Deciphering the Wahlberg Family
Wahlburgers is breaking mainstream media, so it’s important to get your Wahlbergs straight. Here’s a breakdown.
As Wahlburgers continues to top charts as one of A&E’s most popular shows, some viewers might have some trouble keeping track of who’s who. But it’s understandable. Kind of like Dorchester-meets-the-Kardashians, Wahlburgers has a complex family tree mixed in with a bunch of additional personalities—and they’re all under the reign of one kooky mother.
So for those of you non-Blockheads who don’t know your Donnies from your Pauls, or your Nachos from your Dramas, here’s a Wahlburgers clan primer:
Alma: The Name
Alma, who lends her name to Paul’s restaurant Alma Nove, is often the voice of reason. But actually, she is the reason to watch the show. While Mark, Donnie, and Paul have a lot to say about each other, Alma actually has the real dirt. And she’s the epitome of your classic Bostonian grandma, the kind with the best red sauce recipe and who probably used to smoke a pack a day. If you really need to choose a Wahlberg to love on this show, pick Alma.
Paul: The Brains
Paul is the mind behind the Wahlburgers restaurant operation. He’s the most rational, which doesn’t always work in his favor. His opinions are often overshadowed by Mark and Donnie’s, but at the end of the day, Paul gets the final shot by simply saying that he knows what the hell he’s doing.
Mark: The Backbone
If Paul is the one with the logic, Mark is the one driving the family to get where they need to be. He’s got a lot of ideas on his plate, and likes to pursue every single one of them all at once. Everything is a competition to him…because he’s Mark Wahlberg.
Donnie: The Voice
While Paul and Mark are the two go-getters, Donnie is very much the guy who sits in the backseat casting remarks to the guys up front. He’s the peanut gallery. His opinions on the business are not often taken seriously, but boy, can he promote. The only instances when his advice is noted are when Mark and Paul are butting heads.
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Bob: The Unknown Actor Brother
The seventh kid of nine, Bob makes frequent appearances on the show in season 3. He’s sassy and sometimes funny, but gives off a don’t-miss-with-me vibe. Don’t forget, though, that you know him from his small roles in The Departed, and most recently, The Judge.
Jim: The Runner Brother
The first thing you’ll notice about Jim is his thick Boston accent. He’s a proud Dorchester native, and also the executive director of the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation. He ran the 2014 Boston Marathon, and A&E documented the whole family affair in a special summer episode of Wahlburgers.
Arthur: The…Other Brother
We don’t know much about Arthur aside from he irregular appearances on the show. He puts around his family’s homes, helping Paul out occasionally. He lives in Worcester, Mass.
Brandon: The Kid
In case you didn’t know, Brandon is an absolute hoot. The nephew of Paul, Donnie, Mark and the rest, Brandon is a Dorchester lad that likes sports, is into girls, and, as a complete ham, definitely takes after his uncles.
Nacho: The Stooge
It’s hard not to sympathize with Henry “Nacho” Laun. He’s part of Mark’s friend group, and is clearly the one that gets laughed at as the stereotypical small, chubby, birdbrained guy. He’s most known for his uncanny ability to eat obscure, inedible things, which is both amusing and concerning.
Drama: The Rascal
Johnny “Drama” Alves is a “cuzin” of Mark, and has been an aspiring actor since their Funky Bunch days. On the show, he’s Mark’s sidekick to a smaller extent, but is mostly a general prankster, a Nacho provoker, and an acute entertainer.
Kari: The Odd One Out
It’s hard to place Kari in the Wahlberg dynamic. She’s not a long-time childhood friend, nor a blood relative, but serves as Paul’s “assistant”—although nobody is sure what that entails exactly. But Kari serves her purpose as the other consistent female personality aside from Alma. And as Alma is the force, Kari is the supporter.
Wahlburgers airs Wednesdays at 10:30 p.m. on A&E. Watch full episodes on aetv.com.