Below Deck Recap: Shut Your Porthole! [Episode 1]

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If you’ve ever dreamed of chucking it all away and sailing (well, yachting) the briny sea (well, some inlets at some fancy pants tourist spots in the Caribbean) then this is the show for you! Take off your boat shoes – only bare feet allowed on this bucket – and climb aboard the Ohana!

Having seen last season is not de rigueur for enjoying this season, since so many of last year’s crew seems to have gone overboard. But, two of our favorites are back! The ever sexy chef Ben who has some strange Brit/Aussie/Kiwi accent thing going on — does it really matter? He’s not American and that’s all we need to know – and Kat, with a “K” as in konniption, as in the kind of fit she throws when she’s soused.  (Note, dear reader, don’t email me — I had to come up with a “k” word because “k” words are funny, and yes, I know conniption is actually with a “c” but that’s not funny is it? Ok?) Oh. Eddie — Who? Obviously, he didn’t get drunk or sleep with anyone last year, so I don’t remember him — has returned, and “The Captain is back!” as Toni Tennille liked to sing. He is not attractive, funny, nice, nor does he have a cute accent. He’s your basic dullard whose personality compensation to act snotty. That’s his job. Zzzzzzz. Oh! And driving the boat! I mean piloting! I mean yacht! (I’ll learn these yachtee terms if it kills me!)

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Being the first episode this season with so many new people, not much happened plot-wise to float my boat. 😉 Early odds on favorite to be the human turd of the crew this season is a boy name Andrew, who is under the delusion that he is a) sexy and b) smart. Mostly, he spent the episode flirting with the rich old lady who hired the boat, an over-weight, wrinkled southern women who claimed her favorite food was chicken tenders. Ah, the rich are different than you and I. When he wasn’t engaging in this nausea-inducing behavior, he seemed to be hiding to keep from having to work. This greatly annoyed Kelley, an ex-marine.  I’m taking odds now on how long before Kelley sends Andrew permanently below deck. 

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Kelley’s sister, Amy is a non-entity thus far, and can only be credited with convincing Kelley to work the on board. I think she’s a fancy waitress and house cleaner.  They keep calling her a “steward” – still a maid to me. We’ll see if she develops a personality any time in the near future, as her past seems to include a previous tour of duty with Kat and some sort of falling out.  Is that the odor of heavy-handed hinting in the air? 

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An early favorite would have to be Kate, the chief maid – sorry, steward. A beauty in her younger years, tells us when she starting being a chief maid, she had “a jaguar, a small dog – I was the Paris Hilton of my little beach town. I thought yachting would be a fun way to meet a rich husband.” Obviously, that hasn’t happened.  Oh, she also seems to know a few variations of the name Kate, and tells us she likes to be called “Kate” and is saving the use of “Katherine” for her later years. When? Next month?

Jennice is a female deckhand. This is supposed to be something special, but as far as I can tell, the deckhands are just the outside maids, as opposed the stewards who are the inside maids. Her personality is as flat as the deck, so look forward to many “humorous” shots of Jennice falling under the weight of any heavy object she has to handle in the future.

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First task was for Ben to take some of the crew grocery shopping. During this excursion, we learn that Andrew does not understand the request for low-end and high-end water. Now, I’m no yachtee, but I would imagine the low end might be the generically named cheapest-ass water on the shelf, and the high-end water would be the most expensive-ass water on the shelf. Andrew can’t seem to figure this out, so we now know he’s not only full of himself, but thick as two bricks. (Bricks don’t float, do they? He could be in trouble.)

Next, everyone has to clean the ship. This is boring so I’ll skip it. I guess we’ll have to suffer through the cleaning again this season, since unlike The “Real Housewives,” these people can’t go shop for Louboutins can they? Basically, the cleaning involves a lot of polishing and hiding dirty stuff in closets. 

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The captain makes a big deal of gathering everyone around to read them the “rules on charter.” Kate tells us in her confessional that she loves rules – prescient perhaps? First rule, no drinking on board or you get a ticket home. (Well, that went well last season, didn’t it? Especially since Kat, the drunkard of the crew is back again.) Second rule, don’t tell the captain, “It’s not my job” because that will also earn you a ticket home. (Kat points out that the captain seems to have a lot of tickets this season and wonders if he’s opened a travel agency.) Third rule – aw, shucks, I forget. It’s not like these rules are going to matter anyway!

The first guests of the season arrive and they make Paula Dean look like the Queen of Sophistication. Wrinkled from too much southern sun, and sagging from too many years and not enough plastic surgery, this party is hardly the type of people you want to be stuck on a boat with for a few days. Suffice it to say they were loud before they started drinking, hated the sushi, and got even louder after drinking. Ben the chef notes that their taste is all in their mouths. He’s “absolutely horrified” by their food requests, and frankly, so am I. If you’re rich, can’t you afford high-end frozen dinners instead of mixing some crap with zesty Italian salad dressing? Menopausal Georgia, the “lady” who hired the party boat, spends her time talking about Andrew, who is young – 25 – but about as charming as a flounder. Is being serviced by the crew included in the price? I’ll have to check the captain’s rules on that one. The captain squashes the budding romance though, and Andrew tells us in his confessional that they will all regret the lower tip they’re going to get at the end because he wasn’t allowed to play hide the salami with Grandma.


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In between doing nothing, Andrew figures out how to open the porthole, and since his cabin is “Below Deck” as the title of the show implies, he doesn’t seem to realize how much water will get in the boat. Everyone gets involved in his faux pas, and cleans up the water. Like the corporal in “Apocalypse Now” who keeps saying “Never get outta the boat!” Andrew keeps repeating “Never open the porthole!” Hence, the title for this episode, “Shut the porthole!” Clever, huh?

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Que sera, sera! Now that the opener is out of the way, we can only hope Kat starts drinking and getting naked, and Ben bangs Kate, and Kelley beats the crap outta Andrew.  Tune in next week, kids!


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