Confession time. I’m a foodie and a Travel Channel junkie. And when I’m not marveling at Andrew Richman’s magnanimous, meat masticating “Man vs. Food”, drooling over a deluge of “Diners, Drive-ins & Dives” with Fieri as my “Guy-d”, or blenching at the unflinching bravery of Bizarre Foods’ Andrew Zimmern, I’m riveted to the ardent, bohemian rantings of Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations.”
Those who know “No Reservations” know that it is, in simple terms, nothing short of food porn. Which is to say that Anthony, or “Tony” as his crew calls him, travels the globe enjoying the kind of gastronomic experiences about which most folks merely fantasize. And it’s all captured on video, edited, scored and played back for my hedonic, voyeuristic enjoyment in gratuitous sixty-minute segments.
Sure, there are nods to the cultural aspects of the places Tony visits, along with plenty of nods from Tony to himself. Which is part of the show’s appeal. But mostly it’s about the food. Which is probably why the inaugural episode featured the comestible wonders of Paris, France.
A hundred episodes later, Tony and the crew returned to Paris to find that something strange and wonderful was going on. Change. And not just any change. A change in the way Parisians think about, prepare and consume food. While watching, I couldn’t help but notice how this change is reflective of the shifting way in which we Americans think about, prepare and consume media.