Exploring What the World Eats.
Famous chef Anthony Bourdain has been eating his way around the world for eight seasons, and he’s not stopping anytime soon. CNN landed a culinary goldmine when they signed him up for the original series Parts Unknown, giving viewers not only a taste of the cuisine in places they cannot get to, but a lesson on the culture and people who make these delicious dishes.
A full recap episode of the previous season’s destinations called Prime Cuts is aired on the day before the new season starts. Prime Cuts also includes some preview footage of what will air during the current season. The nine episodes of season 8 will take the hungry crew to Hanoi (Vietnam), Nashville (US), Sichuan (China), London (UK), Houston (US), Minas Gerais (Brazil), Buenos Aires (Argentina), and Rome (Italy).
The episode in Hanoi, Vietnam, features a sit-down meal between Anthony Bourdain and President Barack Obama at a small noodle house. The best part about this meeting is that it was kept very secret at the request of the White House; the camera crew did not even know that President Obama would be there until about five minutes prior, and neither did any of the people at the restaurant. It was truly an impromptu meet-up of pals in a noodle-house, enjoying some Bun Cha and beer.
Reviews Are 5-Star!
IMDb voters rank this series at an 8.6 out of 10 with 2,000 votes cast. That is extraordinarily high for a documentary-style travel and food series. Viewers have commented about Bourdain’s integrity as he and his crew shine a spotlight upon areas of the cultures he visits with honor and respect, rather than looking at people like an observer, he is a participant.
Most enjoyably for viewers, Bourdain is allowed to focus on the culture and the people more than the food, which is something that seemed missed in his other series, No Reservations.
Those who do not enjoy the show say that the portrayal of the places he visits seem to be cleaned-up and beautified before the cameras roll, and they do not see much difference between this show and his previous, aside from Bourdain’s attitude being allowed to flourish, which naysayers see as a negative.
Viewership is Top-Notch!
Season 8 premiered on September 25, 2016, and earned a demo rating of 0.26 with 0.95 million people watching. The following week saw a bit of a slide, down to 0.23 with 0.83 million viewers. Despite the slight drop, these numbers are still considerably higher than the previous season’s starter, which premiered with only 0.67 million viewers and a demo rating of 0.15.
Season 8 is off to a great start in ratings, and the show still glowing from receiving its fourth consecutive Emmy award this year. It was no surprise when CNN announced in May 2016 that they have renewed this series for two more seasons, taking it through the end of 2017 with seasons 9 and 10!
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown airs on Sunday nights at 9pm ET on CNN.
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