‘Below Deck Med’ Named One of the Best Shows of 2019

End of the year reviews indicates that Below Deck Mediterranean was one of the best shows of 2019 according to Entertainment Weekly.

The Below Deck spin-off gained tremendous ground as season 4 experienced the highest ratings this summer. This summer Bravo PR tweeted, “The Naughty Yachties of #BelowDeckMed are reaching new highs as they’ve sailed their way to the most-watched episode of the series-to-date among total viewers, delivering 1.3M P18-49 (up +3% versus the prior week’s episode), 1.5M P25-54 (up +2%), and 2.7M total viewers (up +6%).”

Joao Franco, Captain Sandy Yawn
Joao Franco, Captain Sandy Yawn | Greg Endries/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Why did so many viewers tune in this season? Entertainment Weekly‘s reviewer loved the mix of cast personalities, plus “high-paying guests constantly relegated to boozy fodder for insult-comedy confessionals.”

Twists and turns kept viewers coming back for more

The season started with a bang as the first female chef boarded the yacht with food poisoning, then proceeded to create meals made from a box. Her go-to ingredients included Old El Paso and Aunt Jemima. She made it for two charters before being fired and replaced with third stew, Anastasia Surmava. Surmava could cook, but struggled to continuously pull off meals for the luxury yacht. Ultimately she moved back down to third stew and fan favorite, chef Ben Robinson arrived to save the day.

Another crew shakeup included new stew June Foster. Foster’s radio never seemed to work so chief stew Hannah Ferrier was constantly repeating, “June, June, Hannah” which ultimately became the mantra for the entire season.

The show also saw one adorable crew romance between stew Aesha Scott and deckhand Jack Stirrup. Even though the season trended on the light side, it delved into tougher topics such as addiction. Deckhand Travis Michalzik is seen drinking far too much alcohol on crew outings. When Captain Sandy Yawn realizes what is occurring she shares her struggles with addiction with Michalzik. Yawn also has a few tense moments with Ferrier and bosun João Franco.

Ratings were consistently high

Below Deck Med launched with strong ratings. Before the series began, Yawn announced big relationship news. She exclusively told Showbiz Cheat Sheet she finally found love with gospel singer Leah Shafer. Yawn moved to Denver, Colorado to be closer to Shafer.

“It was like a spiritual connection in the beginning,” Shafer said. “She has a passion for inspiring through music and the youth. And broken people and so do I coming from the gospel industry. That’s what brought us together. And then, of course, the attraction and falling in love with a beautiful soul and knowing you want to be with someone forever. I’ve never felt that way before.”

Viewers may have initially tuned in to see Yawn, but stayed for the nonstop action, drama, and humor. By episode three, viewers were hooked. Bravo Ratings tweeted that episode three of the current season was the highest rated episode of the show at the time. “S04E03 – 1.699 million viewers (0.61 18-49 demo) *series high*” Adding, “this is the highest rating (total viewers and demo) that #BelowDeckMed has received in all 4 seasons!”