Smart ladies love dumb TV, Wahlburgers recap, The Great Wahlberg of China


Wahlburgers cat tees

The  title of this episode elicited the biggest eyeroll from me ever, probably because it reminded me of something Phil Dunphy would say and my husband would laugh at hysterically.

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The beginning interview segment was pretty typical. Donnie says they didn’t take family vacations, Mark says vacations were jumping in the back of his dad’s truck without seatbelts, to New Hampshire. It was exotic to them. I know they laugh at it now, but I would kill for a vacation to NH, or even somewhere two hours from here.

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Paul and Alma are setting up the patio at Alma Nove, which is really lovely and full of Crate and Barrel-type outdoor furniture.

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Up walks Drama. His teeth have not been fixed. Anyway he tells them he’s going to China with Paul’s brother (and Nacho), which we can only assume is Mark.

Drama is telling them about opening some Wahlburgers in China. “It’s happening,” he says. Paul can’t ever go on vacation, so he’s not a part of this expansion of his restaurant and he seems cranky. Mark wanted him to go, but since he couldn’t, he invited Drama and Nacho to piss him off.

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Alma pulls Drama aside and tells him when he’s abroad he should see a Chinese fortune teller. WHAT THE WHAT? Who comes up with these crazypants storylines? Can someone hire me to be a reality show writer?  She tells Drama he needs to “see the future.” He says ok to her and interviews that he will do whatever Alma tells him.

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The boys take a private jet to China for the Transformers tour. Mark tells Drama he got him an audition, but not for a “Revolutionary War reenactor.” Why aren’t we watching THAT?

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The gang lands in China, at a premiere in Hong Kong. Nacho and Drama walk the red carpet too, Drama appears to be taking video the whole time.

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While eating at the hotel, Mark tells them they need to sample all of the cuisine in HK to help with Wahlburgers–adding some local influences to the menu. I hope Nacho doesn’t eat a divot again. Please don’t make him eat cat.

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We see Mark’s assistant, Hamster, who Mark says he’s worked for him for quite some time, off and on. He’ll get fired, but Mark will always bring him back.

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Three dudes wandering the streets looking for a fortune teller. Drama notes that they are all in tents, but he thought he was going to see Deepak Chopra or something.

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He picks one with a younger girl and an older man–the girl speaks English and translates for him. This booth uses birds to tell fortunes. I am dubious of this but Drama thinks it’s awesome.

BTW, this booth has a website:

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Drama: “How am I going to do for my career in Hong Kong?”

Fortune teller girl: “And your name is?”

Drama (hand to chest): “Johnny Drama.”

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The man says something to the birds (I can only understand “Johnny Drama”). The cute little white bird goes out of the cage and does not pick a fortune right away. Drama is not pleased. He is getting nervous.

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Then the bird walks on the fortunes and pulls one out.

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The two fortune tellers talk to each other in their NATIVE LANGUAGE and Drama makes an ethnocentric comment. The fortune is a story: the king will get his country back, but it will happen slowly and he has to work hard. Johnny doesn’t like this and wants to try a different bird. In order to speed this up, the woman (via Master Lam) suggests he eats more black food, like 1000 year old eggs (AKA century eggs, which are just preserved eggs). Drama makes a face. “Is he out of his 1000 year old mind?”


This is what a century egg looks like. Via.

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Drama wants a better fortune, but does not go anywhere else. Mark interviews that his dudes need to immerse themselves in the culture, so they’re exploring an outdoor market. They decide to buy some shirts to fit in:



“When in Rome, do what the Chinese do.” UGH DRAMA.

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Hamster and Nacho eat tongue on the street–they’re both adventurous eaters–and Hamster finds a black egg.

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He asks the man at the stall if it is a 1000 year old egg, he says yes, and it is handed off to Drama. He takes a whiff and makes a face. “Nastiest smell you’ve ever smelled.” He says he’d rather take a chance in his audition.

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Nacho takes the egg from his hand and puts the whole thing in his mouth.

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Mark, who was in a hotel doing interviews, watches videos of what the boys were doing all day.I think this is totally adorable and shows he loves his friends and are interested in what they do.

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Mark thinks it’s hilarious but cannot watch Nacho eat that egg.

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You and me both, Mark.

They board private jet and go to other cities–Shanghai, Beijing–which Mark thinks are great places for Wahlburgers to expand internationally.

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He calls Paul, who is at his restaurant chopping onions (a callback to the Jacques Pepin episode?), and tells him they need to get three restaurants opened up in the next six months. Paul says, “Are you fucking kidding me?”

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Drama goes to his audition. Mark interviews that Drama has gone up for some things in the past but has “yet to secure a role.” That is a nice way of putting things, Mark. The people at the agency (?) are happy to see Drama and point to him and say “Mark Wahlberg, friend.” He was thrilled that they were excited to see him.

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The man is listing the products for which they will need spokespeople: antibacterial underwear, tea made with panda poo, turtle pudding. Drama says no immediately to all of them, but the casting agent convinces him of the magic of turtle pudding and sends him to the audition immediately, which is just a white room where he is videotaped doing a cold read.

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The agent thinks he should eat some pudding during the audition. Drama admits that he needs to eat something black because that’s what Master Lam told him, but he wants to fake-eat the turtle pudding.

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But if Drama had looked at the side of the can he would have more insight into its ingredients.

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The lines to the commercial are terrible but Drama is pretty convincing.

Wahlburgers Drama audition

Then he has to do it in Chinese too, which Mark says is nerve wracking, even after having months of preparation.

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The agent reads the lines to Drama, which he tries to say back in Chinese. “I don’t know what the fuck I was saying, but I rocked that shit.” He gets a “we’ll call you” from the agent.

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Back at Alma Nove, Drama is telling Paul and Alma about his fortune teller and the audition. Drama thinks he did not get the job because he did not follow Master Lam and eat something black. Drama brought it to Paul to eat. Drama says, “See how black it is, Paul?” Paul says, “But it smells like tea!” and interviews that just because it was named turtle jelly, doesn’t mean it’s made out of turtles (especially if Drama read the label).

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Paul eats it and says, “It’s tea jelly!” I mean, I would probably even eat that on some toast. Drama says if he knew that’s what it was he would have eaten the jelly. Alma and Drama both agree that he should have eaten the jelly.

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Paul’s words of wisdom (TM).

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The episode ends with Mark ripping Hamster’s Zubaz off of him. I think they’re making a comeback (baseball teams have Zubaz pants nights) so that was unnecessary. Mark is a shitty friend.

Next episode: we learn Alma is into practical jokes, and Kari dresses as a burger! YAY MORE KARI.

All screencaps by me (I did them during the day so they are full of glare. Sorrynotsorry). All gifs from the very awesome A&E Tumblr.

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