We Officially Give Up on Television

‘The Love Boat’ is scrapped for parts while the charter spoof Below Deck is a hit.

'The Love Boat' Scrapped

Yeah, we’re canceling our subscription to cable TV.

We recently learned that the 561-foot MS Pacific is in Turkey being scrapped for parts. Now, it's not like us to whimper about the removal of a cruise ship from the world's harbors, but this isn't just any cruise ship. This is the boat known to millions of middle-aged TV lovers as The Love Boat, or the Pacific Princess, which cruised into our living rooms with Capt. Stubing, Vicky and Gopher onboard from 1977 until 1986.

Today, the MS Pacific is in Aliaga on the coast of Turkey, where Izmir Ship Recycling Co. is stripping the 42-year-old boat for metal and whatever else can be salvaged. It bought her for about $3.3 million and needed tugboats to get her to the shipyard after she took on water while en route from Italy. Perhaps the most famous vessel in television history is now listing sadly to starboard as she's being scavenged.

We were just coming to terms with that news when we got word that Below Deck, the new reality show about yacht charter airing on Bravo, has more than a million viewers a week. Almost a million and a half, actually, all of them tuning in to watch a highly staged, almost comical version of what actually happens aboard professional charter yachts. Most of the so-called crew members have little experience and were hired for their good looks as well as the likelihood that they'd either make out or smack down in the crew quarters for the cameras. We feel terrible for Capt. Lee Rosbach—a great, longtime charter captain trying desperately to keep his yacht in one piece while this circus sideshow earns ever-higher ratings.

"They pretty much acted like crew I would have fired," Rosbach told the crew magazine The Triton when talking about the cast that Bravo stuck under his command for filming aboard the 164-foot Benetti Cuor di Leone, which is known as Honor on the show.

The only saving grace we can find in recent television news is that Below Deck isn't now — nor is it likely ever to be — even half as popular as The Love Boat was back in its day.

Even still, it would be nice if Isaac the bartender were still around. We would like to order a drink.