It would have been easy to make the final posthumous episode of Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown a sentimental tribute to the late host. And in fact, CNN did air such an episode, featuring interviewers with friends and admirers a few weeks ago. But instead, this Sunday night’s series finale, set in New York’s Lower East Side, is an almost entirely selfless examination of the artists who shaped Bourdain’s life during the early days of his restaurant career.
Mostly absent from the episode is food, aside from a chocolate egg cream here and a a bowl of soup at Veselka there. Instead of interviewing chefs, Bourdain visits a series of once revolutionary punk rockers, performance artists and experimental filmmakers who are trying to figure out a way to maintain relevance in the 21st century.
Debbie Harry. Fab 5 Freddy. Jim Jarmusch. These are his people.
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