The Other Boats

At risk to her personal sanity, Executive Clameditor KT Toomey has gone above and beyond the call to bring you recaps of the National Geographic reality show ‘Wicked Tuna’.

Are the tuna wicked or simply just misunderstood?

Are the tuna wicked or simply just misunderstood?

We owe her much, especially upon the discovery that to maintain the proper psychological state for viewing, she had increasingly come to depend on a risky mixture of Redbull and the powdered skin of a very specific desert toad. Therefore. we may have reached the practical limit of tuna recapping her now shattered psyche can endure.

This became clear during a staff meeting at Clammedia Tower. Toomey threatened a staffer who requested more Wicked Tuna content in order to drive the all important ‘hits’ that are the lifeblood of this operation. “No fuckin’ way,” she stammered. “I’ll do that piece on the ‘Most Noxious Porta Potties of Fiesta’ but no more fuckin’ tuna. I’ll cut a bitch. I mean it.” Her frighteningly dilated eyes led us to believe her; along with the bottom-bracket wrench she waved menacingly.

Actual photo

Actual photo

So, alas, this task has fallen to me. With gusto I delved into research regarding all manner of the tribe Thunnini. I even went so far as to lie down in the tinned fish aisle at the Basket in order to commune with their succulent flesh, but wound up receiving what I assure you was a wholly unnecessary shot of NARCAN from an overzealous EMT. Despite my efforts, the very nature of enterprise seemed as hard to grasp as the quicksilver flowing in the veins of these noble creatures.

In researching the show however, I did discover a highly intriguing fact: The TV genre of ‘reality show’ is singularly dependent on gathering huge amounts of footage and subsequently only using select bits to create a narrative (often very different from what actually occurred when originally shot). A quick LinkedIn search and a couple of American Apparel gift cards later and we’d convinced an intern over at the Geographic to provide us with a hard drive chock full of deleted scenes.

What we found will shock you, as we say here on the Interblogs.

There were other boats! There were at least four other boats entirely cut from the storyline. We all love the Hard Merchandise for their shouting, the fraternal bond of the FV Miss Sambvca and OSHA’s impaired operator experiment gone awry that are the loveable mopheads of ‘Stonerboat’, but what of the other boats that never made the final cut?

As a public service The Clam presents the vessels relegated to the virtual cutting room floor leaving us viewers, we believe, with a perhaps clearer but far less dimensionalized narrative.

FV Chemical Romance:

The Boat: A collection of black-clad, dyed hair sadboys in mascara and skinny jeans aboard a 39’ Duffy was rigged to harpoon before the crew realized they would have to go out in the sunshine to use this method.

Tuna live in a a sea of tears, a sea that never ends

Tuna live in a a sea of tears, a sea that never ends

The Story: Chemical Romance had a rough time of it during the season. The preference of putting out gear only at night proved operationally awkward and the crew squabbled constantly about Fall Out Boy’s Warped Tour ruining the band’s credibility. They did, however, produce the best self-reflective poetry of any of the competitors.

FV Pink Flamingos

The Boat: Painted a searing Hollywood cerise, this 42 footer was impossible to ignore with her impressive height and full-throated engine.

Oh the fish is still alive? I'll get it

Oh the fish is still alive? I’ll get it

The Story: Loud and proud her crew of cross-dressing tuna hunters took on the unforgiving sea and the “butch” look as equal challenges. It became clear early on that being able to land a 600 pounder in size 12 stillettos was shaming the crews of other boats. Rightly fearing never seeing any exposure, they cut a prize-quality bluefin off the line following an alert on the satellite feed that Ru Paul  had opened a casting call for a sixth season of Drag Race. Last seen heading south toward NYC under full power.

FV Crystal Method

The Boat: Stripped of her copper, wire, plumbing, electronics, safety gear and seat cushions, this former deep-water lobsterboat refused to quit even when the crew ran her single diesel engine to the max with no oil for days on end.

There were some pretty great merchandising tie-ins, however

There were some pretty great merchandising tie-ins, however

The Story: It’s no surprise the producers chose the story of the Pin Wheel (aka Stonerboat) over the shirtless and twitchy crew of what became known in the fishery that summer as “Tweakerboat”. As energetic as they were directionless, the Crystal could be seen blazing around chasing any hint of a fish always repeating the line “we need this, we need this so goddamn baaaad!” through gritted teeth. Bested by other vessels in both catch and personal hygiene, she exploded mysteriously halfway through the season.


The boat: A wooden inboard of the classic style below the waterline, above the deliberately adverse choice of materials and shapes challenges the viewers of Wicked Tuna to ask, “what is a boat?”

This is our boat

This is our boat

The Story: Unable to find jobs in the food service sector, members of this highly educated crew loaded up on yellowtail and downloads of ‘This American Life’ to try their hand at something more visceral. Arguments about ‘privilege’ and the co-opting of authentic culture for the purposes of art soon dominate interactions onboard. Feedback sessions on fishing style devolve into personal attacks. It turns out that everyone is sleeping with everyone else and the crew nearly abandons ship to “make a statement” when they unexpectedly land and sell a $60K fish to a Japanese dealer and use the proceeds to open a gallery.

We are all the poorer for having missed them.

Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.