Today on his blog, Anthony Bourdain pens a long and thoughtful piece about his 10 favorite episodes of No Reservations as the show's run comes to an end. Bourdain will be leaving the Travel Channel for CNN, where he will host a similar show that will launch next year.
In the piece, Bourdain ruminates on his favorite episodes out of the 140-episode run, such as:
ROME Is probably my favorite show of all of them. My proudest achievement. Why? Because it was so suicidally stupid. Because no one wanted it. Because everybody thought it was a bad idea to do a show in Rome -- that most beautiful and colorful of cities -- in black and white.
As a purely creative enterprise, we did it anyway, shamelessly and very painstakingly doing the exact opposite of what we had established we were good at ...
He also considers honestly the shows that he regards as failures, including:
Responsibility for some failures rested entirely on me. They sucked because I sucked. BERLIN should have been a good show: great producer, great shooters, great fixers, great city. But for no good reason at all, I just wasn't "into it". And the show reflected my unhappiness and my unwillingness at the time to even try.
As viewers, each No Reservations fan probably has her own personal favorite episode. Mine was the one about Melbourne, my hometown, for obvious and not so obvious reasons. The obvious is that it allowed me to show others -- friends and family who have never seen where I'm from -- what is so fantastic about the city that raised me. The not so obvious is the thing that made No Reservations such a great show was the fact that Bourdain got my city exactly right. Rather than focusing on the glossy, rich-person delights of tourism we've come to expect from travel shows and magazines, No Reservations got to the reasons why a person would live in and love a city.
Bourdain is right that there were some shows that failed pretty badly (I'd argue that the L.A. episode is among them). But at its best, the show completely sidestepped all the crap and got to the heart of a huge number of the world's cities and countries.
We very much look forward to what he has in store at CNN.
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