The ‘Times’ on Andrew Zimmern’s New Show


Okay, maybe I was being (a teeeeny bit) hyperbolic about the Seven Reasons I Hate Bizarre Foods With Andrew Zimmern, but I am not alone! Zimmern has a new show, Andrew Zimmern’s Bizarre World (whoa!), which is basically the same as Bizarre Foods, but with less eating. The Times’ review points out that there’s nothing terribly bizarre about the inaugural episode in Cuba, except that Zimmern participates in a Santeria ceremony that involves chicken blood.

The gist of the review is that the show is generally clueless with a healthy sprinkle of condescension. Quoth the Times:

…Mr. Zimmern maintains that boating and fishing in Cuba are “unspoiled” because “with rare exceptions, Cubans are not allowed on boats” — without indicating why that might be so. A British expat chimes in, “It’s part of the pleasure of sailing around Cuba.”

Wow, that’s…amazing. The review concludes:

It might seem churlish to pick on Mr. Zimmern, who’s enthusiastic and friendly and full of praise and good feeling for the places he visits. But there’s also a residue of condescension; it shows up in the arched brow and the pat on the head (the Cubans are, in the final analysis, “friendly, inventive and engaging”), and it’s encoded in the whole notion of “bizarre.” It’s only bizarre if you’ve never left your couch.