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Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations Seasons 1-5


Louisa Chu
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According to Bourdain's blog, he thought that the Romanian episdode was 'a pretty funny show'. But, he blamed the show on the Romanians and their food, which he called 'primitive'.

If the show stinks, it's not the fault of the people and country who hosted him, imo. Every country has a food culture that's worth representing, as far as I can tell. It just needs to be ferreted out. What about pre-production? Isn't part of their job hunting down food culture and allowing it to be showcased? Seems they might have fallen down on the job.

Actually, he blamed himself, mostly (and rightly so), for the bad choices made pre-production. And the TC blog is piling it on - Americans who just didn't think it was a good show, and Romanians and Romanian-Americans who are yowling (and not unreasonably) about how their people and country were portrayed. More than any NR episode, this one is precipitating a major beat-down. (For Tony.) I suppose, if one was to take the philosophical/karmic view, there is some sort of payback for NR (and Tony) for not doing their homework by having Tony subjected to immense discomfiture and everything going pear-shaped. If I were Rumanian, I'd take some comfort in that.

Ruminatively (but not Rumanian/Romanian/Roumanian), :hmmm:

:hmmm:

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Actually, he blamed himself, mostly (and rightly so), for the bad choices made pre-production.  And the TC blog is piling it on - Americans who just didn't  think it was a good show, and Romanians and Romanian-Americans who are yowling (and not unreasonably) about how their people and country were portrayed.  More than any NR episode, this one is precipitating a major beat-down.  (For Tony.)  I suppose, if one was to take the philosophical/karmic view, there is some sort of payback for NR (and Tony) for not doing their homework by having Tony subjected to immense discomfiture and everything going pear-shaped.  If I were Rumanian, I'd take some comfort in that.

Ruminatively (but not Rumanian/Romanian/Roumanian), :hmmm:

:hmmm:

Well, that's good and adult and ballsy in many ways. Can I say ballsy? I don't read show forums, for the most part, because there tends to be a lot of cow-towing and I get tired of fluff blowing, but it sounds like maybe the TC Forum has some good thoughts in it. Hmmm.

It did make me want to seek out Romanian culture and food history to see what's there. That's good.

Blog.liedel.org

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Whoa, sounds like I need to see the Romanian episode to believe it! I did not like London, found it boring, but I did enjoy the Jamaican one. Nothing, IMHO, is as bad as the Russia episode, which bored me to tears and actually made me turn it off part-way through. That was just horrid...

This past week's ep is on my DVR, I'll check it out when I have a chance today or tomorrow. That bad, eh?

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This past week's ep is on my DVR, I'll check it out when I have a chance today or tomorrow.  That bad, eh?

My tape got cut right at point where Tony knicks himself shaving and blood starts flowing down the sink. I assume Dracula shows up, but now I have to wait for a rerun to retape - unless someone would like to run a **** SPOILER**** and tell me?

Now my Austro-Romanian American husband wants me to make him all the dishes his grandmother used to make, so you know I'll be canning and jarring things and putting up mamaliga (polenta, basically) all freakin' weekend. Thanks a lot, NR (!)

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OK, so I finally watched the Romanian episode and have to say it was pretty damn boring. I still think the Russia ep was the worst so far, but this would be very close in line.

No offense to any Romanians, but it certainly didn't make me want to go out and try anything from the region. Usually after a NR show I want to go out and visit the country they were in. Not this time though.

Cheers! :cool:

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The Romania episode was probably the funniest one of the whole series so far. Then again, I'm a fan of train-wreck entertainment. I did appreciate them leaving in Tony's hissy fit after folks at the Vlad statue wanted to charge them by the square foot for filming. I wonder how many other great diva moments he's had over the years that we've missed?

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Well, I am one of the aforementioned "Romanian-Americans" who was extremely disappointed with the impression that was given of Romania. I don't think I have ever seen a less appetizing episode, and to think I was really looking forward to it! First of all, he made most of the cities he visited look like absolute dumps...no wonder many of the posters here say they have no interest in visiting the country! Silly Europe, selecting Sibiu as a 2007 Capital of Culture :hmmm:

Perhaps TB could have begun on a better note by actually choosing a ROMANIAN to show him around ROMANIA?!

Poor form, Tony..."primitive" food? Then I guess you think that same thing about Turkish, Hungarian, Greek, and the many other Eastern European cuisines which have influenced Romania's traditional diet...Romanians love to eat and love food, so it is easy to see how such uninformed commentary about such an important aspect of our culture can really make us steamed :angry:

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I heart Tony big time. And, being of Polish descent, I was all psyched up to watch the Romania episode to see any similarities/differences in cuisine. But, this episode did suck a lot. On his blog, he basically said he told it like it was. His trip was ghastly and we got to see it in vivid detail.

Without spoiling too much, there's nothing cuter than a maniacal kid with a flamethrower. I'd watch again just for that. Made me re-think birthday presents for my niece. Way more useful than another Barbie.

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Without spoiling too much, there's nothing cuter than a maniacal kid with a flamethrower.  I'd watch again just for that.  Made me re-think birthday presents for my niece.  Way more useful than another Barbie.

The look on that kid's face...it would be priceless if his name was Igor, too...

"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast" - Oscar Wilde

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Without spoiling too much, there's nothing cuter than a maniacal kid with a flamethrower.  I'd watch again just for that.  Made me re-think birthday presents for my niece.  Way more useful than another Barbie.

The look on that kid's face...it would be priceless if his name was Igor, too...

Loved the kid!

So, Hawai'i was pretty snark-free. I thought Tony was going to break out into "Kumbaya" at the luau, though. Thank God Todd got set on fire or I'd really worry . . . (!) Too many tiki drinks, lau lau and chicken long rice, I guess. I'm surprised he didn't find the kava/awa bars, however . . . (!) :biggrin:

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Hawaii was kind of a, "Duh" episode for me. He seemed so shocked about the food, but it is such a wonderful melange of east and west and I thought that was generally well known, but maybe not.

I still don't get the Spam fascination, but I doubt I ever will. The fire thing was funny, but anytime you get to put someone in a fire-proof suit and set them ablaze is a good time, in my book.

Blog.liedel.org

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Hawaii was kind of a, "Duh" episode for me. He seemed so shocked about the food, but it is such a wonderful melange of east and west and I thought that was generally well known, but maybe not.

I still don't get the Spam fascination, but I doubt I ever will. The fire thing was funny, but anytime you get to put someone in a fire-proof suit and set them ablaze is a good time, in my book.

So, Hawai'i was pretty snark-free. I thought Tony was going to break out into "Kumbaya" at the luau, though. Thank God Todd got set on fire or I'd really worry . . . (!) Too many tiki drinks, lau lau and chicken long rice, I guess. I'm surprised he didn't find the kava/awa bars, however . . . (!)

I love Hawai'i - off-the-grid, not tourist Hawai'i. I, too, wish they're had been a little less tiki bar/Hawai'ian shirt and more about the food and the kama 'aina themselves. Hawai'ians have an intense and personal relationship with the land, and I wish we could have seen a little less of Waikiki and Honolulu and more of, say, Ni'ihau? The permaculture of Pahoa? The ahupu'ua of Keanae? It's true that the majority of Hawai'ians - both haole and kanaka maoli - don't live as traditionally as the guys on Ni'ihau, but there is still a lot of that around, and there is still the practice of traditional Hawai'ian beliefs, too. He kind of touched on the nexus of food/luau (at home, not the tourist ones) and 'ohana, but I didn't HEAR the word.

Having said all that, I have to bear in mind that NR is not about anthropology or ethnography, dear as both subjects are to me. Still, it was definitely a love letter to Hawai'i, and, to me, the people came across as beautiful as their land. I can hardly wait to go back in August.

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Hawaii was kind of a, "Duh" episode for me. He seemed so shocked about the food, but it is such a wonderful melange of east and west and I thought that was generally well known, but maybe not.

Having grown up on the east coast, I wouldn't exactly say that I was surprised that there is such a great variety and mix of foods on the islands, but rather that I simply had never thought about it. It does make complete "Duh" sense. I'd just never considered it. So, in that sense, I learned something.

Wish I were in a tiki bar, drinking something with 3 rums and an umbrella in it...

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I'm just going to say this, and I'll swear that a disgruntled ex-girlfriend got my password and posted as me if I'm called on it, but.........

Am I the only person who thought that Zimmern's season premiere last night far outshined the last several episodes of NR? Maybe it was just the fact that Tony has me so content-starved lately, or maybe they've just managed to pull the microphones out of Andrew's trachea so that his smackity-smacking isn't quite as annoying.........

Jerry

Kansas City, Mo.

Unsaved Loved Ones

My eG Food Blog- 2011

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Wish I were in a tiki bar, drinking something with 3 rums and an umbrella in it...

It's a snow day here.

I have four boys.

One with autism.

Pass the tiki bar and assortment of adult beverages please.

I just saw the re-run of Rajasthan. WOW! Just wow. I'd not seen all of it before and this was glorious. Although he did not fully explain what was in a bhang lassie. Not that he could and get away with it on national tv. :)

Blog.liedel.org

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I'm just going to say this, and I'll swear that a disgruntled ex-girlfriend got my password and posted as me if I'm called on it, but.........

Am I the only person who thought that Zimmern's season premiere last night far outshined the last several episodes of NR?  Maybe it was just the fact that Tony has me so content-starved lately, or maybe they've just managed to pull the microphones out of Andrew's trachea so that his smackity-smacking isn't quite as annoying.........

Excuse my obvious ignorance :biggrin: but who or what is zimmern?

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I'm just going to say this, and I'll swear that a disgruntled ex-girlfriend got my password and posted as me if I'm called on it, but.........

Am I the only person who thought that Zimmern's season premiere last night far outshined the last several episodes of NR?  Maybe it was just the fact that Tony has me so content-starved lately, or maybe they've just managed to pull the microphones out of Andrew's trachea so that his smackity-smacking isn't quite as annoying.........

Excuse my obvious ignorance :biggrin: but who or what is zimmern?

Sorry about that....as opposed to the circa 1920 medical torture device known simply as "The Zimmern", this is actually referring to Andrew Zimmern, host of Bizarre Foods on the Travel Channel.

Jerry

Kansas City, Mo.

Unsaved Loved Ones

My eG Food Blog- 2011

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I've been enjoying this season mostly. Watched the Romania episode last night, and I'm not quite sure what the big deal is. Both the meals from pigs looked good.

The thing I do find irritating this season are all the arty montage sequences.

I mean, the show is only 30 minutes long (probably less than 20 with commercials removed) do they really have to spend these two minutes of time telling us what we're going to see or what we just saw? Why not just get to it and show us something?

Oh, and I also hate behind the scenes footage played during commercial breaks.

I guess they aren't so bad on travel shows, but the fact that some networks throw these things into shows with a plot and narrative flow drives me nuts.

---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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I've been enjoying this season mostly.  Watched the Romania episode last night, and I'm not quite sure what the big deal is.  Both the meals from pigs looked good.

The thing I do find irritating this season are all the arty montage sequences.

I mean, the show is only 30 minutes long (probably less than 20 with commercials removed) do they really have to spend these two minutes of time telling us what we're going to see or what we just saw?  Why not just get to it and show us something?

Oh, and I also hate behind the scenes footage played during commercial breaks.

I guess they aren't so bad on travel shows, but the fact that some networks throw these things into shows with a plot and narrative flow drives me nuts.

Can you believe the crapstorm over the Romania show? The Travel Channel blog is a whirlwind of contention. :wacko:

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Sorry about that....as opposed to the circa 1920 medical torture device known simply as "The Zimmern", this is actually referring to Andrew Zimmern, host of Bizarre Foods on the Travel Channel.

Thanks for the clarification. I don't know if we get that show here in Blandcouver. Was he by any chance the guest star on the ABNR New York ep?

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I've been enjoying this season mostly.  Watched the Romania episode last night, and I'm not quite sure what the big deal is.  Both the meals from pigs looked good.

I just watched the Romanian show tonight. I agree, those pigs looked very good. The people preparing were into it - especially the 4th generation boy in colorful Romanian garb torching off the pig's hair.

I mean, the show is only 30 minutes long (probably less than 20 with commercials removed) do they really have to spend these two minutes of time telling us what we're going to see or what we just saw?  Why not just get to it and show us something?

The version of the AB:NR Romania show I just saw had 43:45 (min:sec) of content without commercials. I wonder how that works . . . and I believe he said they get 120 million viewers.

Anyhow, I was thoroughly entertained by the banter and awkward travelogue moments one expects. I like the tone of the show, and the teleplay/editing part especially. The Rocky Horror Food Show stuff was all fine for me. More please!

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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IAnyhow, I was thoroughly entertained by the banter and awkward travelogue moments one expects. I like the tone of the show, and the teleplay/editing part especially. The Rocky Horror Food Show stuff was all fine for me. More please!

I didn't feel that the the Romanians (except for the guards outside Vlad's statue), their food or their culture came off bad at all. I think their countryside is stunningly beautiful and pristine. I look at the ep as a misdaventure in the public life of Tony Bourdain, gastronaut extraordinaire. It was more, to me, like: "See what happens when shooting an episode for a travel/food show goes horribly wrong . . . the lies and manipulation by government agencies . . . the BS from the travel agencies . . . being obstructed or bullied or ill-served by your local fixers . . . being mugged by low-level government workers . . . and having your right-hand man felled by a back in jury and lotsa chemicals . . . see Tony squirm as he's held hostage in theme-party hell in the WRONG freaking "castle" because research didn't get the facts right, and ZeroPointZero was shluffed off to the wrong site . . . "

Granted, Sicily went totally pear-shaped, too (although it didn't look that way at all), and Beirut certainly did, too - but I think, this time, there was just a horrible confluence of stonewalling, mishandling, manipulation and lying on the part of those that needed to give permission or make arrangements for ZeroPintZero, and a lot of bad shit happening, boots on the ground, on location. Maybe that isn't (or won't be) the reality for me, or you, if we decided to visit Romania and see certain things, but is WAS the reality for Tony, at THAT time.

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