Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, Rome
For many of us, the shock still lingers, a sense of loss still hangs heavy in the air. The heartbreaking June 2018 suicide of Anthony Bourdain was not just about the passing of a beloved celebrity – but that of someone who affected us in a significantly more profound way, allowing us to understand the joy of food and the complexity of people all over the world, at a time when it seemed most necessary to do so. He was arguably mainstream television’s first, last and only true poet.
June 25 has been declared ‘Bourdain Day.’ And like all the greats, he will live on luminously in his work; and the good people at Ovation are seeing decisively to exactly that. Indeed, as of June 6, Seasons Five through Eight of his sophomore series, cheekily titled Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations (which ran on the Travel Channel between 2005 and 2012) have been airing on the artful cable network.
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, Ukraine
Over the course of those four seasons, Bourdain drinks pulque and checks out a lucha libre school in Mexico, does doner kebab and visits the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, samples local seafood and openly discusses the genocidal legacy of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, and chows down on BBQ with The Black Keys in Kansas City.
But easily our favorite episode was his Season 7 holiday visit to Vienna, where he is slowly transformed from a mild case of Grinchiness, into a man of somewhat uncharacteristic merriment. As he strolls the twinkling Christmas markets, rides the famous Ferris wheel, and rambles down snowy lanes surrounded by the Austrian capital’s “wedding cake” baroque architecture, he lowers his guard just enough to end up admitting, “This is my new happy place.”
Wherever he is now, we hope he’s even happier – and having a nice Bourdain Day.
Ovation began airing Seasons Five through Eight of Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations in three-hour blocks starting Thursday, June 6th at 10pm ET / 7pm PT as part of JOURNY Thursdays. All four seasons are also available via the Ovation NOW app.
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, Croatia