Monday, September 19, 2016

I spent yesterday binge watching Below Deck...

I think I discovered Bravo's reality show Below Deck sometime in early 2015.  Below Deck is about young, good looking people who work on chartered luxury yachts.  I quickly got hooked on the show, as I do when I have limited TV access, and binged watched two seasons worth.  Then I forgot about the show.

Last week, while trying to pass the time, I noticed that Below Deck had more episodes available.  Indeed, they have just started a new season.  I started watching.  Yesterday, since it was cold, rainy, and depressing outside and I was feeling kind of icky, I parked myself on our futon and watched...

I find the show oddly compelling for a few reasons.  Believe it or not, it kind of reminds me of when I worked at a church run summer camp.  That was a job that required everyone to live where we worked.  Days were long and exhausting.  We rarely got time off.  The intense work was only for twelve weeks, though.  Then it was over.  It seems that the yachting business is kind of the same way.  You work your ass off for some weeks, make lots of tip money (which we didn't get at church camp), then go on your merry way.

Most of the people on the Below Deck yachts are young and gorgeous.  They're often horny and want to party and they do.  We at church camp were the same way, though we were fairly limited in what we could do out in the wilderness.  There was a lot of hooking up at the camp, though.  It was a lot of fun and I left that job having made some good friends who remain friends to this day.

Another reason I like Below Deck is because I like luxury cruising.  However, I have to admit that watching the show is a reminder that the really excellent service and friendliness of crew members is mostly driven by the perceived promise of a good tip.  And since most of the people working on the yachts on Below Deck are Americans, the drive to get a good tip is especially intense and, frankly, kind of disheartening.

But then... I have worked a a waitress myself and I understand the drive to make money in the service industry.  Waiting tables is very hard work.  It's actually a lot harder than a lot of people realize.  You have to learn how to be fast and efficient and think on your feet.  You have to put up with people who are shockingly rude.  When you are living and working on a luxury yacht that people have paid tens of thousands of dollars to charter, the work becomes even more intense.  On the other hand, I watched one episode in which the staff replaced mint for a mojito with what they said was basil (it looked more like cilantro to me) and mint extract.  I figure if your guests are spending so much money to be on the yacht, the least you can do is have some mint.  And if you don't have mint, don't lie and say you do.

So yeah... I like Below Deck.  I guess I'm getting old, though, because I realized yesterday that I was getting a little annoyed by the language on that show.  There really is a lot of cussing, which I understand on one level due to the nature of the work.  But half of the words are bleeped out, which becomes tiresome after awhile.  And sometimes, the bleepers mess up and let things slide.  I don't really care if I hear the word "shit", though I wish they were consistent about the bleeping.  Frankly, I wish American TV would just let people express themselves.  Bleeping is annoying, especially since it's pretty obvious what is being said anyway.

I didn't feel very well yesterday.  I was tired and my stomach was upset.  It was raining outside.  I sat in and watched trashy television, just like I would if we were back in the States.  Bill watched with me, as did Arran, my TV buddy.  Zane spent the day buried under the covers on our bed.  The weather is changing, just like it does every September in Germany.  It magically goes from sunny and warm to cold and rainy.  There will be snow before we know it.  I'm actually glad to see the weather change.  I love autumn.

Zane is supposed to have his surgery this Thursday, but the cyst that had me all concerned has shrunk down to almost nothing.  I'm trying to decide if I still want the vet to remove the cyst.  I probably should just go on and get it done, since it'll probably just fill up again and get me all worried.



  1. I'd probably like "Below Deck," (I've never seen it), but I have little background on which to base my watching of the show with never having been on a cruise.

    We should've been cruise employees, Knotty. We're cutish and have musical talent. We could wait tables and help with the live entertainment. We may have missed our calling.

    I've never really worked in the service industry. In playing piano or organ at weddings, funerals, or other functions, while one may be serving the public, the musician usually interacts with few people.

    In some ways a doctor is almost more in the service industry. Yes, it' a profession and all, but in the end, you keep your clientele happy or you have no clientele. You don't get much in the way of tips, though. And I hear that salaries are going to get worse for doctors, although I doubt that it's to the extent that people should feel sorry for us.

    I don''t see many movies at all, so I'm wondering about one. Have you seen "Sully"? If so, was it worth seeing?

    1. Actually, I am reading Sully's book right now. There could be a review tomorrow.

  2. Off Topic Question; Jonbenet Ramsey is coming back into the news, I supposed because of the 15th anniversary. I don't remember the 10th anniversary being such big deal. Do you have any gut feelings about the case?

    1. I guess it's actually the 20-year anniversary, not the 5th. That makes a little more sense in terms of the big deal being made of it again.

      The guy who confessed John Mark Karr or whatever his name was - reminded me a bit of a familiar person in cyberspace.

    2. I was in Armenia when that was going on. I did read some books, though. Hard to believe twenty years have passed.


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