A Brand New Addiction – No Reservations

Tony Bourdain, No Reservations
If Adelphia Cable’s business model is built such that they make a fatter profit the less someone taps into their resources, then they are making a bankroll off of me. I pay them that ridiculous fifty some odd dollars per month, and utilize but one channel – in my area, it’s 55. In yours, who knows what the number is on your little “rented” box (I never quite understood that little business model), but we all know it as the Food Network.

*sigh* I have a love-hate relationship with the all-food-all-the-time channel. Turning it on is probably one of the first five things I do within twenty seconds of walking in my front door. And yet, there will be hours that will go by when the channel is on, but it’s on mute. I’m not even paying attention, but I’m afraid to turn the tv off for fear of missing that one minute that something worthwhile flashes across the screen. I would probably surrender my little Cuisinart food processor before disconnecting myself from TV foodland, and yet…all I ever do is rant about how ridiculous some of the shows are, how much I dislike some of the celebri-chefs, how all the good shows are either gone or aired at some ridiculous time like 4 am on a Wednesday, how there are chefs whose heads are just too big, figuratively and literally, how it’s just so…oh, lots of things. Yet I can’t tear myself away. It’s like a very bad addiction. No, not like a very bad addiction; it is a very bad addiction.

Some people go into group therapy to get over their addictions. Others quit cold turkey and just sweat it out through the withdrawal symptoms. Chew gum. Wear a patch. Maybe they work, but the best way to get over an addiction, I have found, is with…another addiction. Yes, I have a new addiction. It’s not as bad as shooting up daily with 55, but still, I fiend for it. Once, maybe twice a week if it’s a bad one, I take 70. It’s the Travel Channel, and I am quite enamored of Tony Bourdain’s show, No Reservations.

I adore Tony Bourdain, his books like Kitchen Confidential and A Cook’s Tour, his old show on the other channel (see? I can call it the “other” channel now – who needs therapy now?), so it’s not surprising that I love this new show, No Reservations. It’s better. It’s funnier. It’s a little less PG, still with *bleeps*, but a lot more of them. Tony is allowed to be his badass hard-rocking, smoking, swearing, tattooed smart-ass self and I love it like I love the sting before the high. No Reservations wouldn’t be what it is without him, but the show isn’t an arrogant, me! me! me!, self-glorifying exhibition of Tony Bourdain. The show really is about the food in each of these places he visits, without being at all like Debbie Does Dallas on $40/day. I can watch the show with non-food-fiend friends because Tony is entertaining and if you don’t care about the food, you won’t necessarily care now, but at least you’ll laugh. And while Ms. Perkie Von Perkington can make me want to swear off SF forever, Tony makes New Jersey interesting. Ok, so maybe that’s because he ate Korean food. :)

Something I am 110% unqualified to opine about is the way the show is put together, but obviously, being ignorant has never stopped me before. I don’t know the technical term – editing, maybe? But the show is very fast and very flash-y. Not flashy, like gaudy, but flash-y, like there are flashes of images that sometimes have nothing to do with anything, but in sequence, they so perfectly tell the story. In a way, it’s exactly like the ways words shoot out of Tony’s mouth. Fast and sharp and totally addicting.

I can’t wait until Monday night. Good thing the re-run of the previous week airs on Sunday night, otherwise I might start hyperventilating, or even worse, resort to *gasp* Sandra Lee.

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