By Sandra Kraisrideja
Paul Wahlberg, the oldest of nine children and big brother to Donnie and Mark, is the reluctant star of the new A&E reality series, “Wahlburgers.”
The show follows Wahlberg as he navigates the ups and downs of running two restaurants under the watchful eye of his famous brothers, who are investors, and the charismatic family matriarch, Alma.
The premiere episode introduces Paul and Alma, who are the core of the show, as well as some old friends from the neighborhood who will show up now and then as the season progresses. Mark and Donnie also figure prominently in the first episode, but it’s not clear how often they will appear in future episodes.
In the first episode we learn that dinnertime was an important ritual in the Wahlberg household and that hamburgers particularly were a favorite. Wahlburgers is the main setting for the show and shots of the hamburgers and other menu items crop up repeatedly. I found myself wanting to try the place, but at the moment there is only one location in Massachusetts.
The show is reminiscent of “Cake Boss” on TLC as it stresses the importance of family and any conflict that arises comes out of the workplace.
The show was strongest during a tender moment between Paul and Alma as they visited the old family home in Dorchester.
While the Wahlbergs are certainly an interesting family, this show isn’t going to uncover any dark secrets or creating tabloid headlines. One of the plot points this season is the expansion of the restaurant and the show is really a clever way to introduce America to Wahlburgers.
I know I was certainly hungry after just watching one episode.
“Walhburgers” airs Wednesdays at 10:30 p.m. on A&E.