I cannot begin to express how excited I am about this new season of Below Deck. I religiously watched the first three seasons of BelowDeckOG (BD-OG) and while I’m disappointed we won’t get any Captain Lee, Kate, Amy, & Eddie, I’m thrilled that at least ChefBen will the cross-over castmate for this season.
For this charter, the cast also includes: Captain Mark, Bosun Bryan, deckhands- Bobby, Danny, and Jen (I love how there’s always a female deckhand on BelowDeck), Chief Stew Hannah, 2nd Stew Julia, and 3rd stew Tiffany. Stray observations- Bobby looks like a more fit Matthew Lillard, Julia’s last name is frequently mispronounced as “pussy”, Tiffany is a scientist (which means she’s going to think she’s too good for her job), and in a teaser clip, Jen calls herself the most experienced deckhand on the boat and she is clearly frustrated with being relegated to the “girl jobs” which she deems as too easy.
ChefBen shows up to the boat first and he is very excited to be working on a yacht in the Med. Ben got his culinary training in Italy, which has a similar feel, food wise to what he will be working with in Greece, and he feels that the older he gets, the more knowledgeable he becomes. Ben is a pompous asshole who loves himself, good food, and blondes (in that order), but I adore him.
ChiefStewHannah arrives next and she has a real Kat from BD-OG look to her which means that Ben is automatically interested. Hannah has been working in the Med for the last 5 years so she is very comfortable, if not bored already, with this setting. Hannah learns from Captain Mark that the charters will begin tomorrow which Hannah calls “unheard of” in a talking head. Usually boat’s get about a month of prep time before picking up guests so she and the other stews have a busy night ahead of them.
2ndStewJulia arrives and we get our first look around the boat as she takes a tour with Hannah. Both girls are shocked to see how old and outdated the yacht is, as am I. The décor is a bucket of yuck and “tacky” doesn’t even begin to come close. My theory on this is that the only boat owners in the med who would agree to lending their yacht to a reality show are the kind of people who think gold swans spewing out bathwater equals class. What’s that song from the Countess? Yeah, you know the one…
Bryan arrives and meets Captain Mark who we see in a video package used to have a real Burt Reynolds pornstache. Why the clean shave, Cap’t Mark? Turns out, the boat already has a Bosun who is Greek, but the Captain wants a clearer line of communication between himself and the staff so he offers Bryan the position of First Mate, which is appears to be a promotion but I know squat all about boats so I have no idea how big of a deal that is.
Deckhands Bobby and Danny arrive and Danny tells us that he’s only been yachting for about 6 months and Bobby has been a fireman for the last 10 years before getting into yachting. Bobby is hot, but has a super dorky laugh and is an unapologetically nerdy dude. Danny is also hot, but small. Julia and Hannah call him “pocket rocket”, before learning from Jen that that means a small woman’s vibrator. What did Julia and Hannah think it meant?
The whole group gathers in one of the most obscenely garish rooms I’ve ever seen for a staff meeting. Remember that commanding presence that Captain Lee had? And how he could say so much by saying so little? Captain Mark is no Captain Lee. He struggles with his opening speech about communication and tending to the guests, stumbling over his words and fumbling with props. Otherwise he seems like a nice dude.
The provisions arrive and because the outside of the boat (The Ionian Princess, btw) looks pretty good, the deckhands jump in to help the interior crew put everything away and sorted before the next day’s charter.
LadyDeckhandJen has had 7 years of experience in yachting which is more time than the rest of the guys combined. Bryan gives a quick speech to his crew about following orders and Jen has that look that people get when they feel they know more than their superior. Sidenote- Jen is a lesbian who thinks Hannah looks like Jennifer Lawrence but with bigger boobs.
Speaking of ladydeckhands, Tiffany was most recently a Deck/Stew who accepted this position as 3rd stew in order to get more yachting experience because her goal is to eventually become a Captain. Tiffany was a Marine biologist but traded in her wetsuit for a pair of khakis after a few bad winter storms on research boats. Hannah is immediately put off when Tiffany admits to preferring deckhand work over a job as a stew and is concerned about having a member of her staff who doesn’t even want the job. Other possibly relevant information- Julia is working on boats as a means to supplement her income from the fashion line she started, and she has a boyfriend back home. Also, Hannah is a high school dropout who was told she wouldn’t amount to anything, which only motivated her to work her ass off on her first charter. After that, she was offered a Chief Stew position at the start of her second charter, which is pretty impressive.
Upstairs, the heads of the crew (Ben, Hannah and Bryan) are prepped on the charter guests by Captain Mark. The Primary (aka the charter guest who is paying for the whole shebang) is a woman named Christine who runs a skincare line. Christine and her husband, as well as two other couples, want Ben to make a dessert that incorporates the flavors of her skin cream (huh?) and their one big demand is to watch the Steelers game that will air at 3am. Hannah isn’t worried about getting the game streamed in and says that request can’t be any more difficult than finding the dozen or so hookers her previous bosses have requested. Really? Because I’d think there are way more hookers in Greece than there are tv channels in the Mediterranean that air American football games.
The guests arrive, Hannah shows them around the boat (the Primary thinks the marble is beautiful which I think says a lot about her), and Bryan talking heads that this is the first time he will be working with a female deckhand and says he’s used to yelling at the guys and cursing. Something tells me Jen is quite comfortable with that, and will likely be doing some yelling and cursing of her own this season.
Bryan and Bobby are on the deck talking about the girls on the boat. The consensus is that Julia is the hot one (Bobby calls her combination of brown hair and blue eye akin to finding a unicorn), and Bryan is thankful to be working with hot girls since he’s worked on boats before with some “real heifers”. Boo, Bryan. Boo. YOU KNOW YOU’RE BEING FILMED. AT LEAST PRETEND TO BE A DECENT PERSON.
The charter starts off well enough with the guests enjoying the typical yachting experience (waverunners, lots of booze, and even a prime view of a naked old man on a passing yacht). The crew seems to be getting along and things are moving smoothly until Hannah attempts to solve the Steelers game streaming problem. The satellite cable on the boat isn’t airing the game and she doesn’t have much time to get this worked out, even with the deckhand guys trying to help as well.
So, file this under “Things Liz Knew Would Happen” – Tiffany is pissed off because she’s Very, Very Smart but is stuck cleaning toilets. Tiffany reminds me of that super annoying girl from season 1, (Sam?) who felt like she was better than everyone and above doing her job. It pains me that Sam never had Kate as her Chief Stew, because I have a feeling Kate would have either whipped her ass into shape or tossed her overboard. #IMissKate.
I don’t care if you used to be a rocket scientist or a brain surgeon, you accepted a position as the third level rank stewardess so suck it up and do your job. The other crew member who is already starting things off annoyed is Jen who can already tell that even though she has the most experience, the guys are getting preferential treatment. Jen has a leg to stand on here, but Tiffany is just being a whiner. Tiffany also tells Hannah around 10pm that she’s going to bed, instead of asking or waiting until Hannah relieves her. Not cool, Tiff…not cool
Upstairs, the first course Ben serves is a flaming local Greek cheese and my mouth waters immediately. After a quick mishap with the brandy not lighting on fire, the guests are happy and deem the course a success. Ben also made moussaka as his main course which does not go over as well. Moussaka is a polarizing dish, and one that I don’t like either, but multiple cast members tweeted about how great Ben’s moussaka is so it’s not that it wasn’t made well. Ben is also miffed that Hannah didn’t really sell the dish, and I agree with him. She barely knew how to describe it and all I’m saying is, BD-OG’s Kate would never have done that.
Hannah talking heads that Ben needs to talk more responsibility for what he’s done wrong, but denies that she’s played any part in this issue. Ultimately, Ben maybe should have figured out that serving a heavy dish after an appetizer of fried cheese may not have been the best call for a boat full of fitness-centered guests, but Hannah didn’t even know that it was lamb and eggplant, instead telling the guests they were eating beef and vegetables. So if you’re going to whine about someone not taking responsibility, maybe take a good hard look in the mirror.
Aaaaand clearly my loyalties lie with Ben, who is looking forward to redeeming himself with the dessert he has prepared. The Primary requested a dessert that incorporated the flavors of her skin care line, so Ben has prepared a green tea panna cotta with coconut caramel and a scoop of coffee ice cream. It looks delicious, and Ben shares the guest’s praise with the stew-staff.
The next morning, little Miss Experience hasn’t woken up in time for her 6am deck shift and Danny is highly annoyed. Danny promises not to rat Jen out, but says if he’s asked directly what happened, he won’t lie to Bryan. Bryan arrives and is disappointed by how little has been done so far.
Low and behold, Bryan DOES ask Danny directly what time Jen got there, and Danny turns beat red, so Bryan turns to Jen to asks her himself. Jen says she was only “5-10 minutes” late, which is obviously a crock of shit, but even that small amount of tardiness is unacceptable to Bryan. I agree. 15 minutes early is on time, and on time is late. Jen’s super mad that Danny didn’t cover for her and is pissed that he has “morals and isn’t comfortable lying”. Huh…looks like we have two ladies that are in the running for The Worst, so far.
Hannah is on a mission to find a local pub that will stream the game and I wish her the best of luck with that seemingly impossible task. The Primary’s husband has never missed a Steelers game and Hannah knows the whole crew’s tip is in danger if she doesn’t deliver. But sadly we will have to wait a week to see if she manages to find a bar with an owner she can bribe to open at 3am to show the game.
The first episode for Below Deck is always the weakest one and this is no exception. The cast is mostly new to us and a lot of the episode is dedicated to cleaning and getting things ready, but I think there is some promise with this cast (even if I desperately miss Kate).
Until next week,
Recap written by Liz