Eater's Guide to the World

TV review by
Marty Brown, Common Sense Media
Eater's Guide to the World TV Poster Image
Hipster food tourism show has profanity, sex talk.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Eater's Guide to the World presents eating as a social and cultural experience, even when it's done alone, and asks how our experiences with food inform our relationships with ourselves, each other, and the world.

Positive Role Models

Explores how communities are connected by food, and features many niche communities and subcultures. Maya Rudolph narrates each episode.

Violence
Sex

Sexual content includes innuendo, jokes, and sometimes graphic descriptions of sex.

Language

Moderate profanity featured throughout and includes "bitch," "a--hole," "damn," etc. Any uses of "f--k" are bleeped out.

Consumerism

Eater is an online magazine that focuses on restaurant and food culture. Though the show doesn't strictly cover restaurants, most of the places featured are for PR and tourism purposes.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Alcohol is shown to be an important part of food culture. Featured restaurants always highlight their cocktail menus and people are frequently seen drinking with or without food. People are occasionally seen smoking. No drug use is shown.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Eater's Guide to the World is a food show that takes a unique approach to tourism. Narrated by Maya Rudolph, the show seems aimed at college-aged and young adults, as it focuses on how restaurant and food culture intersects with social life. Episodes focus on the food and culture of particular cities, but often through a narrow lens like eating alone, or at the airport, or on top of a car. There's a common playbook on how to appeal to younger viewers, and Eater's Guide to the World uses all the tricks including profanity, sexual innuendo, soul-searching, flamethrowers -- all things that wouldn't typically be associated with a food tourism show. The show also pays close attention to different subcultures, and especially nightlife, in the places it visits. It highlights a wide range of cuisines and customers. Alcohol consumption is a major part of the show, whether it's restaurants showcasing their cocktail menus or interesting bars and clubs in the episode's locale. Eater's Guide to the World often has the feel of an advertorial, promoting the online magazine, Eater, and the vendors that power its content. However, the show makes enough of an effort to venture outside of typical food show fare that the entertainment side of the series often wins out.

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What's the story?

EATER'S GUIDE TO THE WORLD is a food and travel show narrated by Maya Rudolph that attempts to make tourists feel like locals by highlighting the hidden spots and ways people consume food that isn't necessarily in the guide books. The first season sticks mostly within the United States, but also extends to Morocco and Costa Rica for single episodes. Each episode takes place somewhere unique and often features a unique perspective on how to experience the food there. For example, in Los Angeles, people eat on top of their cars; in New York, they eat late at night; in the Pacific Northwest they eat alone. But within those restrictions, Eater's Guide to the World discovers a vast array of different cuisines, cultures, and ways to eat. 

Is it any good?

Despite the sheer amount of food shows on TV, there are still unique niches to be found. Eater's Guide to the World wants so badly to appeal to, for lack of a better word, hipsters that it can feel a little embarassing at times. Underneath the edgy advertorial artifice, however, is a show that's pretty good at finding corners of food culture that no one else is covering, with an eye toward how people from a wide variety of backgrounds can relate to one another while consuming. The result is a sort of mix between classic food tourism and the sort of roaming, insatiable curiosity of an Anthony Bourdain show.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about food as a social experience. How does your experience of eating change in different contexts? When you're with your friends? Your family? At school or work? 

  • Where do some of the featured episodes take place? What did you know about the city before the show? How does Eater's Guide to the World change your impression that place? Are there spots from the episode you'd like to go to or food you'd like to try?

  • How do the people in this episode relate to each other? How does food inform that relationship? Have you had similar experiences as anyone on the show? What were they?

TV details

  • Premiere date: November 11, 2020
  • Cast: Maya Rudolph
  • Network: Hulu
  • Genre: Educational
  • TV rating: TV-14
  • Available on: Streaming
  • Last updated: January 19, 2021

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