Smart ladies love dumb TV, Wahlburgers recap, Who’s Your Favorite?


Is this not the creepiest photo ever? From here.

Is this not the creepiest photo ever? From here.

I am pleased to announce that only the first episode of A&E’s new reality show Wahlburgers is an hour long. WHEW. The show tells the story of your third favorite member of NKTOB, your second favorite actor in Three Kings (sorry, Ice Cube, you are no Clooney) and the TV chef you didn’t know you needed, working on their own chain of burger places in Boston around the world, per the dreams of Mark Wahlberg. [Donnie was my favorite member of NKTOB, he looked the most like an old dude. I’ve loved old dudes since the age of 12! -K]

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Now, this Mark Wahlberg is a mogul. His TV production credits alone–Boardwalk Empire, Entourage ( + creator) and now Wahlburgers–would make a normal person RICH, but it just makes him more powerful. His burgers are going to take over the fucking WORLD.

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Paul Wahlberg was the first kid in the family to graduate high school–Donne was 2nd. There were 9 children all together, though we later learn that one of them, Debbie, is no longer with us.

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Alma, the matriarch, says they had nothing. They show a photo of Mark on the set of The Perfect Storm. Mark warned that Alma is going to run the set.

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Alma calls Paul her favorite, but Donnie says its him. This seems to be a big point of contention. The Wahbergs grew up poor, but always ate dinner together. Paul always wanted to open his own restaurant and going into business with his brothers was a bonus–they wanted to conquer the restaurant business together.

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The inside of the new build restaurant is bright, with dark wood and lime green everywhere. All the work falls on Paul, since his brothers live far away. Everything in Wahlburgers (3 stars, Yelp) tells a story, says Paul.

Like these lightboxes with Wahlberg references on them:

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Because there is not much drama in this show I decided to look up the town where the restaurant is: Hingham, MA. It’s pretty cute!

I miss living so close to New England. From Wikipedia.

I miss living so close to New England. From Wikipedia.

Real estate there is pricey compared to my cheap-ass city. I’m eying this 1850 farmhouse for $519K. How about this “antique cape” for $499K? I really enjoy this mid century home but it’s $450K and needs a lot of work. It has the giant windows of my dream home.

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OK, so back to the show (groan). Paul opened Alma Nove (3.5 stars, Yelp), one block from Wahlburgers, for the boys’ mother, who works there, and LOVES IT!

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They show her just sitting at a table of women, chatting. It’s cute and I want to be friends with Alma.

So cloudy.

So cloudy.

Unrelated: what’s up with Barbara Walters filter on Alma?

Do you think Mark Wahlberg unclogs his own drains?

Do you think Mark Wahlberg unclogs his own drains?

Paul is an insanely hard worker. I swear he said something like, “tell your mother hi for me.” Mark says he’s aging a couple years every time he seems him. Everyone, including Alma, thinks he does too much and needs an assistant.

"Hire a damn assistant! My kids don't use plungers!"

“Hire a damn assistant! My kids don’t use plungers!”

Donnie and Mark both coming to town–talk about the new locations for Wahlburgers and as part of a movie opening (Broken City, C+ on AV Club). Mark and Donnie think this can go global really easily but Paul wants everything to be perfect.

Donnie shows up without Jenny McCarthy and I cry. He’s upset that his burger is called Donnie Double D.

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He likes boobs as much as the next guy but he hates the name. Thankfully it was a seasonal burger and is no longer on the menu.

Donnie eating a burger in the back of this car was something I didn't know I needed to see.

Donnie eating a burger in the back of this car was something I didn’t know I needed to see.

In between arguing about who is mom’s favorite, they go to downtown Boston to look at new spaces. It is really windy and this dude’s hat blows off. It is the most off-script thing that happens in the whole episode.

Wahlburgers 22Paul likes the space, but does not want to be across the street from Tasty Burger (appears to be the Fenway location, 4 stars on Yelp).

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Donnie makes fun of him on the talking head that he wouldn’t want to hurt McDonalds’ feelings. The next location is behind Fenway Park (so they say… Tasty Burger is ALSO behind Fenway) and everyone is excited.

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They feel like it could be right and they want to be a part of the culture near the park. I am enjoying the real estate portion of this show. However, the restaurant’s website only lists one location so maybe they didn’t buy anything?

Look how happy Kari is! That will change quickly.

Look how happy Kari is! That will change quickly.

Kari shows up to interview with Paul–her mother is friends with Alma OF COURSE. Her resume seems lacking. Paul hires her temporarily. I wish Kari seemed bitchier because this show needs some excitement. Maybe they can set up some scenarios a la Kathy Griffin? [edit: they seemed to do that later in the show! check!]

The old house.

The old house.

Paul and Alma drive around Dorchester, MA. They act like they never go there, oohing and ahhing over everything. Lots of reminiscing. When Paul said he wanted to be a chef, Alma cried because she thought he would burn all his fingers off. Awww that’s why I will never be a chef!

They moved from triple decker in south Boston to a suburban home in Dorchester with money their dad won from his bookie that I’m shocked held 9 people. Alma points to Debbie’s room, who passed away the day Mark’s daughter was born. Alma was reclusive after that and stopped leaving the house until Paul offered her a job in the restaurant. That day Alma started to come alive.

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Donnie tells a cute story about when he was in New Kids on the Block he and Danny would borrow Paul’s chef jackets from culinary school and wear them to school dances and breakdance in them. I wish they showed pictures of this.

Before talking to Alma, Kari busied herself by wiping cake domes with a dirty cloth.

Before talking to Alma, Kari busied herself by wiping cake domes with a dirty cloth.

Paul has been ignoring Kari, she says she’s “a weirdo, just standing there.” She’s kind of pushy and is working hard to find work to do. Paul says she should take care of Mark’s childhood friends, AKA Johnny Drama and Nacho. Kari fake interviews that if she can handle these guys Paul has to respect her. Kari is a a really terrible actress.

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Johnny Drama talks about how he took care of Mark after he was released from jail and cooked for him, did laundry–basically all the things that Drama did on Entourage. The real Johnny Drama auditioned for that role and lost it. We are supposed to think this is funny, I guess, but I just thought it was sad.

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Nacho is the human dumpster. He will eat anything if you pay him enough money. This is what his movie star friend does to him.

This is Kari's "EWWWW BUTTER" stankface.

This is Kari’s “EWWWW BUTTER” stankface.

Kari is really obsessed that he would eat sticks of butter. Alma is really proud of Kari for handling these dudes (dah fuhhhh?) and says she’s going to be around for a long time.

MARK IS COMING, Y’ALL! His movie is premiering and they’re having an after party at Wahlburgers. He interviews again how important it his for him to grow a business. Everyone is freaking out because MOVIE STAR MARK is coming to town! I keep cleaning my glasses because I notice they’re using the Alma filter on everything.

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Mark, the baby, wonders what Paul did to become the favorite. He wants to expand the place to Abu Dabi and Ireland. He stresses the importance of foot traffic, but Alma says that they should expand into Boston first, because that’s who they are. Everyone defers to her so she wins this argument.

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The saddest fries in the world.

At the movie premiere, Wahlburgers employees are passing around the saddest, tiniest cups of fries and sliders. Alma harasses Paul about Kari and Donnie. It appears this goes nowhere but I might have passed out due to boredom.

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Coming up on Wahlburgers: they travel the world to find new franchise locations, Johnny Drama writes a Walburgers jingle and Jenny McCarthy has a wiener named after her.

Question of the week: Will Kari ever get to do real work or will just be forced to do what the producers want her to do?

Should I keep recapping this show? It’s hard to snark on these people, they are so protective of their images. It wasn’t all bad: from the milkshake reviews I will be going to Tasty Burger in Fenway next time I am in Boston and I did some real estate stalking!


  1. I enjoyed the show and will be watching it as I want to learn more about this family. I was already a huge fan of Mark’s movies (Perfect Storm) and I love Donnie in Blue Bloods. Alma is awesome and I sure would love to spend time with her.

  2. I absolutely love the show. It is so nice to see exactly how you were brought up as no trust fund babies. You all should be so very proud of each other and yourselves. I have Stage 4 Cervical to bladder to both of my lungs cancer Feb 14th 2011 is my anniversary date and I try to watch every episode no matter how sick I am it makes me LAUGH. Thanks for the laughter. I live to eat and being sick I can barley eat so I eat through the great cooking shows.. Keep up the great work!!!!!!!!! May God Bless Always!!!!!!!!!
    Love Debbie from California PA
    e-mail address:
    I am a Registered Dental Hygienist – University of Pittsburgh Grad 1984

  3. I like the Wahlbergs but wish they would concentrate more on Paul & Alma & some of the other sons. Why they ever made a series of Donnie & Jennie McCarthy. She has been around the block a few times with different guys and has such a vile mouth. She let on she left the View but her mouth on that show was something else. I do feel for Evan and hope his Mom cleans up her act before he is old enough to hear his Mom’s radio show.

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