Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown had its final season premiere at Tribeca TV Festival in New York over the weekend, seeing the show’s crew gather together to celebrate TV presenter, writer and chef Bourdain’s enormous legacy.
In an emotional promo clip, W. Kamau Bell, host of subculture doco United Shades of America, and Bourdain’s guest on safari in Kenya through the episode, tells Bourdain in an introspective moment how lucky he feels: “The idea that I’m sitting here with you, doing this now, knowing where my life and career have come… it’s pretty cool.”
To which Bourdain replies: “As soon as the cameras turn off, the crew will be sitting around, we’ll be having a cocktail. I fucking pinch myself. I cannot fucking believe that I get to do this.”
Bell explained the moment – made stark by Bourdain’s tragic passing in June this year – to Vanity Fair on the red carpet:
For me, that moment is probably worth everything. That moment with Tony [and] being able to take him back to the guy I was, on the couch watching him and being blown away—and now I’m sitting here? I didn’t know it happened on camera, so I’m really blessed that it did. And I’m really blessed that [director Morgan Fallon] and the crew left it in there, because especially now that he’s gone, I think that’s the kind of thing that a lot of people wanted to say to him.
Director Fallon described the moment to the publication as “really powerful“.
That was a really powerful moment. The crew was kind of shifting equipment, and we were resetting our cameras; that was completely off-the-cuff. That was not something that was necessarily in the context of the scene. I think it was important to show that and remind people that this is something that Tony always felt, day to day, every day: a tremendous sense of gratitude towards the world for embracing him, [and] towards the people who supported him creatively. He never forgot that.
W. Kamau Bell is currently live-tweeting the TV premiere of the episode on CNN.
— W. Kamau Bell (@wkamaubell) September 24, 2018
And the bittersweet season premiere is both reminding the internet of the brilliance of Bourdain’s work, and forcing many to mourn his loss all over again:
I’m glad there was an Anthony Bourdain, even for not long enough.
— Diana Was Right (@JoyAnnReid) September 23, 2018
— Evan Siegfried (@evansiegfried) September 24, 2018
Landed on CNN and Anthony Bourdain is on and my heart is breaking all over again. HE MADE EARTH WORTH LIVING ON.
— Kelly Carlin (@kelly_carlin) September 23, 2018
— José Andrés 🟧🇺🇸🇪🇸🇺🇦 (@chefjoseandres) September 24, 2018
Getting ready to watch, @Bourdain’s, “Parts Unknown:The Last Episodes”, which starts today on @CNN at 9PM. I so hate he’s gone. He had so much more of the world to share with us. pic.twitter.com/C0LqaACDzh
— Ana Navarro-Cárdenas (@ananavarro) September 23, 2018