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Below Deck: Anchors Go Away

by Rachel Stein July 1, 2013 11:01 pm
<i>Below Deck</i>: Anchors Go Away

Uninspiringly part of Bravo's tired formulaic "real look" at gross people in trendy subcultures, Below Deck follows at a generally good-looking group of employees who work on a luxury yacht in the Bahamas. Though the pilot proves that the cocaine-fueled, soiled-bathrobe-wearing photographer clientele are much more interesting than anyone who's profiled on the show, the boring crew who served them is who we're stuck with until the network docks this thing.

Seriously, "boring" doesn't even begin to cover the daily lives of Honor's team seen on the premiere, entitled "Cool Your Jets." The nine self-proclaimed "yachties" (ugh) we've met -- with the exception of the grizzled old captain, Lee -- have absolutely nothing interesting to say, do or whine about... and yet, here we are. You can see the show transparently setting up possible dramatic situations (Long distance significant others! Stark rules! Tense hierarchy! Co-ed sleeping arrangements! BOOZE!) for Ben, C.J., Dave, Eddie, Sam, Kat, Aleks (second ugh) and Adrienne, but it's not a positive sign that the only thing of remote interest in the pilot was when doe-eyed second steward Kat found a baggie of cocaine and a rolled-up dollar bill inside of a cabin, leading the gang to essentially take their customers hostage (in the most awkward way imaginable) and back to port.

I guess my question about Below Deck is whether the drama is supposed to come from the guests. If so, I'm pretty much always down to see ridiculously wealthy jerks piss their money away on luxury crap and act fairly blasé about doing recreational drugs -- it's just plain American, dammit -- but then why do we need to have so much background info on Honor's crew? It's clear that we're supposed to be interested on the upstairs-downstairs nature of the series, but the appeal in the stars is yet to be seen... unless you like extreme arrogance, conversations about dog genitalia, needless one-upmanship, phrases like "eye-rape" and women who talk about how tall they are, but don't appear to be particularly big on-screen (or was Sam's 6-foot frame obvious to everyone but me?) -- in which case, this will be nothing short of your dream show. Personally, I'll stick with my memories of The Love Boat and leave it at that.

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