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Bourdain Reflects on No Reservations Ahead of Its Finale

He just might be his own worst critic.
He just might be his own worst critic. Photo: Taylor Hill/Getty Images

We’ve already heard plenty about what Anthony Bourdain doesn’t like about television’s food programming. And we’ve also heard almost as much about what he does like. However, what we’ve never gotten a definitive word on is what he thinks about his own show. Ahead of Monday’s big finale, he took to Tumblr today to reflect on just that. And based upon the sheer length of the post, it’s obvious that he put a lot of time into mulling over all 140 episodes. In his self-assessment, he gives high marks to last season’s holiday special, mostly because it fulfilled his goal of causing “terror and confusion” among network executives.

He also has high praise for the episode on Montana, where he took to viewing “gun country, red-state, Palin bumper sticker America” from the same perspective as the Asian rice farmers and ex-guerrillas he admittedly tends to “over-romanticize.” It’s not all chest-puffing and ego-stroking, though: In tooting his own horn, Bourdain also chalks up episodes like Berlin (he wasn’t in to it), Puerto Rico (sheer lack of understanding of the subject), Charleston (overlooked Sean Brock), and the ill-fated talk-show format (an absolute shitshow) explored in the “At the Table” episode as failures. And as such, he takes full blame. In recounting the Emmy-award-winning Beirut episode, which was shot just as war broke out before his very eyes, he goes all TMI, highlighting the fact that his daughter was conceived the day after he and his crew were rescued from the front lines there. Ew, we’ll never be able to erase that mental image.

Blutarski: Zero Point Zero [Anthony Bourdain/Tumblr]
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Bourdain Reflects on No Reservations Ahead of Its Finale