Reality TV Time: Below Deck Mediterranean

My travel-buddy-for-life XFE and I just got back from a soccer roadtrip through the South, which was basically 3,000 miles of varying degrees of traffic and highways broken up by stops for soccer (go Tottenham), kitschy tourist locales (I’d never been to South of the Border, but I have now), barhopping at country honkytonks (Nashville might be my new favorite place ever), ice cream from gas stations (literally, every day) and tons of Southern food (hello pimento cheese)—all in all, pretty dang awesome.

But before we start down that 3,000 mile road, can we please just talk for a minute about Below Deck: Mediterranean? Because the reunion is tonight and I. Have. Thoughts.

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First of all, killing me with those beautiful Croatian backdrops there, Bravo.

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We went to Croatia in 2013, including Split and Dubrovnik, which are both prominently featured on the show. It was amazing to see the same medieval streets again on the TV screen and it really, really made me want to go back.

Nighttime in Split, Croatia
One of our 2013 photos

In fact, there was one scene where they went to pick up some guests from their hotel right outside of Split instead of at the dock. And wouldn’t you know it, they were actually picking up the guests from the same hotel we had stayed at, Le Meridien Lav (scene of the infamous French fry décor).

So yes. Killing me. Making me want to book another trip immediately.

But, more importantly, I think this was probably my favorite season of Below Deck. And that’s because I felt like this season really shined a light on the social hypocrisy that exists when it comes to gender stereotypes.

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Love triangle, cruising style.

You already know what I’m talking about. There is, of course, the Malia-Adam-Wes love triangle. I cannot believe how much grief that poor girl got. And for what? For casually dating/getting to know two guys and figuring out which one she might like? Guys do this all the time and no one bats an eye about it. In fact, I believe Mr. Andy Cohen has a whole other show on one of the main networks where contestants date (and sometimes even kiss) three different people in the course of a week!

I was also very shocked that it wasn’t just the aggrieved, jilted Adam who was giving Malia grief. It was the other male deckhands and even the female stews. Hey ladies, how about you stop clutching your pearls over whether Malia is kissing two grown men and giving Malia a high-five for evening up the score a bit. #sistersdoingitforthemselves

Below Deck M

And Adam, maybe you should go check out this museum in Zagreb dedicated to broken relationships. You could have a good cry, donate that hat you lent to Malia, and then maybe some healing can begin.

Below Deck Mediterranean in Croatia
Same street in Split we were on.

I’m actually more bothered by the fact that they’re all co-workers. I’m a firm believer that you should not poop where you eat and dating co-workers falls into that category, which is why I’ve never dated a co-worker. (I’ve also never dated a boss and Wes was a blind idiot for making Malia his second-in-command over Bobby, who clearly has more experience).

Then there’s the whole Hannah-passenger-Jason and Bobby-passenger-Paola business. Again, do I think any of them should be smooching on passengers/clients? No, absolutely not. But the hysteria that surrounded Hannah’s transgression compared to the virtual shrugging of the shoulders when Bobby lurked (multiple times!) on his Tinder match (dude, what are you doing checking Tinder when you don’t even have the night off?) was so annoying and hypocritical.

Hannah and Jason on Below Deck
I will give you credit, Hannah: If you’re going to break the rules, a good-looking millionaire is probably a good route to take.

Even Max admitted to how hypocritical his reaction towards the exact same situation involving crew getting involved with clients was when Bobby went creeping downstairs to get a smooch from a girl who may or may not have been a paid companion of the primary.

jerry and some of his ladies
Jerry the charter primary and some of his..ahem…guests.

Anyway, it was a great season and hopefully, there will be more discussion of this sexist hypocrisy business at tonight’s reunion. After all, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander, right? Or, as the Croatians say: Velike ribe male proždiru (big fish devour the small. I’m not sure that actually applies here, but I wanted to include a Croatian proverb).

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Bobby learning how to use an iPad (with an assist from the more tech-savvy Bugsy).

 

Friday Links: Snow Art and Snatched Crowns Edition

snow penis
Nobody said this was a family-friendly blog.
  • Airline workers kill time by drawing a giant dick next to one of their planes. This actually sums up perfectly how I feel about winter. Plus it reminds me of the infamous “Below Deck” episode where the chief steward made blanket art in the shape of a penis but insisted it was a misinterpreted rocket ship. Man, I miss that show.
  • But guess what IS coming back!! Get your sweet tea iced and set your Tivo’s for March 9 for a preview episode, and March 16 for the full “Southern Charm” assault on the senses, y’all.
  • The Chief Jefe of Poe Communications and Mattress Merchandising Inc., and my personal-boss-for-life XFE has always wanted to stay at an ice hotel. I prefer not to sleep with my teeth chattering throughout the night. So just for him and his thwarted dreams, here’s a roundup of ice hotels by OMGFacts.
  • It’s hard to drag yourself out of bed when it’s 6 a.m. and 17 degrees. It’s even harder when you’re bed is heavenly. The ladies at Cardigans and Couture know: It’s all about the bed. We actually have the same mattress (Westin’s Heavenly mattress) and it is pretty awesome.
  • Following up on the Christmas break wine heist at the French Laundry, Central Texas has a brisket bandit on the loose. No word on if they prefer the “packer” or the “flat” cut.
  • Required reading for our cat, Petunia: Neurotic people probably make pretty great pet owners, according to a new study on overbearing pet parents. Now get over here and let me smother you with hugs and kisses.
  • My favorite story of the week: A Brazilian beauty pageant runner-up snatched the crown right off the winner’s head. (Oh yes, there’s a video. Things get catty around the 1:50 mark. The crowd goes wild). And she’s not sorry about it at all, as you can tell by this amazingly awesome quote in a Brazilian newspaper: “What I did was not on impulse, [it] was to show Manaus, Brazil and the world, that money cannot buy everything. I didn’t do it for me but for other candidates … She didn’t deserve the title.”

Reality TV Time: Drama on Board – Bravo’s ‘Below Deck’ and Soccer

My main sleeping buddy XFE (Petunia is merely backup) is back from his father-son golfing trip, and I’m thrilled. Finally, someone to cook for me and make me laugh. Petunia is useless in the kitchen and her jokes are pretty lame.

For example: What did the calico say to the bowl of food? Crunch.

Petunia Garbo

I mean, come on.

But at work, I’m still Head Bitch in Charge (HBIC) for another full week (ok, to be fair, I’m HBIC over myself and maybe the intern) and to quote Adrienne from Bravo’s “Below Deck” ‘Heavy is the head that wears the crown.’ Which, by the way, is a misquote. It should be “Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown,” but, since Adrienne does have a fairly big-headed sense of importance, I’m sure her head is quite heavy. Or, perhaps she was quoting the other Shakespeares of our time, Limp Bizkit.

adrienne on Below Deck

“Below Deck,” by the way, is an absolute reality TV delight – it’s got prescription drug abuse, binge drinking, co-worker hookups, and catty Mean Girl alliances. Its “Love Boat” meets “Princesses of Long Island,” and I’m loving it. (Actually, I’m giving “Princesses” too much credit. That show was total crap. Horrible. And not in a good way. Just, really, really bad.)

“Below Deck”even has an entire episode that was apparently so shocking, it was set adrift or made to walk the plank or some other sea-worthy comparison. What I’m saying is: it’s completely disappeared off the face of the earth.

Episode 3 is allegedly about the erstwhile crew of the sea vessel Honor (that’s the name of the yacht. Oh irony. How you please me.) going out and sourcing…um, “young ladies”…. to lure back to the boat to entertain the charter made up of sleezy young men. And one of the “young ladies” who stayed overnight was not a lady at all, if you catch my drift.

dude

We cannot find this episode anywhere. Not only is it not available On Demand (while all the other episodes are), but it does not appear during any of the many multi-episode blocks that run on Bravo pretty much every day of the week. It’s also not listed on Bravo’s official episode guide. Nope, it just jumps from Episode 2 (It’s Not Easy Being Green) to Episode 4 (Luggage, Luggage Everywhere.) And, it’s not available on Amazon, despite all the other episodes being available.

The missing episode is, of course, likely available other places on the Internet, but I just find it all very, very intriguing.

Speaking of transvestites, we went to a soccer game this weekend. No, that was not a good transition at all, but I couldn’t come up with any other way to seque into a conversation about what we did this weekend. So. There you go.

Oh, actually, I did just think of something better: On “Below Deck,” one of my favorite characters is the chef, Ben. He’s funny, sarcastic, and British. Speaking of Brits, we went and saw a Chelsea play AS Roma this weekend.

Yes. Much better.

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I wanted to cheer on Chelsea, because (1) I had a brief stint of living in London and (2) well, Made in Chelsea, obviously.

However, we only have Roma gear since we’ve actually been to a Roma game.

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Plus, the Italian soccer players are just so awesomely dramatic. Whenever anyone from Chelsea even grazed or brushed up against a Roma player, the Italian would fall to the ground clutching his ankle/shin/knee, and roll around until the medical crew ran out and misted them in the face with a water bottle, at which point the injured player would jump up and limp back into their position. It’s all very “As the Soccer Ball Turns.”

You’ve got to love the acting, if not the playing.

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With all this in mind, we cheered on AS Roma. Who then, of course, lost after having the lead at the half.

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Like any sore losers, we declared bad officiating. XFE even loudly proclaimed at the top of his lungs that the “referee’s mother was a Chelsea whore” at one point. It was very in keeping with the Italian soccer dramatics. I’m pretty sure all the Chelsea fans at the game (we were outnumbered by about 10-1) mistook us for Italian natives after that little outburst.

Soccer 003

Or, perhaps they watch “Below Deck” and assumed we’d taken too much anxiety medication.