Written by Allison Lips
Before I watched the premiere episode, I was expecting Wahlburgers to be either really good or really bad. It didn’t really matter because I thought it was guaranteed to be entertaining. Unfortunately, it was mediocre and boring. If the Wahlbergs didn’t have the star power of Mark and Donnie, the show would never have been green-lit.
The first problem the show has is that it’s too long. Sitting through an hour of what is a Restaurant: Impossible, Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, and a classier version of every voyeuristic reality show gets trying after the first 30 minutes. Wahlbugers is awkward because the show is split between Paul trying to build a second location for Wahlburgers, being a feature on what Wahlburgers is about, Paul being a control freak and reluctantly getting an assistant, and the fighting that all brothers do.
Mark, Paul, and Donnie’s fighting gets old quickly. It makes sense that they would disagree about the direction Wahlburgers should take. Paul wants to keep it local, so do Donnie and Alma, but Mark wants to make it a franchise in the vein of McDonald’s. The eventually decide on a location across from Fenway Park. When they aren’t talking about the restaurant, the show spends at least 15 minutes with grown men arguing who is their mother’s favorite. We find out Alma will tell whichever son is currently talking to her that he is their favorite. They know this and still argue.
I like the Wahlbergs, probably because I’m too young to remember Marky Mark or New Kids on the Block, but Wahlburgers isn’t much of a show. When it’s not all about the restaurant, it’s a bunch of stories about Mark, Paul, and Donnie’s childhood. I would gladly sit through them at a dinner table because it’s cool they own a restaurant, don’t act like celebrities, and would probably be happy to answer any questions I have. Instead, we get a reality show that comes across as a boring documentary.