By Maggie M, Wedgee-in-Chief, Editor, theWedge.LIVE
I write this on snowpocalypse, Sunday, January 20th, for good reason. People are marooned not wishing to brave knee-deep snow. It’s time to enjoy cheerful, high-quality entertainment.
If you have not done so yet it may be time to sign-up with Netflix as it the most affordable entertainment on the planet, offering the widest choices for all palates.
I’ve been itching to write this review for awhile. I am thrilled, invigorated by Netflix’s brilliant distribution deal of, Someone Feed Phil. The series is an epicurian journey by writer, co-producer Phil Rosenthal of Everybody Loves Raymond renown–the successful, award-winning comedic series.
In Someone Feed Phil, Rosenthal is Host on its far-reaching journeys around the globe–an “experiencer” rather than a food connoisseur–replete with the wit and humor we have experienced in his many productions.
Frankly, the show could be titled, Everybody Loves Phil. This lanky, blue-eyed jew from Queen’s, New York, opens our hearts, makes us laugh and travel as few productions–if any–have succeeded this far.
Bourdain was excellent but brooding–the “Heatscliffe” of food tourism (may he RIP.) Rick Steve’s whom I viewed by television broadcast long ago was informed, a great tour guide. Rosenthal is unrivaled for his wit and delivered moments of joy.
Who does not yearn for joy? And the opportunity to travel virtually with your family and friends–without an irradiating contraption on your head.
The production quality is five star–sound, lights, music, camera work, editing. The crew is reportedly numbered at 25.
The only thing missing as of today is a notice of next episodes. I simply cannot wait to see where Phil goes next.
The current episodes open in Venice, Italy. The comedy is instant.
The camera pushes in quickly through the crowd in Piazza San Marco and stops at Phil sitting alone at a table, a pigeon brazenly sitting atop (see feature photo above.) He had me at the pigeon, and his expression. I was all in.
I can attest to the presence of pigeons in the piazza–they are its more permanent citizens. I have also rowed a gondola, the gondolier sitting back and instructing me. He was not cruel enough to direct me into the Grand Canal as Phil’s instructor did. He whined and offered comedic relief in his exhaustion and concern, closing on a view of the blister on his thumb.
“Beyond schvitzing it’s now holishing. That means roasting in one’s own juices,” Phil laments. “Can we row to the hospital?”
Throughout each episode his wit looms to the point where you wait for it. The shows cut to Phil commenting on grey screen–making hay of the moment. It may just be a look–his facial expressions are legendary.
There is no pretense in Phil. He leaves the glory to his guests. In Modena, an hour from Venice, he visits Chef Massimo Bottura, who runs “the world’s best restaurant,” Osteria Francescana. But first, Phil takes you through Modena to experience the only place on earth where certified parmigiana reggiano and balsamic vinegar are sourced.
In twelve episodes Phil takes you to Venice, Copenhagen, Dublin, Buenos Aires, Capetown, Saigon, Bangkok, Lisbon, Tel Aviv, Mexico City, New Orleans and New York. Lisbon and Saigon rank among my favorite episodes.
Somebody Feed Maggie more Phil please. I mean episodes (although I trust his wife Monica would agree.)
While we are on the topic of family, each episode wraps on a Skype video call to his parents in New York. I don’t want to be a spoiler, but their exchanges are precious, iconoclastic and hilarious.