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Netflix’s ‘Somebody Feed Phil’ Finds an Easygoing Groove in Season 2

It’s a simple show for complicated times

A scene from the Venice episode of ‘Somebody Feed Phil’
Netflix/Somebody Feed Phil

This post originally appeared on July 6, 2018, in “Eat, Drink, Watch” — the weekly newsletter for people who want to order takeout and watch TV. Browse the archives and subscribe now.

This week, Netflix added new episodes of two big food shows to its roster: Somebody Feed Phil and Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. Here’s everything you need to know about the new season of Phil Rosenthal’s culinary travel show, followed by a roundup of the week’s entertainment news. And for a look at the new season of Seinfeld’s interview series, head here.

Reconsidering ‘Somebody Feed Phil’


There are plenty of culinary travel shows hosted by quippy, middle-aged white guys out there, and when Somebody Feed Phil premiered back in February, it was the straw that broke the camel’s back for me.

After publishing an issue of this newsletter titled “5 Problems With Somebody Feed Phil,” I got a ton of emails from readers suggesting that I give Phil’s show another shot. Many fans intimated that while the creator of Everybody Loves Raymond wasn’t exactly reinventing the food TV wheel with his Netflix show, he was making a lot of people happy by filming his goofy eating adventures around the world.

Keeping these notes — and several IRL conversations I had with Eater staffers — in mind, I waded into the new season of the show, expecting to be annoyed, once again, by all the dad jokes and mugging for the camera. But much to my surprise, somewhere during the middle of the Buenos Aires episode, right around where Phil meets the boisterous owner of an oddball Juan Perón-themed restaurant, I realized that I was, in fact, smiling in front of my laptop, eager to see what this giddy fellow was about to eat next. Once I succumbed to Mr. Rosenthal’s menschy charms, Somebody Feed Phil became an oddly relaxing show to watch.

This season feels a bit punchier than the last batch of episodes, and Phil hangs out with a more diverse array of chefs, experts, and dining companions this time around. But I think the real reason why this show might be clicking with audiences (including myself) right now, is that, at a time when the world seems to be spinning off it axis, it feels good to watch something that’s grounded in a sort of old-fashioned politeness and optimism. It’s a show about comfort food that it is, itself, a form of televised comfort food.

A few favorite moments from this new season: Phil feasting on steak and lamb with Nancy Silverton and Massimo Bottura at Peter Luger in Brooklyn; Rosenthal enjoying a seemingly endless array of roasted and grilled meats at an epic backyard barbecue in Buenos Aires; the TV host getting a tour of celebrity chef Darina Allen’s sprawling Ballymaloe farm and cooking school in Dublin; and a breakfast in Cape Town with Nelson Mandela’s grandson, Zondwa, where Phil learns about his non-profit organization, Mandela Legacy.

Like listening to Neil Diamond’s Greatest Hits, it may not be cool, exactly, to watch Somebody Feed Phil, but it’s a pleasant experience once you settle into its grooves. All six new episodes are now streaming on Netflix.

In other entertainment news

Have a great weekend everyone, and if you’re looking for something spectacularly summer-y to make this weekend, consider checking out this Pie Corps recipe for an apricot galette with basil whipped cream.