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I really enjoyed this article, but it does make the assumption that people bought into Bourdain's counter-culture aura at the start and now have to live with the failings of that original persona. The bottom line is, Bourdain offers something unique - he did it in Kitchen Confidential and he does it now with Parts Unknown.
No one else is touring the world and showcasing new places or old hidden ones the Bourdain has done for years. That is why is show(s) feel like a true escape to many - not because they are authentic, but because they allow the viewer to take in a universe they otherwise would never be exposed to.
Bourdain didn't gain popularity because he was populist - he gained popularity because his audience was the populous, and he was a lens into a world they never had access to.
2 days, 18 hours ago on