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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the unscripted series Below Deck, which features the crew of a charter luxury yacht, has lots of drinking, crude sexual references, and people in their underwear. Some crew members swear like sailors, though stronger words are bleeped. Though there's some professionalism on the job, the drama of the show involves irresponsible behavior of the crew and the aftermath. The crew talks about drugs and on one occasion thinks they see the remnants of drug use. Teens may be drawn to the uniqueness of the lifestyle featured here, but the content is strong enough to make it an iffy option for tweens.
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What's the story?
BELOW DECK is a reality series featuring the crew of the Honor, a 164 ft. luxury Caribbean charter mega yacht. Cameras follow Captain Lee Rosbach and his crew, first officer Aleks Taldykin, chief stewardess Adrienne Gang, marine engineer C.J. Lebeau, deck hands Eddie Lucas and David Bradberry, and yacht stewardesses Kat Held and Samantha Orme, as they make sure everything is ship shape for the wealthy guests who charter the boat to the tune of $200,000-300,000 a weekend. Also joining them is Chef Ben Robinson, who has an unlimited budget for cooking up gourmet meals with the finest of ingredients. When clients are on board the crew is busy serving signature cocktails, cleaning decks, and making sure that their clients are completely satisfied. But after they disembark, these yachties get the chance to enjoy life on a yacht in the Caribbean while living in very close quarters.
Is it any good?
Below Deck features all the drama Bravo reality shows are known for, including illicit affairs, conflicts between co-workers, and lots of drinking. But what sets it apart is the uniqueness of the yachtie lifestyle, which requires a knowledge of -- and desire to -- offer high-level customer service in order to earn big tips, while following a chain of command and abiding by the strict rules of the boating industry. It also shows how yachties use the employment opportunity to experience a life they would otherwise never be able to afford.
These details are interesting, but the crew, which was hired specifically to serve under Captain Rosbach for the show, lacks the professionalism that one wants and/or expects to see when boarding any sort of boat, let alone a mega yacht. Some of the things that they are willing to do to earn their tips might also make you raise an eyebrow. It's not the sort of show you should tune into if you want to learn more about the charter boat industry, but it certainly offers a voyeuristic guilty pleasure.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about reality shows. Do reality shows have to offer a completely accurate portrayal of someone or something? Have you ever watched a reality show that didn't feel real at all?
What kind of impact does featuring folks drinking excessively on TV have on viewers? How can you lessen this impact on kids?