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Since landing on Netflix earlier this year, everyone’s been talking about reality TV show phenomenon, Below Deck.
Originally launched in 2013 on American channel Bravo, the show follows the personal and professional lives of crew members on board a superyacht during charter season.
With high standards to maintain and demanding guests, as well as romances, gossip and arguments, the show is full of drama and entertainment, revealing the ups and downs of life below deck – in the most exaggerated way possible.
Viewers around the world have expressed how “obsessed” they are with the show and demanded release dates for further seasons since Netflix introduced it to a wider audience recently, while others admitted it to be their “guilty pleasure”.
The Guardian, in the UK, described the show as “Downton Abbey on the water”, which hints at the type of portrayal the show offers into the life of yacht crew. It makes great viewing, but doesn’t necessarily offer the truest reflection of working life on board.
Interestingly, some crew members involved have expressed mixed opinions about taking part in the show.
Ben Robinson, one of the featured chefs, said, “It would cost you about a quarter of a million bucks to even step foot on that boat and watching it is basically free. It is the ultimate reality show.”
Season one’s chief steward, Adrienne Gang, said, “I wanted to make sure that the first representation my friends and family saw of my career on television wasn’t a drunken monkey show. That made me more stressed out than anybody else and that definitely comes across.
[the producers] knew from the beginning that they wanted to make me the bitch everybody loved to hate. They did some really tricky, manipulative things to make sure that there was opposition, like amping us up on purpose before we would go into our one-on-one interviews by saying, ‘Oh, you would not believe what Kat said about you,’ and she had never said it.”
Captain Sandy Yawn sees it as a positive for the yachting industry by advertising it to attract talent and for showing owners the work of their staff.
Two seasons of Below Deck are currently available on Netflix, but there have been more seasons released in America, as well as numerous spin-off shows. These include a Mediterranean special, which is even more dramatic.
With an eighth season of Below Deck to be released soon, as well as a sixth season of Below Deck Mediterranean and a potential second season of Below Deck Sailing Yacht, the franchise shows no signs of slowing down.
If you binge-watched Selling Sunset this year, Below Deck should definitely be on your watch list!
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