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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » The Wahlburgers: Season 2
The Wahlburgers: Season 2
Lionsgate Home Entertainment // Unrated // February 17, 2015
List Price: $19.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Aaron Beierle | posted March 9, 2015 | E-mail the Author
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The Show:

"Wahlburgers" is a thin concept in search of a show. When the series was first announced, it sounded moderately interesting as reality fare goes: Paul, brother of Donnie and actor Mark, runs a burger joint in Boston (and another restaurant right nearby, named after their mother.) There were hints in the first season that the series would focus on the potential expansion of the chain, taking Wahlburgers worldwide and the push-pull between Mark's desire to expand the chain and quieter Paul, who seems fairly satisfied as is.

What the show quickly became is an extension of the Mark-produced "Entourage", which was based on the actor's life. Or, better yet, the series could have been called "Keeping Up With the Wahlbergs." The "burger" aspect of the series becomes an afterthought and gets rather cold as the show starts shifting its focus elsewhere. Here's the saddest thing: I got more of a sense of the food looking at pictures people took on the Yelp reviews for the restaurant than watching the show.

Mark's childhood pals, "Johnny Drama" Alves and Nacho (Henry Laun) get into the picture and become an increasing focus. It's amusing to see the inspiration for a couple of the "Entourage" characters, but their antics are kind of one-note - Nacho will eat just about anything on a dare if money is involved.

Jenny McCarthy is also on the scene at times throughout the series, as she and Donnie are a couple. The fact that they've created a spin-off focusing on these two is nothing short of remarkable. While I have nothing against them, "Wahlburgers" is thin as-is; they've spun-out part of a show that doesn't have much to it to begin with. The series occasionally seems to have some difficulty coming up with a "story", as a number of episodes don't come to a defined conclusion as much as they just randomly decide to end.

The second season DVD set includes: "Here's the Drill", "Great Wahlburg of China", "Pranks for the Memories", "An American Wahlburg In London", "Meat the Press", "A Cut Above", "Guarding Alma", "Something's Fishy" and "Trading Places". Some of the highlights of the season include: "Great Wahlberg" (Johnny Drama tries out for a TV ad in Hong Kong) and "Trading Places" (Paul and Donnie switch places for the day and Donnie finds out that running the restaurant isn't as easy as he'd thought.)

I've sounded so far in this review as if I disliked "Wahlburgers". It's not that I found the show irritating or similarly bothersome, it's just that there's not that much show there. The idea that you'd watch the family rally around Paul as he took the chain to other regions (and all of the stresses around that) is interesting, similar to the episodes of "Duck Dynasty" that focus on that family's business. However, little seems to be about the food and the family (and extended family in the case of Nacho and Johnny Drama) situations start to feel repetitive. There's nothing particularly bothersome about the show, it's simply forgettable.

VIDEO: A & E presents the series in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. While there's some minor edge enhancement and a few little traces of artifacting, the picture generally appeared crisp and detailed, showing off fine details well. Overall, a nice transfer of the material.

SOUND: Crisp, clean Dolby Stereo presentation, with well-recorded dialogue.

Extras: Deleted scenes and bonus 4th of July episode.

Final Thoughts: "Whalburgers" seemed fairly promising as reality fare goes, but the result is thin and disappointing, seeming more like "Keeping Up With the Wahlburgs" rather than any sort of show about the business that's initially at the core of the series. The DVD offers fine audio/video, as well as a couple minor extras. Those interested should rent it.
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