Written by Heather Foley
Fess up! You watched “Southie Rules” last night? Of course you did! Well, what did you think? If you’re anything like the majority of my Twitter and Facebook feeds you didn’t give it 4 stars. I have to admit, I feel very conflicted about it. First of all let me state that believe it or not, I really wanted to like it. I always root, root, root for the home team, and coupled that with the fact that everyone seemed to decide to hate it before it even aired (because I love an underdog) I was really hoping A&E was going to step up to the plate. Well, I’m more than a little disappointed today, I’m full on bummed.
A compliment to start, I’m pleasantly surprised with how likable the family came across. I’m not even saying this to be fresh. I thought for sure the footage would be edited to portray them in the most unflattering way. I was anticipating cringing because the network decided to make the family the butt of the joke (a la Honey Boo Boo), but I was wrong. The family came across as funny, loyal, loving, and overall the kind of people you’d like to grab a drink with. Osbournes light maybe?
Now my beefs – well it’s really just one beef, which I’m sure is the same beef all ya’ll have, fakedy fake fake fake. I’m not new to the reality TV scene folks, I know the vast majority of the stuff is completely set up and I accept it, heck I encourage it because most people left to their own devices are incredibly boring. However “Southie Rules” seemed to take it to another level. It’s like A&E told VH1 we see your “Couples Therapy” and raise you a meatball fight. I just don’t get it. How do I know it’s fake? Well geography is your first clue. Who goes from M St. Park to Bell’s Market for shallots? No offense to Bell’s, but you pass Stop and Shop, K &8 th, and American Provisions on your way. But good for Bell’s for getting some screen time (seriously support local businesses guys, if Bell’s is in your hood you should shop there). Speaking of geographical boo-boos, Victory Park? Really? I have driven by Victory Park countless times, I have never, ever seen anyone there with their kids. Maybe because it’s a dog park?
I think we can all agree the biggest clue about just how fake this show is came in the form of a yuppie mom’s club party. Holy moly was this staged. Seriously, could not have been any faker if it had been shot on green screen, heck maybe it was shot on a green screen, who knows anymore. Completely unrelated (kinda), but was “Newlyweds” the last true reality show? Anyway, how uncomfortable was this whole scene? I felt bad for everyone involved. It’s like they all knew they were taking part in something ridiculous but it was too late. That ice breaker game may have been the dumbest three minutes I’ve ever seen on TV, and I watched “Daisy of Love”. “Have you ever spilled Pinot…” okay whoever wrote this line you needed to clarify “Pinot Noir” because Pinot Grigio would not stain and for whatever reason this bother me way more than it should have. And “Have you ever passed off non-organic as organic…”, no one ever has, because people who ask if everything is organic never get invited to parties because they are terrible and exhausting, duh. And what dumb luck that porno was in the DVD case, ammirite?
Okay, so in my humble opinion “Southie Rules” felt more sitcom than reality show, and “Three’s Company” hijinks at that. So what’s your game A&E? If you want to do a sitcom, by God hire some actors, a few good writers and get on with it. If you want to give us a reality show than don’t make it so contrived. The Niedzwiecki family clearly has enough personality to carry a true reality show, so just set the cameras, sit back and chill out. Come on A&E, give this family a shot without your set ups, they don’t need it. Oh and if I ever got to a bachelorette party and there were no meatballs or stripper, I’d be pissed.