Getting Ben(t) On Below Deck Med
The guests get lit up, Julia melts down, and Danny's gonna Danny. Who's the worst this week?
Thanks so much to my esteemed colleague Jordan Veilleux for filling in for me with these fools last week. The image of Ben as Mrs. Garrett, Third-Floor Resident Advisor will never leave me.
Neither will the mental picture gifted to all of us by the guests this week: a bloody tampon just slung onto the floor. Not the bathroom floor, either. Onto carpet in the master bedroom. I don't often feel like the guests have marching orders from Production to act in a certain way -- Towel Peen Guy is one notorious exception -- but the show may have tipped its hand with these primaries, whose complaining about the slowness of the service is too incessant to be credible. I absolutely buy that they're classless drunk slobs, which is why I don't entirely buy that one of them would have "craved" a croissant that then just happened to touch off a big below-stairs dramz between Julia and Ben.
And that whole thing's just weird, too. Now we have a class clash? Now Julia's hit her limit with Ben's "overreacting," which we really haven't seen? And if this is just an excuse to shoehorn Ben's famous dad into the proceedings and show some pics of Princes William and Harry, it's a big who-cares on this couch.
Who's the biggest Below Dick this week? Let's count 'em down.
- Captain Mark
The barely perceptible "...trayyyysh" eye-cut when a primary asks for a crewmember to accompany them on the ATV outing so that they can keep drinking is gold. He's a supportive manager to Hannah when the guests complain about her bitchface, too.
The flirting with Ben would be a bit sad, but she doesn't seem that invested in whether it works, and her sangfroid in the face of revolting guest effluvia is aspirational.
You think she wonders why she's even on the show? Because I kind of do, since with the exception of the Knots Landing subplot and talking-heads about not wanting Danny to drag her down with him, it seems like Jen's barely onscreen. When she is onscreen, however, she's slagging Bryan in fine style, so: no real objection.
She does pull stankfaces at the guests, but 1) they earned it, 2) Hannah is "kind of disappointed in" herself for letting them get to her, and 3) she's there for Julia and Ben respectively during their meltdowns, without picking sides. The lofty "I'm just not used to Americans" is a bit much -- the previous charter, her pets, were Americans too, I believe -- but she has quite an impressive week under the circs.
Ben gets out in front of acting like an "arrogant twat" by describing himself that way, and his dismissive "And?" response to the croissants thing is unfortunate, but it's no worse than anything else he's said, especially compared to last week's in-line edits of Julia's spoken grammar. No, pointing out that Julia's responding to him from an overtired place isn't productive, but...he's not wrong; she is overtired. Everyone is. It's the crying about the perception of him as a posh snob that's the worst look, IMO.
Definitely overreacting to Ben due to exhaustion and cabin fever, but we've all been there. Manages not to let the guests break her, though, and who can disagree with "I don't think people like that should be allowed to have money"?
Son, butt out re: Danny, seriously. We get it. You want him to get fired. How about you stand pat and let him get that done himself? Because he really doesn't need the help, and Team Bryan isn't cute.
"Danny, I'm rooting for you, but please, stop talking about Instagram and accept that you no longer have a phone." - Veilleux, last week. This week, Danny is harping on the phone thing in every single scene: asking Bryan to ask the captain about it; asking the captain himself (and then, having "negotiated" -- read: "worn Captain Mark down" -- to get it back, tailing Mark to the bridge right that second to retrieve it); sulking that he can't Instagram anything on the ATV jaunt; having a guest put her digits in it. The look-good-feel-good-viiiiiibe's-good patter is so frickin' painful, I can't even, and I've defended the kid, but a kid he stubbornly remains, showing off a text from the Tilted Kilt girl while his coworkers openly roll their eyes at him. FIGURE IT OUT, DUDE.
That I can't even enjoy his use of the term "turdburger" tells you everything you need to know about this self-regarding prick.
- The guests
Even if I suspect that Production suggested they amp the untidy entitlement...they should have refused, because deliberately torturing tip-dependent staff is cruel and classless. And I went to all-girls' school, and tampon terrorism does exist.