Bravo host Andy Cohen recently described his network's latest reality show, "Below Deck" (10 p.m. Monday), as "kind of like 'Downton Abbey' on a private yacht."
And it's true that there's an "Upstairs, Downstairs" quality to this program.
"You've got to remember your station," grizzled Captain Lee tells his crew, who all appear to be in their 20s or 30s. "On the boat, your station is to serve."
"Below Deck" follows the young crew who work on a charter yacht in the Caribbean and the guests they serve. But that's the end of any comparisons to "Downton," which is unlikely to feature discussions of a dog's "micro-penis" or a servant exclaiming, "I like having casual relationships. I'm also attention-needy and horny."
The premiere episode is a fairly entertaining, voyeuristic look at a made-for-reality-TV crew, though it's a toss-up as to who's more obnoxious: the bickering crew or their first guests, one of whom shows up in a soiled bathrobe and proceeds to engage in an illegal activity that endangers the crew's livelihood.
Future episodes promise crew members "hooking up" and starting fires, which makes the show sound more like "The Real World At Sea." If "Below Deck" continues on with drunken, dumb debauchery, viewers will be justified in wondering: Where are Somali pirates when you need them?