Like a duck on water, from the surface you just don’t know what hard work is going on under the surface!
Come to think about it, there aren’t many reality TV shows which are based on one’s workplace? As if a camera crew followed me around while I was at work, it would be pretty boring right? Unless if you worked on a mega yacht based in the Caribbean!
Once again Netflix has purchased some early episodes of pre-aired/pre-loved reality TV shows from the early 2010s. This time it’s a series about a luxury yacht and it’s professional crew (while on charter), but oh-so-not professional when out of sight of their charter guests. And I guess this is what makes ‘Below deck’ so interesting to watch.
Over 11 episodes we follow the 11 crew members of the ‘Honour’ complete a season (6 weeks) at sea. On charter we meet Captain Lee (a no-nonsense grizzled seadog with some memorable one-liners); Chief Stewardess Adrienne (a well-meaning but unrespected boss of Sam and Kat); and Chef Ben (a quick Whitted suave Brit). And a host of other characters, too many to introduce individually.
As the mega yacht is 50m in length (160 feet) it costs an arm and a leg to rent (perhaps as high as $100K+ for 3 nights), so the guests they welcome on board are next level wealthy. With high expectations, with over-the-top requests, and oftentimes pretty poor behaviour. We watch the crew scramble around doing their guests’ bidding, watching chef Ben respond to dietaries, while trying to maintain this $20 million luxury yacht. No wonder after a while, you see friendships frayed, cat fight’s unfolding, and crew being disciplined by their section heads and/or by captain Lee. And you can kind of understand why, they’re living and working together week after week in confind conditions, and although they’re in a holiday setting but they aren’t on holidays and unable to let their hair out to relax for a moment. So much of the drama is focused on the crew pushing back on authority and individual’s disrespecting their seniors behind their backs- until those below deck/to camera footages are aired and the Captain sees what his crew really think of him. Awkward! And at the end of every charter, like a game show they reveal how much tips they have received from the guests, which encapsulated their efforts and how their guests value their experience. And let’s just say, some amounts were jaw dropping, while other amounts were laughable, which reflected badly on both the guest for their cheapness, and the crew’s lack of professionalism and service.
And like most of these shows, they have a reunion episode at the very end. Oftentimes they come back together months or even years after filming had concluded- and we have to witness these cringing moments when they see/confront each other for the first time since everything has been aired in public and there aren’t any secrets anymore. *Shudders*.
On the whole, below deck was interesting enough, it gave us an insight to a part of life which most of us are unfamiliar to, and who doesn’t like a bit of drama and friction between colleagues now and again? But when Netflix started to play season 2 immediately after completing season one! I had to order Google Home to stop it, as it was just too soon to return back to the waters just yet. If you’d like a sea-change from the usual Reality TV shows, give Below deck a go! It’s a breath of fresh air (be that a little salty), to start watching click HERE!