'Wahlburgers' Flops

Mark Walhberg’s TV show fails to deliver satisfaction

I had a hard time believing Mark Wahlberg had his own reality television show when I discovered “Wahlburgers,” the new show that details the life of the actor, his family and the burger restaurant they own: Walhburgers. Clever though the name may be, the TV show’s entertainment value pretty much stops there. While the allure of Mark Wahlberg may attract his fans, the show fell far short of my high expectations.

The show is simply uninteresting. I never knew how little I cared about burger restaurants and Mark Wahlberg’s life until I saw the most recent episode, in which Wahlberg and his brothers do a bit of arguing about a new space for a franchise of their restaurant that they want to open in Toronto.

As is the case with most reality TV shows, I essentially sat on my couch for an hour and watched the squabbling of grown men — with the not-so-riveting twist that the two are brothers. The attempt at drama was contrived, and even Walhberg’s performance was extremely disappointing and, ultimately, forgettable.

The premise of the show is so tragic that it was difficult to watch. I’ve always thoroughly enjoyed Wahlberg as an actor and an A-list celebrity, but watching him in this show was beyond painful. The brothers and their mother discuss maddeningly trifling topics. At one point, Paul, the eldest brother and the head of the restaurant, called his mother to complain because his other brothers were trying to get him to make a business decision he didn’t want to make. His mother simply encouraged him to stand up for himself — an attempt at a poignant mother-son moment that left me rolling my eyes rather than feeling touched.

The show attempts to be both witty and clever at times, but to no avail. At one point there’s a casual reference to the new “Transformers” movie, which Mark was filming at the time. Then there’s the small asides the Wahlberg clan has, detailing their childhood and upbringing. The only time I cracked a smile was when I learned that Mark was apparently the youngest of nine children and that he was often picked on by his older brothers — a wonderful moment of irony, given Mark’s rise to fame.

Though I am typically not a fan of reality television, I went into watching “Walhburgers” truly hoping to have found a show I could love. Sadly, the show was a flop. For Mark’s sake, I hope he distances himself from the show and redirects his attention to his film career.

Published February 12, 2014 in Arts and Entertainment, tableau

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