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No Reservations: Obsessions

I didn't think this was one of the better episodes. Seemed like another obligatory NYC-centric-going through the motions-episode.
I did like the feature of the pizza maker though.

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  1. The piece on bloggers was depressing. Perlow and the eGullet crew get a lot of attention for essentially confiming the worst stereotypes of food bloggers, that we are all obese obsessives who spend our lives taking pictures of hamburgers and flaming people we disagree with about the best hot dog in town until we keel over at age 42 from fatty liver disease. I understand that the episode was about obssessives and those guys certainly are that, but I know lots of well-rounded, easy going food bloggers who are passionate and even obsessive about food but manage to lead normal, balanced lives.

    2 Replies
    1. re: sku

      I happened to stumble on to the second half of the show and yeah...depressing as all hell. Reminded me of the stereotypes of comic book aficionados. In fact, I think you can swap "food bloggers" with "comic book fans" and come out with the same impression.

      The two bloggers I saw seemed v. angry. And it was interesting how one of them talked about being sexually frustrated and basically taking out the frustration on food. Oy, I felt like I was a fly on the wall in someone's therapy session. Not fun, and I quickly switched after that (the food looked really good though).

      1. re: gloriousfood

        As a food writer, the "food is our sex" segment was horrifying. I almost emailed everyone I know to assure them that's not a universal issue.

    2. I really enjoyed it and thought it was interesting that some of the clips did not include AB that were obviously shot without him present. I could totally relate to having the high cholesterol at 53.

      1. I thought it was pretty damn ironic for AB to snicker at those bloggers. The whole concept of his show is about BEING OBSESSED ABOUT FOOD. So what if you're not lucky enough to be traveling around the world EATING and talking about the food on the Travel Channel's dime. To prove this point, please watch Food Porn, another one of AB's NR specials. Pretty ridiculous if you ask me. Oh, right, you did ask '-)

        1 Reply
        1. re: linguafood

          I thought it was a good episode - though the blogger part was a bit depressing. I was reminded of a saying my mom had "live to eat not eat to live" I don't think I live up to this too well these days...

        2. I liked everything BUT the part about the bloggers.

          1. I enjoyed Jim Lahey's bit and ABs running reenactment of the original cover of the Beatles "White Album".

            3 Replies
            1. re: mnosyne

              OT, but the butcher-doll cover was for "Yesterday and Today"

              1. re: the_MU

                It's been so long, I forgot! THX

                1. re: mnosyne

                  White Album with bloodstains -- now that's funny!

            2. A bunch of us probably recall that before eGullet peeled off, Bourdain used to post here on a semi-irregular basis. That was before "Kitchen Confidential" came out.

              Hope this isn't out of line to mention here, but I watched intently to see if the show would talk to Jim Leff, or mention the Perlows' acrimonious split from this here very board. Nope. IIRC, that was the prototype for all these other internecine food board battles.

              Me? A geek? Why, maybe.

              2 Replies
              1. re: the_MU

                Instead of dancing around why two out of the three co-founders at Egullet left, I wish they would have just said what happened. It would have provdied some much needed context in that segment.

                1. re: hobbess

                  They could've explained it in detail but that wouldn't make good TV.

                  I don't know the whole story but I seem to recall a lot of people stormed out of CH in a huff over the very strict non-commercial anti-shill/self promotion moderation policy, and that a lot of the disagreements at the other sites were about where to set boundaries on that slippery slope.

                  The permission to self-promote probably explains why Bourdain became a guest chef/poster at eGullet and kind of evaporated from CH.

              2. 1. It was generally a bad episode.

                2. The bloggers were incredibly lame and I agree with the sentiment that they typified the worst stereotypes out there... The guy with the gout was bad enough (I mean if you want to stuff your face with cheeseburgers all day as "what you do", the least you can do is go to the gym every now and then) but the guy who kept saying things like "I worked at xyz making x amount of dollars per year and now you're serving me this" was so much worse... I promise you that this guy was fired or put out to pasture. No way he quit. If he actually quit, he wouldn't have such a chip on his shoulder about it...

                2 Replies
                1. re: StheJ

                  Didn't the Zagats do the same thing- succesful lawyers who quit their jobs to concentrate on food? I don't begrudge anybody for doing what they really love.

                  1. re: hobbess

                    The Zagat's were in fact successful lawyers who started their business by getting all of their lawyer friends to write reviews, but they didn't quit their "day jobs" until their night job paid. Now they're running an empire, not whining about how much money they used to make before they got fired when they get served a hamburger that isn't absolutely perfect.

                2. I think I'm 50/50 on the show. It had moments, but not enough...and the blogger section was terrible.

                  1. I thought this episode was a lot of NYC shilling. And I live in NYC!

                    I thought AB using his pork obsession as an example of his foodieness was kind of stupid.

                    Is that like a diabetic on insulin who had his foot amputated, and damn what the doctor says, he's going to still eat that sugar? Oh, it's okay, he's just a obsessed foodie.

                    1. Thought it was much better than most of the episodes. I mean it was actually about food! Who gives a damn about Tony on a hang-glider or whatever every week?!