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Reason The premiere doesn't air until a few hours after publication time; we got a screener.


Should You Dip A Toe Into Below Deck Mediterranean?

Or are you (sea-)sick of the yachtie-strife franchise as it is?

What is this thing?

Below Deck -- the lives, loves, squabbles, and drunken blackouts of yachties -- but in Europe instead of the Caribbean.

So, kind of a blend of History's Mysteries, American Pickers, and 30 For 30.

When is it on?

Tuesdays at 9 PM on Bravo.

Why now?

The surprising -- at least to me; I adore hate-watching it but kind of can't believe it's had three seasons -- success of the parent show suggests that Bravo decided to try Million Dollar Listing-ing it to another venue.

What's its pedigree?

Identical to Below Deck: TOS, no doubt, plus Koosh-haired chef Ben Robinson is on the Ionian Princess for continuity/to show the noobs how a professional (shit-)talking-head is done.


It's...Below Deck, so it's the usual fishy-smelling buffet of competent, likable staff vs. obtusely clueless dingles overmatched by the very job description; beautiful dillweeds and their dumb tats; sexism; food that looks like vomit; ill-advised workplace hookups; a too-old-for-this-shit captain; stingy, tacky, unreasonable primary guests; and people in the service industry who resent having to serve said guests. Like the original, it's got all the ingredients for a classic feel-superior hate-watch and usually it's delicious.

It's hard to tell in a reality premiere how it's going to go hideously, watchably pear-shaped or who's going to end up the snotty villain of the season, but it's clear that third stew Tiffany, who's only there to learn the interior jobs on a boat so she can become better informed on the captain track, is going to struggle, and chief stew Hannah will struggle with her; that Jen, who has more experience as a deckhand than the others combined, will rightly object to bosun Bryan's chinless assumptions about her based on her gender while simultaneously acting an ethical fool; and that Ben has still learned absolutely nothing about how to make his own life easier on charter, whether it's understanding how to speak to the stews about serving to get the results he wants, or not believing that "it's my job to challenge my clients' palates."

Six-foot-five deckhand Bobby is cute and seems fun so far, though I could have done without the 180 wedgie he gave himself.


And if you thought the Mediterranean venue would mean classier clients, think again. This anus has never missed a Steelers game and is deeply consternated that the boat, which is at sea, in Europe, without cable, cannot as currently configured furnish American football.


His wife, the primary, requests a dessert based on the ingredients in her skin-care line, and does performative Pilates on the deck with a bikini "bottom" so far up her crack it's practically a hair elastic. They're the worst...until the next guests.


I miss the most interesting captain in the world, Lee Rosbach. Not sure Captain Mark has what it takes to become my spiritual "...fuck's sake" uncle.


Despite the camera crew's attempts to run me off with repellent close-ups of Ben's salmon frittata, I'm in.

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