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Wahlburgers: Season 1, The

A&E Video // Unrated // July 22, 2014
List Price: $19.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Kyle Mills | posted August 14, 2014 | E-mail the Author
From the same network focusing on a reality show about the fan favorite family of rednecks, comes yet another reality show about a family from Boston, backed by the star power of the Wahlberg name. Focusing on the everyday problems of one of the non-famous Wahlberg brothers, Paul, this series takes an in depth look at his new restaurant chain, Wahlburgers, which is backed by the famous brothers, Donnie and Mark, along with their mother, Alma, the matriarch of the family.

First thing I want to get out of the way is Mark and Donnie. If you're watching this strictly to see Donnie or Mark (or both), you're probably going to be disappointed, as they're not in it much. In the first half of the season, Mark mainly appears at the tail end of each episode, his presence does get a bit bigger as the season goes on, but I'd say he never gets more than 5 minutes of screen time in an episode. Donnie is on the opposite end of the spectrum, he starts out with a pretty big presence on the show, as the first couple of episodes actually center on him more so than even Paul, but by the end of the set, with the exception of an episode or 2, his screen time is pretty much limited to testimonial interviews.

The story of the show is very simple, Paul is the older brother of mega superstars, Mark and Donnie, whom has a passion for the restaurant business. Paul struggles with the daily hardships that come with owning a restaurant and occasionally having a chip on his shoulder about Mark and Donnie and their fame. Paul's a bit OCD, wanting things done exactly his way at the restaurant. He's very straightforward, often getting annoyed at the smallest things (usually provoked by either Donnie or Mark!) Paul is balanced out by his mother, Alma, the stern matriarch who holds the family together and will put her sons in check at the drop of a dime. Occasionally, these two are joined by Mark and Donnie, whom typically bring the comic relief of the series.

Just a few of the things you'll see Over the course of these first nine episodes Mark and Donnie show interest in expanding the Wahlburgers name beyond Boston, something that greatly upsets Paul. Donnie decides to bring home his girlfriend (special guest star, Jenny McCarthy) to meet Mom. Mark & Donnie try to give Paul a birthday to remember. Paul will be ornery... a LOT, Mark will act entitled, Donnie will screw around, and Alma will hold it all together. You'll also see guest stars like Joey McIntyre, boxer Mike Lee, the "real" Entourage aka, Mark's friends whom's lives were detailed in his TV show, and Jenny McCarthy.


1. Who's Your Favorite? - Series premiere of the Wahlburgers. The episode focuses on Donnie trying to convince Paul to expand his business near Fenway Park, while Mark wants to go international. The family must prepare for a premiere of Mark's new film at the restaurant; Alma tries to find an assistant for Paul.

2. 5 O'Clock is Dinnertime - Donnie decides to bring home his new girlfriend, Jenny McCarthy, to meet Alma, eventually instigating a cooking contest between the two, with Mark as the judge. Meanwhile, Paul tries to figure out a burger of the month for Jenny.

3. Baby Knows Best - Mark expands Wahlburgers into Canada, unbeknownst to Paul. Paul flies to Canada to inspect the location with Donnie.

4. Sibling Rivalry - During time off from shooting Transformers 4, Mark plays golf with Paul, leaving Alma in charge of the restaurant, which proves to be a bad decision.

5. Prized Possessions - Mark tasks Johnny Drama and Billy to help Paul lose some weight, while Alma has childhood memories about Donnie and Mark.

6. Eating Green - Paul tries to pressure Alma into making her secret recipes public. Meanwhile, Mark goes golfing with the entourage.

7. The Funky Bunch - Donnie, with assistance from Mark, Johnny Drama, and New Kids member, Joey McIntyre, decide to prank Paul. Meanwhile, Alma shops with Jenny McCarthy.

8. Pauliday - It's Paul's Birthday! Donnie shows up to give him a time to remember; Alma has a spa day.

9. The Real Entourage - Mark flies his cousin, Johnny Drama, out to L.A. to audition for a film. Back in Boston, a persistent fan of Mark and Donnie's, whom is an aspiring screenwriter, continues to give Paul scripts to pass onto them, as Alma secretly reads them.

- Positives:

+ It's fun when Donnie and Mark shows up as they're a bit goofier than the uptight Paul.

+ Some of the guest stars were fun.

- Negatives:

- The leads aren't very interesting to watch.

- Paul is kind of a jerk. Why did we get a TV following this guy? Oh, that's right, WAHLBERG... never mind.

- Advertised as if Mark and Donnie would be a big part of it (yeah right), and per my suspicions, Mark typically amasses 2 minutes of screen time per episode, while Donnie might get a minute more.

- More of a personal annoyance here, but did you know Mark is working on Transformers with Michael Bay? Yeah because I obviously didn't before they pimped the movie 28 times on the show for the people who lives under rocks.

Video and Audio:
Wahlburgers is presented in it's original 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. Occasionally there were some signs of video artifact but nothing really too bad where it takes away from what you're watching. A solid transfer overall.

The audio is presented in a Dolby stereo and the dialogue is clean and clear throughout. No signs of audio dropout or distortions throughout.

Extras: - The only extras present on the first season is a collection of 9 deleted scenes.

The show is nothing memorable, but it's fine for a one time watch, much like any other reality show out there. The only thing that makes this series stand out as any different is that it has the star power of Mark and Donnie Wahlberg, and they're not even on the show very often. Take out the Wahlberg brothers and it's the same as any other generic reality show. Rent it.

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