The Yachting Industry can stand down now that Below Deck has finished its Season 2 run. Despite the grumblings of unsavory crew portrayals and a lack of professionalism, it was actually an improvement, at least in a measure against last season. Less explanation, new details and just maybe some flutter of emotional resonance even with the usual character clash formula.
In some ways that is the true test of a reality tv show, somehow cajoling the viewer to care about the cast outside their pure entertainment or spectacle value. It seems every viewer has an opinion on Kate. The whole Jennice and Kelley thing pulled of a nice little invert. And Amy came off so sympathetic, one can’t help but feel she was working something. Seeing the usually composed Ben lose it? That might have been the most humanizing of all.
Though the real question is what else might there be in those 500 or however many hours of footage they captured? Was Season 2 as aired the best story in all the evidence? Which just makes one wonder further what might have happened rather than the content that filled out so many highly semaphored plot lines?
It’s doubtful there will be a Season 3 unless the productioncost is so low and the possibility of Real Housewives or cross over synergies enter the equation. Moving out of the Caribbean or getting more of the travel element into it would definitely add something. If anything the show just drives home the point that workplace drama is the norm and that service at the top is the fine line fine between profession and obsession. Yachting is an owners game. Chartering is in a way like the Below Deck series itself, enjoyable and exciting but not something you need to keep doing, an amusing little window shop into the leisure time of the monied class.
Chef Ben summed it up best in referring to a season or a particular crew as a good book. Below Deck approached the notion and the viewers seemed to appreciate this. That there is something more than what has been seen, the book is always better than the show and the only thing better than the book is the crazy reality of all those folks out there ploughing the water, scarcely believing any of the non stop. If there is one thing Below Deck might have gotten right it is not entirely getting it right, leaving a little lore and excitement of one of the most adventurous jobs out there. No real crew will probably explain it whether because they want to savor the memories or a non-disclosure agreement; all you’ll get from the deckhand standing by the passerelle is that he can neither confirm nor deny what little you’ve seen on tv.