Sunday, November 11, 2018

The 'Parts Unknown' series finale, featuring the East Village and Lower East Side, airs tonight

[Photo of Kembra Pfahler and Anthony Bourdain via Instagram]

As you might know, CNN is airing the series finale of "Parts Unknown" tonight at 9.

The episode, which arrives five months (and three days) after host Anthony Bourdain's death, is set in the East Village and Lower East Side ... and features Harley Flanagan, Lydia Lunch, Richard Hell, Fab Five Freddy, Amos Poe, Jim Jarmusch, Debbie Harry and Chris Stein, and John Lurie, among many others.

Along the way, Bourdain, a former LES resident, visits old haunts including Ray’s Candy Store, Veselka, John’s of 12th Street, Max Fish (where they're screening the episode tonight) and Emilio’s Ballato.

Here's a mini trailer...

And for more on what to expect, here's a preview via Eater:

In the episode, a recurring question Bourdain has for his interview subjects regards the romanticization of a time and a place that, in many ways, was dangerous and bad. Was it all really better then than it is now, with clean streets, Target stores, Whole Foods supermarkets, and fancy restaurants filling the blocks? For Flanagan, it was a “horror story,” but he misses it. Lydia Lunch, who fronted bands and starred in independent films, doesn’t look back with nostalgia and instead lives in the present: “I still have shit to do,” she tells Bourdain over a white-tablecloth meal.

And via Rosie Spinks at Quartzy:

Of course, like the prior episodes in this final season — which, with the exception of the season premiere in Kenya, are devoid of Bourdain’s narration, which he he had not finished at the time of his death — the episode feels haunted by its star’s absence. The voice that told you what was what, who was who, and why you should care is replaced by frenetically-styled transitions, and on-screen text introducing the next interviewee or luminary. The absence of Bourdain’s voice as an anchor feels like a loss throughout, and the disorientation it brings feels like delayed reaction to his death — a reminder that the world we live in is one that Bourdain chose to leave.

In a review of the episode, Verne Gay at the Chicago Tribune sums it up this way: "In one final whoosh, Bourdain is framed in an episode of pure, unadulterated post-punk joy."

Michael Steed, the director, told Eater: "People are going to feel a lot from this particular episode. I just hope people feel something."


CNN has released several interviews with people featured in the episode, including Lunch (access here) and Lurie (access here).

And if you feel like a post-show egg cream and conversation ... then you can head over to Ray's Candy Store...


Anonymous said...

I know AB was an amazing and inspiring human being. But, why is this man immortalized as a demigod?

Giovanni said...

The fact that Anthony Bourdain was inspiring is why he is being immortalized, but this also has to do with his celebrity status. Almost anyone famous who dies tragically is immortalized. And since his last show is about to air,

The public has always been fascinated with Anthony Bourdain's bad boy/celebrity chef persona, and the way he took his own life, in the middle of the #MeToo movement while dating Asia Argento. But watching his shows now is both sad and eerie. Every episode seems to have a scene where he is talking about death, and not always in a good way.

There was a poignant scene in one episode where he is discussing reincarnation with his good fiend Eric Rupert who was with him in France when he committed suicide. Bourdain never seems to understand that reincarnation is about consciousness being reborn in different forms, not about reaching a celebrity status and then being done with it all, like graduating from High School and never going back.

Bourdain’s whole take on reincarnation was shallow, hilarious and startling — he said he did not want to come back as anything ever again, because he assumed that he had already achieved everything someone could want to achieve in life — and that if he came back as a human, he might just be some poor guy working in Kmart.

I bet if Anthony had it to do over again, his opinions about spirituality would change. Yet he lives on forever on TV in reruns, so at least one of his nightmares about reincarnation did not come true,

Anonymous said...

Because he is.

Brian said...

His TV shows were entertaining, educational and intellectual. His persona was multidimensional and he knew how to have a good time too.

Anonymous said...

Bourdain always came off as cynical, jaded, highly intelligent, annoyed, and ahead of his time. I did admire his brutally honest nature and audacious personality. A buddy of mine worked with him during the 90's in a downtown restaurant. He said you could feel his presence when he entered a room. That he was beloved and often feared by staff and guests. He also said he was quiet at times and made the "best damn risotto ever."

Bourdain's thoughts on reincarnation aren't surprising. He was known as an ardent atheist. He said he didn't believe in hell, heaven or God. So, for him, this was his one and only shot. No afterlife. Nothing.

So sad he was in that much pain to leave behind a legacy, a girlfriend, and his daughter. That is whom I feel sorry for most. That little girl will never have her father now. Depression. loneliness and isolation doesn't discriminate. I suppose the fame, accolades, wealth and adulation wasn't enough to quell his fears or longing. He will certainly be missed by devoted fans and culinary aficionados.

If any of us are truly that lost or alone, reach out to someone, anyone for that matter. There are people and hotlines to call. Don't be afraid to ask for help if you're contemplating suicide.

RIP, Anthony.

Anonymous said...

I watched the whole thing on the verge of tears. Never ate at any of his restaurants, never ran across him in the EV of the 70s and 80s, thought his schtick was a bit off-putting, but he was a human being who had so much in his life who decided he would rather end it all, despite the fact that you are dead so much longer than you are alive...painful to see it knowing his ultimate end...

Shawn said...

More exposure for Ray = Priceless