On June 8, Anthony Bourdain took his own life and the entertainment world had a hard time picking up the pieces, with a slew of unanswerable questions, along with some beautiful memorials. Bourdain was in the midst of shooting Season 12 of Parts Unknown, his CNN series that explored the world’s lesser-known cultures through travel and cuisine. Only one episode was completely finished.
Earlier this week, the trailer was released for the final season of the program. It features comedian, fellow CNN host and friend W. Kamau Bell as he emotionally watches the episode he shot in which he and Bourdain journeyed to Kenya, while the former renowned chef and best-selling author narrates the experience. In the trailer, Bell explains:
“I really felt like a passenger just wanting to be present for it. And I didn’t want to suck – that was my overwhelming feeling, like, ‘Don’t screw up his show.’ Everybody who had dreams of traveling with Tony, it’s exactly as cool as you think it is. The greater context of the show and the reality and the fact that Tony’s gone makes that like a – it’s like a punch in the gut.”
Season 12 will feature a total of six episodes, with visits to Spain, Manhattan’s Lower East Side, Indonesia and West Texas and will feature staff and friends reminiscing about Bourdain. Some of the previous 96 episodes have included stops in Congo, Paraguay and the French Alps – and the previous seasons are available on Blu Ray as well as streaming on Netflix. The trailer release comes on the heels of Parts Unknown winning six Emmys last week for the previous season, where Bourdain went to sports like Louisiana and Armenia. The Emmy wins included Best Informational Series and Special, finally beating out Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath. According to executive producer Lydia Tenaglia, Bourdain had secretly coveted the Outstanding Writing for a Nonfiction Program award which had eluded him – and she accepted the award on his behalf.
Bourdain bridged the cultural gap and truly was a genius. He continues to be missed. If you or anyone you know is struggling with depression or contemplating suicide, we implore you to call the Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. It’s a permanent solution to a temporary problem and there’s always some ready to listen.