Everybody’s favorite happy, hungry man will be traveling all across the sea and the land again when the long-awaited Season 3 of “Somebody Feed Phil” finally launches Friday on Netflix. This third helping of Phil Rosenthal’s food and travel series will see the “Everybody Loves Raymond” creator eat almost everything he finds in Marrakesh, Chicago, London, Seoul and Montreal. And we did say *almost* everything there, because while Rosenthal is definitely a more adventurous eater than many of us, even he has his limits.
“You saw we were walking around that market in Seoul, and there are certain things that I was like, ‘No thank you.’ And I think I said it, I think I did say it,” Rosenthal told TheWrap. “And I’m talking about the stuff that most people who aren’t from that culture are not used to and feel a little squeamish about. Certain intestines, certain guts. In certain cultures, they’ll eat an eyeball. I’m never gonna be that guy. I’m not Andrew Zimmern, who is like a superhero to me. I’m not Anthony Bourdain, who was a superhero to me. I’m the guy watching them and saying, ‘They are amazing, I’m never doing that.’”
But Phil tells us the more he travels, the more he’s willing to push his own boundaries to get a little more like his badass foodie idols.
“To be honest, I taste a lot more now than I used to because I learned something: What’s the worst that could happen?” he said. “Usually you just have to get your mind around what you would think of as disgusting. If somebody didn’t tell you that this was an ant that you’re eating in this sauce, you would just say, ‘Oh, that’s kind of salty and crispy and good. That seasoning, what is that?’ ‘That’s an ant.’ ‘Really? I wanna kill myself.’ It’s all about what it is and what’s in our heads. But that’s why I’m finding. Like in the Seoul show, you’ll see they chopped up an octopus and it was still moving because the muscles keep moving. So most people would run away screaming, but I was in Tokyo — and even in LA — where I’ve had sweet shrimp that is the same kind of idea, where the shrimp has been killed immediately before putting it on the rice and the muscle is still kind of constricting, so it’s moving. So the first time I did that, that was a challenge. But then I realized, I understand why, there’s nothing fresher than that. And so it was a hop, skip and a jump to the octopus. Is it my favorite thing? No, but I understand the appeal. You try to understand the culture. Why do they do it? There must be a reason. And it turns out that it tastes good, that’s why.”
While we hope you take your time savoring every delicious one of “Somebody Feed Phil’s” five Season 3 episodes, TheWrap has some news that should make you less nervous about devouring them too quickly: Though no official premiere date has been set by Netflix for your fourth course with Phil, he says the wait for Season 4 shouldn’t be nearly as long as the almost two-year gap between Seasons 2 and 3 — because the five episodes that make up the fourth season have already been shot.
“Yes, and not only that, but we filmed the next season already,” Rosenthal told TheWrap, when we asked if he was working on ideas for future episodes while stuck in quarantine. “We filmed Season 3 and 4 back to back. We filmed from August through the middle of January. So we got it in just under the wire. So Season 4 will come out in the fall or the winter. I don’t know what’s gonna happen beyond that, not just out in the world, but I don’t know if Netflix will want more episodes. And they’ll wait until way after Season 4 is even on to decide. That’s why it’s been two years between seasons almost. They take so long to decide anything. And the truth is, their business model is having new things all the time.”
He added: “They’re premiering like an average of three new things a day on Netflix. So rather than have a lot of episodes of existing series, they like just new series, so that when you turn on your Netflix you see the little thumbnail of the poster. And the more new stuff you see, the more you think you’re getting the bang for your buck. And I understand that. So all that to say, I have no idea what’s gonna happen with the show. Of course I want to do this for the rest of my life, only an idiot wouldn’t like to do it. And if I don’t do it there, I guess maybe I’ll try to do it elsewhere, but I then also have to see how the world is. I honestly believe we will get back to travel, because the moment there is a safe vaccine that works, we’re all gonna take it and we’re all gonna go.”
Yes, Phil wants you to stay positive about the future of the restaurant industry and tourism amid the coronavirus pandemic. And if you’re finding that hard to do while watching “Somebody Feeds Phil” and making mental notes of all the places you can’t currently go, the star has some words of wisdom for you:
“I want you to think about it like this. I’ve thought about it a lot, that people are sad about things they miss. And I understand that completely. Listen, I miss a lot of things, too, and I can’t wait for them to come back. But guess what? They will come back! So I want people to watch the show and get excited about making travel plans. The best thing that I get out of the show is people write to me and they say, ‘We planned our trip around this episode. And here we are eating where you ate and here’s where we’re doing what you did.’ That’s the greatest gift I could get back, is that I helped someone else have a good time. That’s the greatest thing. So watch now and make plans. You have time to plan! It gives you something to look forward to, because we all know the world is coming back, it’s just a question of when… Everything in life, it’s not just what happens to us. It’s how we deal with it, it’s how we look at it. And if we change our attitude, sometimes that’s the best thing. We can’t help what happens out in the world, but we can help how we react.”
“Somebody Feed Phil” Season 3 launches Friday on Netflix.