Great start with Shanghai. AB managed to keep narrative grounded by food, a feat missing from so many eps the first few seasons. The political/cultural narrative was interesting in and of itself and the food looked delicious. Wished I had smell-o-vision (and taste-o-vision).
Never seen Bourdain so out of his comfort-zone in a very unusual episode of the show. But that made this a very interesting watch. This clearly wasn?t easy for him, not only because it isn?t a "light" topic, but because of his own (past) drug-problems.
The parts that dealt with food sort of felt a bit like going through the motions, but talking with the people affected by heroin - that was really interesting and educational to watch. And it proves that even the most stunning places can be seriously fucked-up.
Being from Mass, and given that both of my parents grew up in Western Mass, this episode was pretty hard for me to watch. The food was excellent and It's always great to see AB in places that I've been to before (like in P-Town), but the Heroin part was rough. Thank G-d I'm not directly connected to anyone suffering from this awful epidemic, but you hear about it all the time and, like you see in the show, it's visible in these towns. Springfield, Greenfield, Holyoke... They're all shells.