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THE CHATTER BOX

 
  
  
  The Chatter Box : Travel
  
  
  
 
The joys and woes of presenting travel docs by sighthound on 9 January 2007 9:57am
 
I just watched the first episode of the new season of Tony Bourdain's travel/food docs. He went to Ghana with, seemingly, no knowledge of the country and had a fantastic time (most of it centered around food, of course.)

At one point, he turns to the camera and says that the focus groups consulted about the show indicated that they wanted him to be much more "snarky and abrasive" but he just couldn't think of anything in Ghana to be snarky about.

In the first season of his show, it was so amusing to watch this hard-drinking, hard-eating, abrasive New Yorker encounter the world beyond the fancy Manhattan eateries that had been his world.

Over the seasons of his show, Bourdain has grown and mellowed enormously. He's not quite so funny now but he is much more humane - shows you what travel can do for you. I'm betting he will evolve from his abrasive humour into something even funnier. It's great to see that a middle-aged man can grow and change. (He's still hard-drinking and hard-eating and I applaud him for that.)

P.S. Have his shows shown up anywhere outside of the U.S.?
 
Re: The joys and woes of presenting travel docs by Ellerd on 10 January 2007 11:07am
 
His show is screened on Discovery Travel & Living on Foxtel/Austar in Australia. I don't think I'd want to watch him if he's "snarky and abrasive", though...
 
Re: The joys and woes of presenting travel docs by Ellerd on 10 January 2007 11:08am
 
His show is screened on Discovery Travel & Living on Foxtel/Austar in Australia. I don't think I'd want to watch him if he's "snarky and abrasive", though...
 
Re: The joys and woes of presenting travel docs by kazzzz on 10 January 2007 12:52pm
 
snarky, that's quite a good word, i shall use it once a day in a conversation!
 
Re: The joys and woes of presenting travel docs by sighthound on 10 January 2007 9:14pm
 
Yes, isn't "snarky" a great word?!

Bourdain made his name by writing a funny but vitriolic best-selling book about what really goes on in the kitchens he worked in in the very fancy restaurants of New York (think Gordon Ramsey on steroids) which offended people who didn't want the veil of elegance lifted but was relished (no pun intended) by lots of others. So the first season of his show really played up the abrasive side of his nature as a quintessential New Yorker. What I find fascinating is that Bourdain and Palin are polar opposites in so many ways but travel gets them to the same points in their understanding of the world.

The two really great episodes that show how a middle-aged man can still change and grow are the episodes where, amidst all the furor here about fencing off Mexico, Bourdain travels both sides of border and sees what really goes on there and one where he is a virtual prisoner in his hotel in Beirut when Israel's war against Lebanon broke out. Try to catch those, ellerd; I don't think you'll be disappointed. (And then there's the Las Vegas episode which shows him at his snarky best....)
 



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