Apologies for whatever it is I may have said or done that gave Bravo the impression that I care for one second about maritime law, but it has to be said: I do not care about maritime law. And I know many Below Deck Mediterranean viewers agree. Of course, the message was not relayed in time for the Season 5 reunion, and Part 2 especially took advantage of shouting about the rules of the sea, making for a frankly boring docking of this tumultuous season.
Having unregistered drugs on a superyacht is dangerous business. This message has been reinforced for over two months since we watched the departure of chief stew Hannah Ferrier due to the unclaimed pen and Valium her former roommate Malia White reported to Captain Sandy. Much of the reunion was spent trying to catch Hannah in a lie about whether it was THC or CBD in the pen, but the real effort should’ve been spent figuring out why anyone would possibly care at all. It’s over, it’s done with, and we didn’t even like watching it happen in the first place, so we sure as hell aren’t enjoying this. That Captain Sandy and Malia were afforded another extended opportunity to climb up on their high horses and raise their voices about maritime law…misses the whole point of this show. LAW? What? We want to know who is making a mess and who is making out in the laundry room. Are the guests being obnoxious again? Did a crew member fall down on a night out from drinking too much? We’re here for that drama. Having to take the word of cast members about what language contracts do and do not include (because hello, we sure as hell aren’t reading those) is…not why anyone ever watches this show.
Say what you will about Hannah, but it is better to have a character that viewers love to hate, rather than one (or two…or three) that viewers simply dislike, even to the point of apathy, while gaining no substantial enjoyment or entertainment from watching them week after week. Hannah was ready to leave the show and the industry behind, that’s clear. But this was not the way to force her hand. And to then repeatedly make a super pregnant lady talk about the medication she had on board that led to her firing (which occurred a full calendar year ago) was painful for everyone involved and watching at home. At one point, as the letters THC and CBD are flying back and forth between the boxes on the screen, deckhand Rob Westergaard announced, “Imma check out, this is fucking ridiculous,” and TBH I thought about doing the same. No show has ever made me contemplate taking drugs more. It was an unnecessary back and forth that solved nothing and bored everyone. It was pure jealousy that I felt when Hannah was excused from Part 2 of the reunion yet the rest of us still had to witness Rob and Jess picking through their doomed relationship.
As only 2020 can do, this season of the Bravo series has been the first to ever be a supreme bummer. I always return to Season 3 of the series that found Hannah in conflicts about items such as one can of Coke and 50 Euros for cigarettes. This is the drama I live for and long for. But this year, the show dared us to enjoy watching the dismissal of the sweetest soul to ever set foot on reality TV, Chef Kiko. No thank you!
In a year where the concept and passage of time is a blur that means nothing, Season 5 stood out as way, way too long. It’s not that there wasn’t enough drama, but there certainly wasn’t enough good drama. Hell, I even yearn for the days of Lara the disruptive stew over this “Intro to Maritime Law” course I never signed up for. And despite being taped in September, six months into the norm that is virtual reunions, due to the crew’s worldwide locations, these episodes proved to be awfully bumpy, technologically speaking. A show like BDM often peaks mid-season, just when the tensions are high, but before the crew (and the viewers) are too tired to not care anymore. But this reunion did not feel like a fun summer relic, but more of a relief that it was finally over.
Again, nitpicking Hannah’s belongings, no matter how illegal they were, was boring and a bummer and once she left, there was little motivation to really hear what Tom & Malia and Rob & Jess had to say for their highly fractured relationships. The couples were never, at any point, ever as compelling as Hannah rolling her eyes at…well, anything and everything. Feel free to join me in waving goodbye to this season as it sails off into the sunset and we all take a big long drag from our weed pens.
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