a country that was still technically at war with Israel before this event. And there was a major US state department warning all Americans against all non-essential travel to Lebanon before this event. There's a ton of history - and I won't go over it here. Suffice it to say it's a little like going to a restaurant. If you expect good things - and bad things happen - you're disappointed. A question of expectations versus realities.

Mencken once said: "A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin." And I suppose a man can become a cynic when he is smelling flowers - and suddenly finds himself surrounded by coffins. Robyn

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Amazing show, very well done. And edited together very well. I'm so glad he called out the excellent response and efforts of the Marines, especially because it would be so easy at that point in the long journed to be jaded and bitter.

I did wonder, though - does anyone know if Joe (I think it was Joe? The guy who took Bourdain out to lunch and to the memorial) and the TimeOut Beruit editor are OK? There was no note or message at the end of the show, and I was half-expecting to see one updating us on their whereabouts...

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Speaking as a person who loves Beirut and who lived and was raised there most of my life....this was hard to watch, very hard to watch. I was not even sure I wanted to see it, but I did. I have to say it was very tastefully done and Tony was very genuine in his concern/sadness. Am I glad I saw it? I just don't know....not really. It's just so damn depressing.

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

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

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