If you want to see the best of planet earth, you could do a lot worse than turning back the clock to check out the sparkling Anthony Bourdain unpicking the world through food.
In multiple series of different shows such as No Reservations and Parts Unknown, Bourdain trotted the globe in a way that now seems to us both mysterious and dangerous.
In 2011 Sam Wollaston in The Guardian said “He eats the disgusting stuff, so you don’t have to. He does so with plenty of good humour and wit, and you find out something about these places along the way.” In The New York Times Mike Hale recognised that as the franchise No Reservations came to an end in 2012 some episodes were better than others but that “Intelligence and honesty are a rare and therefore potent combination in nonfiction TV. When they appear together (or seem to), you notice. At its best “No Reservations” is in a very small group of personality-driven shows… that make you feel smarter for having watched them.” Bourdain died two years ago, too young, from suicide and the final episodes of Parts Unknown went out later that year. In Esquire Matt Miller said “There will never be anyone quite like Anthony Bourdain. And even if there’s someone similar who can take his place, it will be decades until someone else builds the credibility and experience that Tony had built through 238 episodes of No Reservations and Parts Unknown.”
Not all of those 238 episodes are available on streaming, but we’ve pointed to those that are available on Amazon and we’re very much hoping that when HBO Max launches in May more will be available. We’ll let you know.
No Reservations first shown 2005. You can watch a trailer for Parts Unknown by pressing play on the show image, or by clicking here.