Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
Documentary TV series (five seasons)
There’s a reason this show has won three Emmys and is the highest-rated show on CNN. (OK two, because anything beats Wolf Blitzer.) Parts Unknown is simply one of the best shows on television, with Netflix serving up a five-season, 40-episode slate of binge-worthy delights that takes the host into off-the-beaten-path locales in places like Iran, Beirut, Cuba, and up the Congo River, Heart of Darkness-style. While there’s much to like, including the show’s fabled cinematography plus Bourdain’s well-established food knowledge and effortless interaction with locals, the series really shines when it’s exploring less-exotic American locales like Detroit, New Jersey, the Mississippi Delta, and, in perhaps the best episode Bourdain has ever made, the host getting personal about dealing with heroin addiction in a visit to his native Massachusetts. (Not that it isn’t fun to watch Bourdain hanging with Bill Murray in Charleston, which, of course, it is.) Bourdain fans can also Netflix both seasons of underrated series The Layover for maximum Bourdain bingeing.
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Jay Gentile is a Thrillist contributor and he swears it wasn’t him. Follow him: @innerviewmag.