No Reservations: Azores
This was kind of an odd episode in that Tony didn't seem to be having a great time and that usually equates to a sub-par show. But in this case, even though Tony seemed luke warm about the whole thing, I thought it was a great show and I'd really like to go there. I knew almost nothing about the Azores before seeing this.
I thought it was interesting because we recently bought a place near Fall River. I knew the area was heavily Portuguese but I didn't know they were predominantly Azorean. Now it makes sense given that the whaling industry in SE Massachusetts in the 1800's would frequently shanghai or bribe Azoreans as crew for these 3-4 year whaling trips. It also helps explain a little more about the type of food we find in Fall River.
I'm a female.
Last night, I wish that there would be a follow up, but with a woman visiting the Azores, and she could talk to the women.
Bourdain is all buddy buddy with the guys. Last night it dawned on me that I'd like to see the womens' side of these places.
(Do I hear the sounds of male viewers wretching like they were being forced to eat the little birdies?)
i gotta say this is the best food show on t.v. right now. A bad no reservations smokes most of the crap on food network hands down. you get the history of the food, the people, and the passion they have for the food. Bourdain is bored ? at least you know it. That's the beauty of the show . life is not a Disney movie, some people and some cultures cook shitty food .most douche bags will look into the camera and lie because that's what they're paid to do.
That's what they're paid to do because that's what makes us couch-surfers comfortable.
If I wanted to watch someone who absolutely did not want to be where they were, eating food they absolutely did not want to eat, I'd film my extended family's extraordinarily awkward sit-down dinners. I tune in to Bourdain (and other food shows) to learn, not to squirm in my seat.
But hey, they know he has an edge, and they know it sells. Usually, I eat it up. I like some critique along with my entertainment. But last night's pouty Bourdain went way past "critique" or "analysis" for me. He was just plain rude. And that's not good TV.
(Unless you're Gordon Ramsay.)
The appeal of No Reservations has always been, at least for me, that Bourdain seems genuinely interested in the people, food, and cultures of the places he travels. (Whereas Mr. Bizarre Foods always seem to be saying "Oh look at the weird things these silly people eat! Let me casually deride their culture in a way that they will mistake for enthusiasm!")
The Azores No Reservations completely turned me off. He didn't want to be there. He didn't appreciate the food. He rolled his eyes at the people. He snarked about them off-camera. He bitched about the producers' choices. He even slagged the Scandinavians he'd eaten with in the past. (They're boring? Dude, maybe you're just a tool, or maybe they're starstruck. But you think you *know* them? You don't, and you shouldn't malign them on national TV.)
You know, I understand that snark is his schtick (and he even said so himself last night), but sometimes you just need to suck it up. On the show last night, he came close to being openly disdainful of the things he experienced -- and in front of the people who were kind enough to share those experiences with him. He was much more gracious to the guys who served him nasty warthog anus than he was to the woman who showed him how she could boil eggs in a lava tube.
He turned me off. If I'd been one of the Azorians at whose table he was sitting, I might have politely suggested that he find another place to eat dinner, since he seemed to enjoy the dinners he *did* eat so very little.
It's been a while since I've watched No Reservations. I wondered at the comment of him being hungover every morning he was with the (?)uncle. He sounded both unhappy and disinterested.
The islands photographed well and I had seen the yacht harbor before (friends had taped it when they sailed in), but this show made my husband start muttering about doing a transatlantic.
Some of the outrageous things maybe should have been left unsaid as they didn't make Tony look good, either. And I won't go to their website to partake of the uncensored version.
There's a deleted scene involving a feijoada, which Tony says causes you to "fart like an alcholic rodeo clown" (which to me is not nearly as egregious as "egg salad eaten off someone's taint"). Surprised the feijoada piece didn't end up in the final edit - I heard someone mention feijoada as an Azorian dish and then there was no follow-up, even though I've always thought of it as Brazilian.
I still find TB at his best when he's excited about something, either positively or negatively - which understandably becomes harder and harder to genuinely achieve as you circumnavigate the globe and become the world-weary traveler. But I'll take the snark over the Japanese flower arrangements any day of the week.
Interesting you liked it. I had the same impression -- i.e. Tony being rather bored, plus I can honestly say that none of the food, save for maybe the seafood at the end even though the tuna looked grossly overcooked, looked remotely interesting: bread, bread soaked in soup, soup, and copious amounts of pork.... zzzzzzZZZZZZZzzzzz.
The only saving grace were some of the outrageous things Tony snuck by the FCC again this time. That is always an impressive feat '-)
This and the D.C. show are probably one of my least favorite shows so far this season...