Anthony Bourdain’s New “Parts Unknown” Trailer Is Here, and It Made Us Cry

published Sep 17, 2018
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The 12th and final season of Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown premieres on September 23, and will include six episodes. The first one will be the last one to feature Bourdain’s own written narration, following his death by suicide at age 61 in June. A heart-wrenching preview of that episode released today by CNN gives a taste of what the season looks like.

Comedian and television star W. Kamau Bell, who travels to Nairobi with Bourdain for the premier episode, pays homage to what he describes as one of TV’s “smartest, most compelling” shows, appearing to blink back tears as he does. “Tony has made some of the best television in the history of television.”

But beyond the amazing TV Bourdain made, which fans of the show have long known, Bell adds that, “Everyone who had dreams of traveling with Tony: It’s exactly as cool as you think it is.” The clip also shows Bourdain seeming to agree. As the two look out over Kenya, Bourdain marvels at the fact that he’s been making these shows for 17 years: “I … pinch myself, I cannot … believe I get to do this.”

The premiere episode, with Bell and Bourdain in Kenya, airs on CNN at 9 p.m. on September 23. More episodes will follow, all featuring Bourdain on camera, but narrated by the other people featured on the show, plus two final episodes, one with the cast and crew talking about what it was like to work with him and featuring behind-the-scenes footage, and one using fan reactions and interviews to pay tribute to the beloved host.

After that, the show will end, as CNN doesn’t feel like it could replace the host. Even this season won’t be quite the same without his familiar voice, observations, and intonations. Says Bell, of the dubious honor of his episode as the final fully Bourdain-ed one, “It’s like a punch in the gut.”