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Bourdain in London

Ok, I'm watching "No Reservations" in London and I'm frustrated. I'm enjoying the show foodwise, it all looks good and the Marco Pierre White segment was very interesting. But the show would have been well served by utilizing english sub-titles. I could not understand most of what was being said, between the din of the background noise and the heavy cockney accents, very frustrating. I would think when reviewing the show during editing, someone would have picked up on this. But perhaps it's just me? Bloody 'ell!!

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  1. Why don't you turn on the subtitles? I did!

    4 Replies
    1. re: mnosyne

      I must be a dinosaur, how do you do that? But it's good to hear that you were in the same boat as me!

      1. re: MagnumWino

        Pfress the "menu" button on the remote, click over to "set up"; it should show up there.

      2. it was a good show. i enjoyed it.

        1 Reply
        1. re: steve h.

          Me too. Thought it was one of the better ones.

          No problem understanding anything said.


        2. Wow, Really? I thought it was one of the best episodes ever. Focus on Food not travel. Not a bunch of wasted film on drinking and smoking. I thought they did a great job on focusing on traditional food. Great chef profiles. Fresh venison. Overall I thought it was an excellent show.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Docsknotinn

            Like I said, I enjoyed the show itself, my problem, and maybe it is just me, is that I had a hard time understanding the dialogue, that's all.

            1. re: MagnumWino

              I had a hard time understanding the guy in the purple suit as well. Not that I thought that was a bad thing.

            2. re: Docsknotinn

              >>Not a bunch of wasted film on drinking and smoking. <<

              I personally thought the whole rock n roll/poetry recording stuff was a waste of time. For me the "artier" they try and get, the less I like the show. The multiple screens, the scripted episodes like Tuscany, all "not my cup of offal".


            3. It's funny that they subtitled some New Orleanians, but not any English dialects! I had no problem understanding either, but it strikes me as kind of amusing. Look for Closed Captioning (cc) in your tv setup menu for subs...

              1. Hate to be the dissenting vote, but...No one has enjoyed watching Tony Bourdain as much as I have from the beginning, but - if I have to see him kill one more animal or watch endless footage of pig's heads and other pre-butchered meat in the name of manliness and authenticity, I'm going to stop watching! Am I the only one who finds this upsetting? Yes, I know that the meat I eat looks like that before it's cut up, but I really don't want to see it! I'm trying to exist in a state of denial here...

                7 Replies
                1. re: The Librarian

                  howdy librarian,
                  you struck a chord.
                  i won't stop watching. tb highlights the obvious.

                  1. re: The Librarian

                    Field to table is absolutly what I enjoy about AB. BTW What is meaningless authenticity??? The whole idea of getting back to basics was the premise of the show. I'll take my freshly shot venison rare thank you.

                    1. re: Docsknotinn

                      Minor correction - The Librarian said "...in the name of manliness and authenticity", not meaningless authenticity. :-)

                    2. re: The Librarian

                      What I want to see is TB dressing his own meat. Shooting the deer and then having someone else dress it is cheating!

                      What I'm tired of is the recent celebration of organ meat. Not one of my favorite things. I know how that stuff smells when it's cooking. Ergh.

                      1. re: The Librarian

                        I feel the same way.

                        I thought this episode was decent, but this season seems to be off to a weak start. Maybe I'm just in a foul mood or something, but I really haven't enjoyed the last two shows very much. Something seems to be missing.

                        1. re: The Librarian

                          I grew up in Europe and seeing half a pig or cow in the corner butchers shop was everyday, even today if you went to a market you'd see poultry with had and feet intact, and quite possibly pig heads too. The term "manliness and authenticity" makes about as much sense as "meatless meat". No, it's not a ploy to shock you, they are simply showing thing the way they are, instead of censoring it for the squeamish.

                        2. Remember, England and the US are two nations separated by a common language.

                          I turned the subtitles (closed captioning) on as too much Jefferson Airplane, Rolling Stones, Grateful Dead and 20 years of classroom teaching have taken a toll on my hearing - and I find that my wife (who's hearing is fine) likes them too.

                          1. 'Cor blimey... I've seen the show and I'm in the UK. Not all of the accents are cockney (East London). Northern English accents are much tougher to figure out than the cockney and it might have been those.

                            1. Most of the NR shows have at least one segment where Tony is eating in someone's home. It usually involves an older generation cook preparing time-tested dishes from the past. 99% of the time, these seem to be his favorite food experiences of the episode. London/Scotland did not have any of this.

                              I would love to ask Tony why that was. Are there no British staple dishes, handed down over centuries, that are worthy of a home cooked dinner segment? Or, do the Brits only do take-out?

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: toro head

                                Maybe the filmed the segment and it ended up on the floor.


                              2. I undertstood everyone except the Fergus guy, and I'm convinced that that's because he wasn't actually speaking English -- or any other language. He'd twinkle behind those thick glasses and smile impishly and bather something about birds flying overhead. I think he's bonkers. (Not that I'm bashing him, I'm sure he's very talented.)

                                I have to say that I'm getting tired of the offal and dead deer and the pigs' heads. Meat comes from animals. I get it.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: Glencora

                                  Fergus Henderson suffers from Parkinson's.

                                  He's got a remarkable personality, anyway.

                                  1. re: cmballa

                                    Now, I feel awful. I did get a great sense of his personality, though I couldn't understand much.

                                    1. re: Glencora

                                      Glencora, I wouldn't feel too bad, you didn't know and Henderson is speaking very softly with a pretty solid accent. As for his personality, I think that playful eccentricity that everyone seems to enjoy about him (he is universally liked) is probably more of what you saw rather than the Parkinson's. Yes, he IS bonkers, but in that marvelous way that any really fun genius gets to be!

                                2. Hi everyone, just watched this and have a stupid question. When they were in Scotland and showed shots of Kitchin's kitchen, there were two shots of this weird looking seafood, obviously still alive, and neither me nor mr. rockandroller could identify what it could possibly be. Not so surprising since I am not a big seafood eater, but mr. has worked in a lot of kitchens and he's never seen it either.

                                  All I can tell you is it was a tied up bundle of what looked like about 20 long, gray, thin legs with white wiggly parts sticking out about 2 inches off of the end of the legs. Can someone tell me what this was?

                                  3 Replies
                                      1. re: Davwud

                                        hmm. Not sure. the pic above doesn't have the white, wiggly stuff coming out of the bottom.

                                        I searched Google images and found another with the squiggly stuff sticking out. That's definitely what it was! Thanks everyone!

                                  1. While the "chippie" is very much a standard in almost any British town, the show did the Scottish palate a great disservice by shooting at one instead of exploring some of the more unique and substantive meals/delicacies that are common there. An inquisitive segment on haggis (not the deep-fried variety!), blood pudding, etc. would have been far more interesting to watch...

                                    Edinburgh is a great city rich with historical, architectural, and possibly even culinary significance. It's too bad this part of the show felt so rushed, like it was done on the fly as an afterthought to a show on London...

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Jaxie Waxie Woo

                                      Jaxie, I have to agree, it did seemed a bit tacked on. I think it was more a result of wanting to hang out with buddy Ian Rankin and showcase Tom Kitchin rather than evaluate the whole of Edinburgh. That said, would there have been much to seeing TB munch on Haggis, etc and go "yum"? I think the show functions first and foremost as entertainment. Unique and informative at best, but still entertainment.

                                      I DO think that the Edinburgh segment showed that there was a renaissance starting there as well as London and that it dealt with using the local ingredients and traditions in a very attentive and inventive manner. In THAT, it was very thematically tied to the rest of the show.