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Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations Seasons 1-5


Louisa Chu
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Pretentious.

I wonder if if Anthony himself would've have watched a show like this 15 years ago.

...and I believe the answer would be a resounding "NO, F'ING WAY!." That show last night was the kind of thing he was making fun of just a short while ago.

Edited by BSmith (log)
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Pretentious.

I wonder if if Anthony himself would've have watched a show like this 15 years ago.

...and I believe the answer would be a resounding "NO, F'ING WAY!." That show last night was the kind of thing he was making fun of just a short while ago.

Probably right. But he was a bit unrealistic in the beginning too. He's growing up a bit, I think.

The show wasn't too bad if seen as a first effort by a guy who's never done this sort of thing before. The questions were a bit dorky and to me the cause of the show falling flat. The concept wasnt bad to me

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Was it really that interesting to anyone outside of New York?

To be honest, I would be more interested in Bourdain talking to Wylie Dufresne for 45 minutes than anyone else on the show.

Bourdain and Buford, maybe. A sort of "My Dinner with Andre" type thing with just those two would be interesting. Even Ted Allen.

I don't even know who the other two are. Nor do I particularly care after listening to their inane babble.

---

Erik Ellestad

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

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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Was it really that interesting to anyone outside of New York?

To be honest, I would be more interested in Bourdain talking to Wylie Dufresne for 45 minutes than anyone else on the show.

Bourdain and Buford, maybe.  A sort of "My Dinner with Andre" type thing with just those two would be interesting.  Even Ted Allen.

I don't even know who the other two are.  Nor do I particularly care after listening to their inane babble.

The blond chick was kind of sexy though.

What what have made the show funny if one of diners sent back one of the dishes saying is it really necessary to freeze foie gras?

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I found the premiere episode to be a little painful.......Tony trying way, WAY too hard to play host and get the last word (he is not what we refer to as "a listener"), topics that are neither interesting enough for real food-folk, nor approachable enough for the casual Travel Channel viewer....I think it's salvageable if they shy away from people with the means to travel the Amazon in order to study chocolate and up the alcohol factor by about five hundred percent. Seriously, the second half was watchable, but it started off like nails on a chalkboard. Bratwurst, bourbon, some Dave Attell, maybe some Al Goldstein...... I don't know, but there is nowhere to go but up from the first episode.

Edited by Zeemanb (log)

Jerry

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I found the premiere episode to be a little painful.......Tony trying way, WAY too hard to play host and get the last word (he is not what we refer to as "a listener"), topics that are neither interesting enough for real food-folk, nor approachable enough for the casual Travel Channel viewer....I think it's salvageable if they shy away from people with the means to travel the Amazon in order to study chocolate and up the alcohol factor by about five hundred percent.  Seriously, the second half was watchable, but it started off like nails on a chalkboard.  Bratwurst, bourbon, some Dave Attell, maybe some Al Goldstein...... I don't know, but there is nowhere to go but up from the first episode.

Yeah, I think the concept is there. They seriously need someone to breathe life and vivacity into the show. Dave Attell has done a little traveling, someone like him would lighten it up a little for the average viewer.

That guy talking about cocoa nibs was just PAINFUL to listen to.

Edited by BSmith (log)
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Christ, I so hated this show.

I can't even go into the myriad reasons why.

I think Tony has bored himself right into the mediocrity he once claimed to loathe. I know I was bored... and irritated. Fortunately, I was cranking on some research so I had something else to focus on... and the remote control had gone missing.

Besides the fact of that the show seemed to exist purely for the self-aggrandizing pleasure of Tony Bourdain, it held little relevance to ANYTHING else going on in the world today.

I did enjoy listening to Wylie. Sadly, there was not much of that.

ah, show business!

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I'll join the "good concept, execution needs work" crowd on this one. I think Ted Allen was pretty impressive in his responses. Buford was a little too intellectual about it and I get the impression that the other two, whoever they were, were lost.

Probably needs to be half an hour, better to leave people wanting more than have them get bored around the 40 minute mark like I did.

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I had high hopes for this show, but I was sorely disappointed. Like Jane,

I don't even know where to begin. The concept was hopeful, but - I don't

know if it was due to the guest themselves - but I found it irritating, to say

the least. I enjoyed Tim Allen to a point, and the other brown-haired guy

(sorry - can't remember the name) was tolerable, but the others (particularly

blondie) sounded like 3rd-graders.

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I hate to say it, but I think all the money he's made has changed him for the worse.  Remember the episode of No Reservations where he bought a vintage Hawaiian shirt for several thousand dollars?

Tony buying that shirt was very disturbing; contrast this to the Laos episode--what would that Laotian family think if they saw that? I still watch his show, but I view him very differently now.

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I hate to say it, but I think all the money he's made has changed him for the worse.  Remember the episode of No Reservations where he bought a vintage Hawaiian shirt for several thousand dollars?

Tony buying that shirt was very disturbing; contrast this to the Laos episode--what would that Laotian family think if they saw that? I still watch his show, but I view him very differently now.

Why should it be so disturbing?

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I hate to say it, but I think all the money he's made has changed him for the worse.  Remember the episode of No Reservations where he bought a vintage Hawaiian shirt for several thousand dollars?

Tony buying that shirt was very disturbing; contrast this to the Laos episode--what would that Laotian family think if they saw that? I still watch his show, but I view him very differently now.

Why should it be so disturbing?

I just thought it was the antithesis of all the stuff he espouses. I wouldn't have expected him to spend thousands of dollars on, of all things, a Hawaiian shirt.

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I just thought it was the antithesis of all the stuff he espouses.  I wouldn't have expected him to spend thousands of dollars on, of all things, a Hawaiian shirt.

What exactly does he espouse?

I haven't had much access to his shows other than on youtube, but I don't recall him ever mentioning that you have to give up luxury in order to appreciate the simple things in life, or in order to understand or sympathize with the hardships of others.

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"I think it's just that I HOPED he had the same feelings and values as me.

I happen to find ANYONE paying thousands of dollars for a Hawaiian shirt disturbing. But that's just me.... "

Time for a reality check. Tony told us a lot about himself and his values in Kitchen Confidential. Even if it was part Hunter Thompsonesque gonzo semi-fiction, TB still put his name to it and named those feelings and events as happening to him.

So how many of us are attracted by the idea of shooting smack or getting laid in a dumpster (or wherever it was he was peeping at as a young cook). A minority, I'd bet. No shared values there.

We might be attracted by the lifestyle that he has on TV. But that's no more his real life than it is ours.

From what I've read young cooks idolize him and see the myth as being a real person. They are in their teens and naive.

I'm sure TB has his edgy moments. No doubt he has better food more often than most of us and more travel too. But still he must take out the garbage and wonder about his next check as much as the rest of us...maybe more.

So is it reasonable to excoriate the guy for a show that sucked...that he probably was talked into by his paymasters...that might not have sounded too bad initially?

Give him a break. If he does it again and it sucks, then take the swords out. Don't expect him to stand for everything rebel either. 50 year olds who don't want to go back in the kitchen have to make concessions.

Edited by gfweb (log)
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So is it reasonable to excoriate the guy for a show that sucked...that he probably was talked into by his paymasters...that might not have sounded too bad initially?

Give him a break. If he does it again and it sucks, then take the swords out. Don't expect him to stand for everything rebel either. 50 year olds who don't want to go back in the kitchen have to make concessions.

“"When you wake up in the morning, Pooh," said Piglet at last, "what's the first thing you say to yourself?"

"What's for breakfast?" said Pooh. "What do you say, Piglet?"

"I say, I wonder what's going to happen exciting today?" said Piglet.

Pooh nodded thoughtfully.

"It's the same thing," he said.”

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  • 2 weeks later...

It mostly jumped tbe shark for me. Ted Allen and Tony were fine, but Amy Sacco "I don't eat street food, I'm a diva", Bill Buford and the other guy (with his absurd comments at the end) were all equally pointless. I'm probably one of few people here who found "Heat" nearly unreadable for the level of bombast and breathless celebrity idolizing - don't get me wrong, I think Batali is wonderful, I just found Buford's writing overblown. I disliked how little it was about the clearly wonderful food that was in front of them. The one good thing that I took away from it was that I really want to go to WD50. Fascinating stuff, and it made snese to me.

I've also seen Daniel Boulud's "After Hours" and agree that it is much better.

Yeah, the Hawaiian Shirt thing bothered me, too.

I think maybe that the great shows raise our expectations, as they should. Spain, pretty much anything in Asia. Perhaps anything that producers "think" - to use the word in its loosest sense - would be "great television!!!" is best avoided. Let Tony do what he does best.

And here's a more expansive blog entry. Apparently the guests were selected for their expertise in high-end restaurants. And WD-50 is a restaurant Bourdain respects and finds "intensely interesting." And in his opinion, he comes off as a drunk John McLaughlin. So maybe it's not a shark-jumping escapade.  :hmmm:  :biggrin:

"Life itself is the proper binge" Julia Child

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I still don't understand the Hawaiian shirt thing. Perhaps I need to see the episode, but could someone explain why paying a few thousand for a Hawaiian shirt is so much more egregious than, for example, paying a few thousand for a meal including wine (which if you look over some of the episodes, assuming the meals aren't comped, some of them would have ended up in that range)?

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I still don't understand the Hawaiian shirt thing. 

Me neither. If I have the money, I'll buy what I want and won't think I'm obligated to feel guilt over it because someone else can't. A person on welfare driving a brand new corvette is much more of an offense to my morals than buying something that is within ones means... even if it's a very expensive and frivolous something.

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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Let me preface this by saying that while it bothered me personally, I'm not saying that anyone can't or shouldn't get what they want. I just wasn't at all sure if he wanted the shirt, got pleasure out of the shirt, or it was merely a case of "look how much I can pay for a shirt!"

I don't know, I suppose that food matters more to me than fashion, but a meal is something that I can enjoy on a deep level, and as he said about dining at Masa, the experience is something that will be with me for a very long time. I value experience more than stuff.

I think the question of how much any of us are willing to spend on anything and why is far from trite or easily dismissed, especially right now. It's a question that I'm asking myself a lot lately.

"Life itself is the proper binge" Julia Child

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