Which Sex and the City Characters Are the Wahlbergs?
Oh Mark, such a Miranda.
If you haven’t been keeping up with the Wahlberg family on their new reality series, Wahlburgers, here’s what you need to know: it’s fun and genuine, despite also being rehearsed and gimmicky.
The four main characters are brothers (Chef) Paul, (Baby) Donnie, and (Marky) Mark, and their mother, Alma, and each fits into his or her own TV-ensemble stereotype. (For a primer of who’s who in the Wahlberg family—with GIFs!—check out this quick-and-dirty guide.)
Take Donnie, for example. In every family sitcom with three or more siblings, one of them is almost immediately deemed king or queen of one-liners (see: @DonnieWahlberg on Twitter). Often a middle child, he or she is silly, a prankster, and not particularly essential to the business at hand—though 100 percent required to make the show worth watching. In other words, Donnie is Joey Tribbiani from Friends, Khloe from Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Joey Gladstone from Full House, and so on.
But since hitting the small-screen more than 10 years ago, no series is a better baseline for cast stereotypes than HBO’s Sex and the City. So without further ado, here is a guide to the Wahlberg family’s SATC doppelgangers. (Mirandas, do feel free to contribute your own arguments in the comments section below.)
Donnie Wahlberg Is Samantha Jones
There’s a reason most end-of-show outtakes on Wahlburgers star Donnie. Whereas brothers Mark and Paul are quite serious, Donnie is—let’s just say it—the fun one. The New Kid on the Block is the most confident and most unfiltered cast member. Sounds like a total Samantha, no? The raunchy Sex and the City character played by Kim Cattrall is a confident PR maven, totally uninhibited, and always gets her man. That right, Jenny McCarthy: in this scenario, you get to be SATC’s resident boy-toy Smith Jerrod. (And boy does Donnie and Jenny’s pillow talk make us blush.)
Mark Wahlberg Is Miranda Hobbes
Aw, Marky Mark, why so serious? Not that we ever doubted his machismo, but there are certainly moments during Wahlburgers when Mark’s competitiveness makes us wince. Of course we know the rough-and-tumble actor/producer/entrepreneur respects his brother Paul dearly; in the promos, it’s Mark who repeatedly states, “Paul is the star, he’s the chef, he’s the most talented in the family…” But whether he’s pushing Paul to work out, pushing for Wahlburgers to expand, or pushing his friends into golf ponds, Mark’s tough love routine makes him the Miranda of the bunch. Good intentions are lost in translation with these two. Need we bring up the time Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) kind of, sort of, totally ruined Carrie’s wedding by telling the groom, “You’re crazy to get married”?
Paul Wahlberg Is Charlotte York
Paul, the brother who runs Wahlburgers and Alma Nove in Hingham, also takes the family burger business very seriously, but it’s his sincerity that trumps all. He counters Mark’s international ambitions with hopes to open a second Wahlburgers in Boston. (A Wahlburgers by Fenway? We wouldn’t mind.) Chef Paul is meticulous about his restaurants’ operations. (Alma, put those candlesticks back!) But most importantly, Paul is cast as the most straight-laced, hardworking, risk-averse, eager-to-please brother. That’s why he’s a Charlotte, and that’s why fans love him. If foreshadowing worked in real life, then it’d be worth mentioning that in the first Sex and the City movie, Charlotte (Kristin Davis) ends up with the perfect life she always wanted…so much so that in Sex and the City 2, she had no storyline.
Alma Wahlberg Is Carrie Bradshaw
Alma—she’s the glue! And though all four Wahlbergs narrate the show, Alma is the one with the truly enlightening background stories. She’s the true narrator, the one who knows everyone else’s secrets. (If this were a Mean Girls comparison, you might cast Alma as the information-wielding Gretchen Weiners.) Alma though, having raised not just Paul, Donnie, and Mark, but six other children, is both wise and carefree. And while Carrie Bradshaw’s wisdom is questionable, she certainly embodies Alma’s optimistic spirit.
As with the Sex and the City cast, it’s when all the Wahlbergs come together that a well-rounded show is made, and the ratings for Wahlburgers confirm it—A&E has already ordered 18 more episodes. Long live the shenanigans!
Wahlburgers airs Wednesdays at 10:30 p.m. on A&E. Watch full episodes from Season 1 so far on aetv.com.