Executive producer Jill Goslicky reveals one of the biggest lessons she's learned from working on Below Deck.
Planning production on a new season of Below Deck is never easy, but Season 2 of Below Deck Sailing Yacht has presented its own set of unique challenges for those working behind the scenes. After launching this totally new Below Deck franchise in early 2020, the first to be filmed not on a motor yacht, producers then had to figure out how to film during a pandemic in Season 2 (Bravo Insider has exclusive details on how they pulled it off).
Matt Reichman, Vice President, Current Production at Bravo, shared during an exclusive interview with Bravo Insider that production learned a lot after Season 1 of Below Deck Sailing Yacht, which he said was "a really great success" overall. "I think back to like last winter when we were talking about, OK, well, how do we improve on this already great thing? And we had all our plans, you know [laughs], we had a lot of conversations about how to make this better," he recalled. "And then the pandemic hit. And then all those plans went out the window."
But one of the things that was still most important for production to focus on was who would be a part of the Season 2 crew. Captain Glenn Shephard ended up being the only crew member from Season 1 to return.
Executive producer Jill Goslicky told Bravo Insider that introducing new crew members in Season 2 has had a really positive impact on the show. "I honestly think having a new cast was the refresh we needed. I think that was the biggest lesson is having a new dynamic, and once we knew sort of how to shoot on Parsifal, handle Parsifal, being able to have that in our back pocket and then working with a new cast," she explained. "Having that is really refreshing."
Assembling a mostly new crew for Season 2 also speaks to the high turnover that occurs in the yachting industry, according to Reichman. "I think what’s amazing about the yachting world is that it’s the type of job where you’re not working with the same people all the time. You literally get that one charter season to sort of create a workflow and a dynamic with your team. And then you’re on to the next boat in another part of the world. And if you happen to work with the same people again, great. But it doesn’t happen often," Reichman said. "I think that’s the special sauce on Below Deck is that we get a whole new group of yachties, for the most part. Obviously, there’s times where we’ll have the chef return if the captain loves the chef or the chief stew or first mate. But in general, people kind of drift around. And you get this new energy every single season."
Of course, finding this particular group of yachties has made for an already incredibly entertaining and dramatic season. "The testament goes to our casting team, and the producers are really finding people that were up for this sort of challenge this season and just were fantastic sailors," Reichman noted. "I think we got really lucky and really fortunate."
Even though this season of Below Deck Sailing Yacht was unlike any other to film, producers always went back to the one guiding principle at the heart of the series. "This isn’t just the lesson from Season 1 to Season 2 on Sailing Yacht; I would say this is a lesson I’ve learned producing Below Deck, period. The default on this show — and it’s one of the reasons I love producing it — the default is to ask what’s true and just chase that. What’s the truth here?" Goslicky explained. "And so, because we’re always leaning into that, chasing that, you know, we don’t have to have elaborate plans because we are just looking for the truth of relationships, of what makes the cast tick, those kinds of things. And we just keep trying to do that every season."
Want more Below Deck Sailing Yacht? New episodes air every Monday at 9/8c or catch up on the Bravo app.