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on March 25, 2012
With the newest iteration of Anthony Bourdain's creative energy, "The Layover", comes a more caffeinated, frenetic, ADD travel television experience then its predecessor, "No Reservations".

"The Layover" places viewers alongside Tony as he tackles major "layover" hubs in as little as 24-48 hour time windows. This format dictates the show in every way. Gone are the obscure destinations of "No Reservations" (because who has a 48-hour layover in Kazakhstan?). Gone are the long leisurely lunches with a local family in a villa on the outskirts of Firenze (there's no time!)

In the new format, we follow Tony from the airport, and into cities like Hong Kong, Rome, New York, Miami- or some other big booming metropolis. In these urban playgrounds of food and drink, Tony fills the camera with an intense and hilariously entertaining television experience- ones more befitting tequila shots than sips of Cabernet.

Each episode includes Tony reading excerpts from a prototypical "travel guide", which includes advice like, "when in Hong Kong in the heart of summer, the travel guide would encourage one to be sure to walk in the shade so as to avoid the powerful sun."

Tony's reactions to stale travel advice such as this is in many ways the thesis of "The Layover"- this is a new type of travel guide, one more befitting the way people (and particular the audience that watches Tony's shows) travel today.

The new-age travel guide that is "The Layover" is a multi-media platform (which offers complementary blog posts, Twitter feed, Facebook page, and television programming). This new, media-rich platform is visually pleasing, real, practical, fun, irreverent, originally-curated, frenetic, and fast-paced like the travel preferences of so many people, and particularly of hard-working, young people around the world. Not everyone has the time or money for a two-week trip to the Italian countryside. But a weekend in Miami? Much more doable.

In this new format, Tony's behavior on the "The Layover", different from the quality of his show, has degenerated below even the lowest levels it reaches on "No Reservations", but in a wholly appropriate and entertaining way.

In Miami, for example, the show concludes with a Tony Montana-like scene, with Tony Bourdain slamming a bottle of Champagne in the scant light of dawn, dressed in a white hotel bathrobe, as he stares from his hotel room's balcony, out and over the city he has just blustered through like the Blitzkrieg.

Isn't such behavior easier to justify during a layover, clouded as they are in a haze of jet lag? In a place where you never really get your bearings straight, and are likely to never run into the people you encounter there more than once? In such a setting, Tony seems to be saying: why not let yourself go? It's an intense burst of time that certainly allows for a more irreverent tone. Tony's drinking and blustering is a little more digestible, nay welcomed, when you realize he is just in town for a brief jaunt, and that it never at any point becomes disrespectful.

As a viewer, what makes this show all the more pleasing is you get to experience all the joys of a layover, with none the accompanying headaches. Delayed flights, diarrhea, bad meals, grouchy cab drivers- all these nightmares stay off screen. Meanwhile we get to drive with Tony through bright, big-city lights and past beach boardwalks and girls in bikinis. We sit in on marathon nights of drinking, and meals full of endless plates of rich foods. All this, without stopping for a nap or to sit on a toilet. No jet lag. No nausea. Tony fights with that for us- with the cameras securely turned off. We just get to party and travel, and wish we had the life of Tony.
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The Layover is a new series from Anthony Bourdain that takes a sardonic look at "travel" shows. Mr. Bourdain explains how to tackle 24-48 layovers in cities including New York, Miami, Amsterdam, Montreal, Singapore & Rome (He did one episode of his A Cook's Tour called Let's Get Lost in which he visits off beat places in Thailand on a layover). He gives "tips" on how to get from the airport to your hotel and the best places to eat and drink. Mr. Bourdain usually ends up get hammered with some chef friends which leads to some extremely funny commentary and scenes. If you like Anthony Bourdain and any of his other series, then The Layover will be right up your alley.
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on March 25, 2015
If you have seen the No Reservations series then this show will seem very similiar to you. Same guy, Anthony Bourdain, but in a slightly different format where he is in a major hub city for only 48 hours or so. Much to our delight, Anthony is still Anthony and he hasn't changed much. Still making his snarky comments and still saying "Oh, That's Good" after biting into some delicious food.

I think I liked the Singapore episode the best. I have seen Anthony go into those food courts several times eating bone marrow, chicken rice, spicy crab etc. and still love it every time. Sometimes it is easy to get these episodes confused with No Reservations as many of the places are the same.

Some of the episodes I remember in this series are Hong Kong, Singapore, San Francisco, Rome, Miami, New York, Montreal and Amersterdam. I may be missing some episodes here. All of the episodes were enjoyable. This is a no brainer for fans of No Reservations.
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on April 28, 2012
Not so different from No Reservations but different enough I suppose. Quicker, more punchy, and consistent look and feel from episode to episode. With NR they were increasingly treating each episode like a short feature film, each with a unique theme and visuals, and a decidedly cinematic approach. TL is more music video -- quick cuts, split screens, graphics. The graphics, BTW, are pretty cool, particularly the maps and transport guides. The split screen stuff though is headache at times. And still exceptional editing, camerawork, and writing.

It's still primarily Tony on a mission to find good food, with the help of brilliant local fixers and guides (which has to be one of the keys to his success). I love all his shows but I do wish he'd spend more time on things besides food. The gluttony, the face stuffing, and the "hey look how cool I am eating at the places you wish you knew about", gets a little tiring. He does cover travel basics such as transport from the airport, getting around, a few hotel recommendations. But this could be expanded if they cut back on some of the extended meal footage.

Since the premise is how to spend a couple days in cities that are major air hubs, the destinations are all world cities. Kinda cool, tho he's repeating some cities he did recently on NR, and it's a bit redundant to see him back in Hong Kong, Singapore, San Fran, Rome, etc when he just covered these places recently (even though I love all these places).

Hoping he does a season 2 and would like to see him do NEW cities that he's never covered, like: Delhi, Beijing, Taipei, Kansai/Osaka, Brussels, Frankfurt, Milan. And some of the other major hubs he has done before would still be cool in the new format -- Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Paris, Dubai, Shanghai.
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on July 30, 2012
I pretty much love Anthony Bourdaine, because he is a fantastic writer AND teller. So nearly all Episodes watched on one evening, and pretty looking forward to the next season. Hi, my Name is Markus Weßner and i'm hungry for MORE!!!!
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on March 10, 2014
I like everything Anthony Bourdain, so it is impossible for me to give this a bad review. If you love him, you will love this show as well.
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on July 15, 2012
Arrived on time as advertised.

I have enjoyed watching this episodes.

I have enjoyed "No Reservations", but my current cable provider in Ballinger, TX, does not carry the Travel Channel.
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on July 8, 2013
I love Anthony and this is just one reason to watch them over and over. You won't be disappointed by this collection. A bit of the same format as No Reservations, but still a gem on it's own.
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on December 26, 2013
Good price, no shortage of episodes either. Each episode that we watched on TV was found on the DVD collection as stated. Well done and will buy season 2 should one appear for sale.
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on June 25, 2013
Nice and easy as always. Anthony does everything in his own way.
This is more funny than the "No Reservations" series. Different, but funny.
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