My waning interest in Bourdainia has been a long time coming. Travel Channel stomped on my last nerve with this one-and-a-half-page ad in Entertainment Weekly for the new Cuba episode of No Reservations, which airs tonight…
Season premiere? Season 8? What happened to Season 7, which disappeared after 8 episodes nearly 3 months ago? Was Tony’s trip to Haiti just filler?
And what’s suddenly so fucking special about Cuba? Andrew Zimmern was there for the first episode of Bizarre World — in 2009. Here’s the dramatic full page of Tony’s EW ad…
And there’s another one floating around, with Tony sitting on a curb in Havana.
Anyway, TC, you win. Figuring out when No Res will air is a game for your ideal demographic — young males who think road trips to BBQ competitions contitute “travel.”
The Bourdains themselves now run a slick PR machine on Twitter @NoReservations and @OttaviaBourdain, and most of Tony’s friends and crew tweet. Tony regularly tweets pictures and links to articles about himself. Eater.com does regular posts about him, with his cooperation.
I feel as if Cats Working’s job is done.
Several years ago, I asked Tony for a Cats Working interview. He declined, saying he didn’t want to endorse a blog that discussed his personal life.
That was long before he embraced the blogosphere, Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr, but I’ve never seen him utter “Cats Working” to a soul unless he was talking to me.
I’ve grown wary of much of his hyperbole. I thought chef Gabrielle Hamilton’s memoir, Blood, Bones & Butter, was spottily disingenuous and certainly not a book Tony should have wished he had written.
I just watched both seasons of Treme, the HBO series about post-Katrina New Orleans that Tony has called one of the greatest shows ever, if not the greatest. In Season 2, he wrote the scenes for the chef character, Janette, who moved to New York and worked for Bourdain’s network of BFFs: Colicchio, Ripert, and Chang. They all had cameos.
Bourdain was asked to write for Treme so those marginally relevant scenes would be authentic.
Here’s a news flash: Only the tiny fraction of the population who actually works in restaurants knows (or cares). And if they’re as poorly paid as Tony says, it’s unlikely they get HBO anyway.
Sad to say, I found Tony’s work kind of lifeless, except for the scene where Janette tosses a drink in Alan Richman’s face. Some of his dialog was even retread.
If Bourdain writes for Season 3, I’m taking a miss. Not because of him, but because too many of the characters have such terrible diction, I’ve spent, literally, hours watching scenes where I caught one word in 10 with the volume maxed out, and had no idea what was happening.
Ditto for Top Chef, where Tony sometimes guest-judges. Watching hard-working chefs sabotaged so their dishes can be pooh-poohed by nitpicking snobs is not my idea of entertainment. Host Tom Colicchio seems like a nice guy, but I’ll never take his opinion seriously until he sheds the bimbo sidekick, Padma.
I knew my disaffection was complete when saw that Tony’s getting a new Travel Channel series, 24-Hour Layovers, and thought, “Now they’re sweeping the cutting-room floor.”
But apparently not. Tony tweeted he went to Singapore and Hong Kong for new shows.
If TC ever actually airs it, I’ll watch, just to see if Tony & ZPZ really can put Samantha Brown to shame. Poor Samantha. She’s like TC’s Rodney Dangerfield.
From now on, I’m letting Tony do his own thing and expanding our horizons here. If there are any interesting Bourdain developments that he doesn’t totally scoop me on, I’ll share them. But you can better get the latest news straight from him — and tweet him directly @NoReservations.
Bourdain fans, I hope you’ll still stick around, but if you don’t, the cats and I thank you for stopping by.