Anthony Bourdain sure has a high opinion of himself. I mean, I love watching his show No Reservations on the Travel Channel and I think he is a smart, open minded traveler for sure, but wow, he really loves himself and his image (see photo, right-- classic)! I find myself rolling my eyes at him but adoring the program just the same.
As someone who rarely has the opportunity to travel anywhere, much less to destinations like Namibia, Sicily, Iceland, Peru, New Zealand and, uh, New Jersey, I find myself swept away in the show's exotic locations, locals and of course, food. Bourdain was a chef for many years so a major focus of his show is indulging in local cuisine. I really appreciate the fact that he tries to get off of the beaten path and hang out with people who know their city/country like the back of their hand, and I think this is what plays a major part in making the show so addicting-- Samantha Brown, be damned! This show is no Tourist Board advertisement.
The Uzbekistan episode where Tony literally gets pummeled by a masseuse is a favorite.
Bourdain likes to present himself as someone dark and edgy, someone who's seen it all before, someone who is tough enough to scrap through any given situation and then light up a cigarette. [Although I recently heard he quit smoking when his daughter was born this April! That's a huge deal.] Some portions of the show are so self indulgent! I can forgive Bourdain's Ramones obsession, which seems, incredibly, to come up in about 50% of the episodes, but in Shanghai we got an entire segment of Bourdain swinging from wires in fighting style and edited into a fake movie. It got a little much. His Dante's Inferno fascination in the Tuscany episode quickly becomes grating. Where's the food??