Very few web parodies inspire actual TV shows. In fact, I can’t think of one that has. Until now. Yes, that’s right. The Real Housewives of South Boston is so freaking good that reality TV factory TLC is reportedly in pre-production for a South Boston based addition to their suite of ratings-busting real-life programming. Okay, to be honest, I don’t know if the choice was a direct result of this web series but, after watching, I can’t imagine how it wouldn’t be.
Real Housewives’ general premise isn’t all that new — mockumentary, reality spoof, people acting outrageous, yada yada. The Internet is littered with similar iterations of tired premises brought on by a dangerous elixir of writers’ panic and Bravo binges. On logline alone, this series wouldn’t be out of the ordinary. So why is it?
Acting. Writing. Production. The answer’s not new and it’s not exciting, so I’m sorry about that. What it is, is representative of the crucial elements of any successful project. We all love new, fresh things, but even proven ideas that seem like they’ve been through the mill a couple times can be really impactful if done well. The talent with which the “done” project is assembled makes it feel fresh. Just look at the “Shit ____ Say” meme. A lot of what’s been put out is terrible but some, even this late in the game, is pretty damn funny.
Written by Lucia Aniello, Paul W. Downs, and Jessica Eason and starring Jackie Clarke, Jessica Eason, Jamie Denbo, Lucia Aniello and Jessica Chaffin, The Real Housewives of South Boston needs no explanation. If you’ve turned on your TV in the past five years, you understand the background. The show’s beats are pitch perfect, accents spot on, and jokes familiarly Boston-centric without being tired.
Here are three reasons to watch this week’s pick. NOMAR!!! (Is he still playing even? I’m not really a sports fan.)
It started with Marky Mark. Then there was Good Will. Then The Departed and The Fighter, starring the artist formerly known as Marky Mark. And round and round we go. In entertainment, Boston is the new Brooklyn and if Scorsese and Spike Lee’s catalogs are any indication, Beantown’s still got some serious run left in it.
When parodying a TV show (or TV show format) in sketch form, it’s difficult to get away from an ultra-quick teaser feel. Thanks to strong editing, this show does a nice job of giving a full episode vibe in just a few minutes.
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