Rebecca Stokes


I'm a writer all over the web! I've contributed news, rants, funny lists, and entertaining academic fakery at XOJane, The Hairpin, The Barnes and Noble Book Blog, and The Toast, to name but a few. When not writing for the Internet, I spend my time writing plays and taunting my cat with bits of pretzel that I will ultimately not let him have. 

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    This week's episode of Below Deck was certainly one jam-packed hour. I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say that it was one of the more action-packed sessions of sitting on my butt that I have yet to experience. There's a lot I could dish about in light of all of last night's events, but I want to focus on Ben's outrageous behavior. 

    So, what exactly qualifies as 'outrageous' when it comes to discussing the over-hair-gelled British cook? Not his hookup with Kat (frankly, that was totally unsurprising as was the nasty pillow the next day), but the way he behaved with Kate, the chief stew, when his dinner service totally failed to impress the newest batch of charter guests. The whole mess was very clearly his fault. He needed to step up and take some responsibility instead of lashing out at Kate who is just trying to do a good job. 

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    This week on 19 Kids & Counting, Jim Bob Duggar focused all of his matchmaking attention on Ben Seewald and his daughter Jessa Duggar. With Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard already planning their wedding, Jim Bob's attention is now on Jessa and Ben all the time. That's very easy now that Ben is living and working for the Duggars. Tonight, Jim Bob put Ben to the test. If you ask me, that's a small price to pay in exchange for free food, lodging, and easy access to your beloved -- with a chaperone, of course. 

    While the other Duggars had a fairly relaxing day, John David Duggar put Ben to work. It quickly became apparent that while Ben definitely has his skills (he seems like a kind and patient dude), being a natural Mr. Fix-It doesn't seem to be one of them. Luckily, he's got a great group of teachers sure to help him up his home improvement skills. That's important, because being a master of DIY is the biggest requirement Jim Bob has for a future son-in-law. 

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    I can't believe I'm saying this, but I think Kate got a totally raw deal from her co-workers on tonight's episode of Below Deck. For those who missed last week's episode (shame upon you, naturally), Kate, after being called a bitchy kill-joy by a charter guest, left a towel on his bed in the shape of a penis. This week was alllll about the fall-out of her decision to make her feelings about the charter guest known through the lost art of linen-folding. 

    Her charter guest noticed it immediately and brought it to the attention of the other crew members who got in a giant kerfuffle about it. They all took Kate to task. Here's the thing that turned me off about this -- the charter member OBVIOUSLY thought it was a hilarious stunt. He was SMILING and taking photos of the blanket! He knew he was in the wrong calling Kate a bitch, and he was definitely one of those guys who respects it when people call him out and up the ante. The crew had no right to go after Kate to apologize. 

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    This week on 19 Kids & Counting, things got 10 kinds of romantical. Or at least, you know, two kinds of romantical. Engaged couple Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard went on a romantic hike and ate some hummus. That's good and sweet and what have you, but Jessa Duggar's date with Ben Seewald kicked courtship into overdrive when they went to visit a gun range and put their skills to the test. Turns out, Jessa Duggar is borderline assassin-level good with a shotgun! 

    Long-time fans of the show might remember that for her 18th birthday, Jessa celebrated with her family at the gun range. I had completely forgotten this and was beyond impressed when she all nonchalantly annihilated her target. She put her boy-toy to shame but remained, in classic Duggar fashion, totally humble and brushed off her success when it came to hitting the target. 

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    Andrew Sturby may be gone, but that doesn't mean the gasp-worthy moments on Below Deck are over. Oh no, far from it! In fact, today we saw the last crew member imaginable totally lose it when the charter guests got way, way out of line.

    Look, I get it, working in customer service is no easy task and sometimes you've got to just suck it up. But no matter how much money you have, the people who are "serving" you? Yeah, they are still people

    Chief Stew Kate Chastain totally blew her stack. Here's the thing though -- I don't blame her, and I don't think anyone else watching would either. It was actually really sad to see the whole incident play out. That's because Kate began the charter with such high hopes! Coming off the last rude bunch, Kate was convinced that this group was being helmed by her "charter soul mate." Pretty quickly, however, she realized this was not the case. 

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