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Jan 9, 2008 03:51 PM

Is anyone else getting bored with Bourdain?

I've been a huge fan since Kitchen Confidential was published and followed his exploits on TVFN and the Travel Channel. I've read all of his books except the fictional ones, most recently The Nasty Bits.

Is it me or is his schtick getting old?

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  1. it might be a desensitization thing. you've seen him so much that his show has become formulaic, which is the exact opposite of what he stands for.

    9 Replies
    1. re: eefoodgeek

      Yeah but he covers the same topics over and over and over. He uses the same phrases over and over and over. Blah blah blah. Yadda Yadda Yadda.

      1. re: orezscu

        No, the "same topics" as in the pleasure of eating barefoot, fishing trips, scenes on small boats, sex/drugs/bad behavior in the kitchen, the greatness of Latin American line cooks, the deliciousness of offal, the Fear Factor aspect to foods eaten, anti-vegetarianism, get out of the hotel and eat street foods, how much longer am I gonna have this job cuz it's so great, etc.

        Read The Nasty Bits (in the context of his other body of work), then decide whether this thread is "brainless."

        1. re: filth

          Sex, drugs and bad behavior are certanly not (or no longer) recurring topics in his show. And the Fear Factor aspect is Zimmern's speciality not Bourdain.

          1. re: firstclass1

            IIRC, The Nasty Bits has some allusions to S/D/BB although certainly not in the detail as KC.

            While Zimmern has a whole show devoted to the Fear Factor aspect, I'm a little unclear about why you would not consider eating a raw seal eyeball or a boar's (IIRC) anus "Fear Factor-like". I know that Bourdain, unlike Zimmern, does it out of respect for the people hosting him but that aspect is definitely there.

            1. re: filth

              I agree that some of the foods Bourdain eats may have a "Fear Factor effect" on some people, but I doubt that's Bourdain's primary intention.

              1. re: firstclass1

                As you note, my observation is valid. My position is that the Fear Factor element is a repetitive theme with him. His intent is not germaine to the validity of my observation.

                However, based upon Zimmern getting a show devoted to "exotic" eats (from an American perspective), perhaps he does it on purpose since it seems to sell?

      2. re: eefoodgeek

        Considering how badly his Cleveland and Tuscany shows were received, I think he should stick to his original formula.

        1. re: firstclass1

          I LOVED the Cleveland show. And based on Bourdain's comments when he was here in town, I think he'd like to do more "concept" shows.

          1. re: firstclass1

            I don't know, I loved the Tuscany show. I recorded it and probably have watched it at least 10 times. Maybe because I just love that whole area of Italy and it's familiar to me. But I also thought it was a well done show, and the scenes with Dario Cecchini were, to me, the highlight.

        2. I saw a rerun of his India/Mumbai/Calcutta show this afternoon and thought that he did more schmoozing, cricket, and various and sundry touristy things than actually eating.
          Loved the segment, though, in the Street of Food in .... was it Mumbai? That was a wonder to behold with all the different offal which was grilled including brain. That really was something! I like watching him even though he seems at times to veer off the topic at hand. I'll never travel to those places so all of it is very interesting....to me.

          1. I, for one, have not. I've always enjoyed his style and delivery, and I feel like it's always relatively fresh, due to the fact that he's covering a different location each episode. I've read two of his books, (Kitchen Confidential and The Nasty Bits) and looked at the pictures in his latest, and it's always interesting to me.

            I'd like to see him do something else, though... He stopped smoking, so I'll never be able to see him appear on Iron Chef America, stubbing a victory cigarette butt out on Bobby Flay's pomegranite / blue-corn encrusted forehead. Ah, well...

            My Blog: http://www.epicureforum.com

            2 Replies
            1. re: sirregular

              Really? Bourdain has stopped smoking? Has he made any comments about how food tastes different/better to him? I know a couple of ex-smokers who have said it took a few months, but a heightened sense of taste was a revelation to them.

              1. re: MysticYoYo

                He stopped smoking with the birth of his new child. Not sure if this season was filmed prior to or after smoking cessation.

            2. I haven't gotten tired of him, just like I haven't gotten tired of my friends who are the same old predictable people year after year. The Price is Right was the same year after year, and, so, one might argue, are The Simpsons and Seinfeld. What you call his "schtick" is what is also known as his personality.

              1 Reply
              1. re: orezscu

                One's friends - This is a poor analogy. I'm not paying (albeit indirectly) for entertainment from them so the entertainment value should not be expected to be as high.

                The Price is Right - Look at the demographics of the long time viewers of that program. I don't fall into that demographic.

                The Simpsons - There is general consensus that the show has become old and stale, evidenced by declining ratings. I haven't watched it in at least 10 years.

                Seinfeld - Seinfeld and the writers realized it was getting stale (and Seinfeld got tired of doing the show) so they stopped. I don't recall if ratings were declining. If they weren't, this is your one valid example.

              2. You are not alone. He's been irritating me for a while. I enjoyed a few of his books and early shows, but quit watching his Travel Channel program. I couldn't even finish "The Nasty Bits."