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Case Number 27609: Small Claims Court

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Wahlburgers: The Complete First Season

Lionsgate // 2014 // 220 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // August 6th, 2014

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All Rise...

Judge David Johnson prefers his burgers made by the guy who was in The Happening.

The Charge

Our family. Our story. Our burgers.

The Case

The latest family reality show from A&E swaps out duck calls and redneck shenanigans for Boston-area hamburgers and Wahlberg star-power. Wahlburgers tells the story of Paul Wahlberg and his two famous brothers Donnie and Mark, as they attempt to expand their growing burger shack empire. Paul, the older brother, is the cook and proprietor of the establishment, with Donnie and Mark not involved with the day-to-day operations, but helping plot the course of the brand. That means coming up with jingles, naming burgers after friends and expanding into Canada. Meanwhile, in the background, there is Alma, the matriarch of the family who works at Wahlburgers and is quick to put her sons in their place, no matter how many of them are good pals with Michael Bay.

Michael Bay—his name comes up frequently. On several occasions, Mark Wahlberg name-drops the Transformers: Age of Extinction director just in case you didn't know Mark Wahlberg starred in Transformers 4 directed by Michael Bay. And, really, that's about the only thing that stood out in this milquetoast series. That and Jenny McCarthy appeared in multiple episodes, which is not a check in the plus column.

Though Mark and Donnie do appear in the series, this is primarily all about Paul and Alma and, frankly, they're not terribly interesting. They seem like nice people of course, but Paul's shtick grows tiresome. You see, he's always busy and he's the responsible one compared to his two fancy younger brothers so, you know, exasperation all around! This gets overplayed, so that every episode inevitably devolves into Paul furrowing his brow and complaining, before Donnie punches him in the arm or Mark takes him golfing or something. Alma is positioned as the feisty comic relief (sort of) and while there is no doubt in my mind she is a bad-ass mother, she's not a compelling TV character.

Celebrity horsepower or not, Wahlburgers is boring. And, weirdly, there's very little burger action. All the restaurant action happens at the periphery. So if you were hoping to learn how to grill some killer meat, look elsewhere.

Nine episodes on two discs, transferred in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreeen with a 2.0 stereo track providing the sound. A batch of additional footage for your extras.

The Verdict


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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 65

Perp Profile

Studio: Lionsgate
Video Formats:
• 1.78:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• DTS HD 2.0 Surround (English)
• English (SDH)
Running Time: 220 Minutes
Release Year: 2014
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
• Reality TV
• Television

Distinguishing Marks

• Deleted Scenes


• IMDb

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