We don’t know a lot about Mathew Shea yet, except that he’s anxiety-prone enough to shirk his responsibilities when over-whelmed. The Below Deck Mediterranean chef feigned a knee injury to get out of cooking for the first charter. And that’s just Mathew professionally, though when he sticks around long enough to prepare a meal, it’s fantastic. First impressions of him during the crew night out brought on a “creepy uncle” vibe for Third Stew Courtney Veale. Then there was that “throuple” comment.
So Mathew isn’t invoking the best first impressions in any sense of the word. But it’s early in the season. We don’t know what kind of man he is, but he is one to call out another one to step up to his responsibilities. It’s interesting how these yachties’ lives tend to intertwine.
Congratulations are in order for 51 Minds Entertainment. After eight seasons of the Bravo hit Below Deck, the production company can finally celebrate an Emmy nomination for the show. A well-deserved recognition for a program that spawned a franchise and is Bravo’s highest rated among viewers in a demographic spanning 18-to-49 year olds.
Below Deck premiered in 2013. After its immediate success, Below Deck Mediterranean aired its first season in 2016. Fledgling Below Deck Sailing Yacht is only two seasons in after its inception in early 2020. The franchise has marketed and presented to the consumer a unique look at life in the yachting industry. And it’s as if the drama is right there, on tap, and it’s just a matter of catching the moment and branding it correctly. It has worked for eight seasons, and finally the Television Academy is giving recognition.
As more and more Below Deck cast members progress through different stages of land-life, us fans will be able to reconnect with some familiar faces. And isn’t it nice to see some happy, ecstatic brides-to-be or pregnancy bumps on social media? But most alums slip from our minds, like Below Deck Mediterranean Season One deck hand Danny Zureikat, being hauled off on a donkey after a disastrous performance onboard. Of course, production likely prefers casting fresh faces each season. Especially with lower ranking staff, it’s one season and done with most of them.
Such was Brooke Laughton’s tenure on Below Deck Mediterranean. She joined the crew as a very capable second stew in Season 3. Brooke and Chief Stew Hannah Ferrier got along rather well until she started crushing on Joao Franco and Hannah ducked out of work responsibilities to smoke ciggies with Bosun Conrad Empson. Third Stew Kasey Cohen also had her eye on Joao and a rather sloppy love triangle resulted. Happier days were waiting for Brooke after she left the show, and just this week, she shared some very special news.
Anyone watching the new season of Below Deck Mediterranean knows that a boat romance is on the horizon. Take that from experience watching the Below Deck franchise, and the powers of hiring a certain mix of attractive people and its inevitable that crew members will be hooking up. It’s just a matter of who, when, and whether it will be a hookup or something more.
Boat romances are just messy, season after season. Gary King and Sydney Zaruba didn’t wait past the first episode of Below Deck Sailing Yacht Season 2. This rather unfortunate decision prevented Gary from getting the girl he really wanted in the end. Of course, Alli Dore moved on to greener pastures and is happily awaiting the birth of her first child with boyfriend. Jessica More and Robert Westergaard got in over their heads with emotions, but there was nothing to keep them together in the end. Even after a dream vacation in Bali together. Former chief stew Hannah Ferrier and Bosun Conrad Empson bonded over cigarettes and a mutual distaste for Captain Sandy Yawn before things went sour over an argument about fifty euros. This small sample of broken hearts is, of course, one reason we keep watching.
Traveling the world is one of the biggest appeals of working in yachting. How glorious to be paid to explore new locations! And all us Below Deck viewers swoon over the views, whether it’s in the Mediterranean, Tahiti, or the Bahamas.
We know enough from watching Below Deck, Below Deck Mediterranean, and Below Deck Sailing Yacht that boat crews can take advantage of their location when they’re not working. And without a production team in tow, trying to tempt them with alcohol and bad decisions, a normal boat crew have many options regarding sight-seeing on their days off.
Once the Below Deck Franchise expanded into three separate show, it was inevitable to start comparing and contrasting the crew, especially the captains. Below Deck still has its original Captain Lee Rosbach, the one that set the tone for the entire series. Below Deck Mediterranean boasted Captain Sandy Yawn as the first female captain that has a tendency for bad luck in the galley. The relatively laid back atmosphere on Below Deck Sailing Yacht was a welcome change with the addition of Captain Glenn Shephard.
Ultimately, the captain dictates the environment on board. And while some captains have actually dealt with the same scenarios, like charter guests with drugs on board, sometimes one can only speculate about what they would have done in the same situation.
Below Deck Sailing Yacht Season 2 was a doozy. There was a budding romance between Jean-Luc Cerza Lanaux and Dani Soares that lead to a surprise pregnancy, and a whole lot of drama. Gary King found himself in the middle of a love triangle with Alli Dore and Sydney Zaruba, even though he had a girlfriend since he first boarded Parsifal III. There were boat crashes, horrible guests, and more, so it was a textbook example of what makes for a great season of reality TV.
The Below Deck reunion was just as explosive. Alli and Sydney finally went head-to-head over their Gary issues. Even though Alli revealed she’s also a mom-to-be, and thankfully, Gary is not the father. Dani and the crew didn’t hold back on bashing J.L., even though he tried to defend himself in a solo appearance. But one subtle bomb was dropped that went over many viewers’ heads during the reunion, and it involves a suspected (and unexpected) rumored romance for Captain Glenn.
You can take Hannah Ferrier off the yacht, but you can’t take the snark out of the girl. The former Below Deck Mediterranean Chief Stew was terminated after five seasons on the show for alleged valium and CBD use during charter. While fans were divided on whether the termination was warranted or not, most agree that Bosun Malia White manipulated the situation by reporting Hannah’s prescriptions only when she wanted to change bunk arrangements.
But Malia was not the only one with whom Hannah had unresolved issues. Bugsy Drake was reinstated as second stew shortly before Hannah’s departure. The two did not get along after working together on a prior season, and Hannah’s guard was up the whole time. And finally there’s Captain Sandy Yawn. Sandy not only fired Hannah and promoted Bugsy, but terrorized her tablescaping and management style for years. Some fans speculated that the three colluded to depose Hannah’s reign as OG Chief Stew. During the Season Five Reunion, Hannah sipped from a “I Need A Valium” mug. Nothing was resolved from that confrontation, and based on her new business venture, it’s clear that Hannah is not over it yet.