Southie To Get the Warm Reputational Boost of Reality TV

Image Credit: Karolina Wojtasik, courtesy of A&E

A&E announced that “Southie Rules,” their reality show following a Southie family with gripes about gentrification, will premiere January 29, 2013. So Southie, get ready for the warm, flattering light that only reality TV producers can cast on a city. (Just look at how good reality TV has made the Jersey Shore look, or the Real Housewives of Anywhere!) 

A&E has shared some details on the family the show follows through the show's new website and they sound, well, a bit notable in each of their own ways. The heads of household are Walter and Camile, who are “divorced, although they still share a room together on the top floor of their triple-decker home. Walter remains hopelessly in love with Camille, a sentiment she doesn't exactly share.” Walter and his sons work at a tattoo parlor. (Isn't that already a reality show?) One of the sons is a video game addict with a “baby mama” who “isn't having any of that.” Another character “had a baby with her (much younger) husband, Jarod,” which could be interesting if it doesn't descend into a string of jokes about cougars. And then there's Devin. “Devin actually has his own family, but he might as well have his own room here. Camille and her clan don't mind that he doesn't work and drinks all their beer because he keeps them all in stitches. Plus, he's a heck of a babysitter.” We're not sure we'd much like that arrangement if we were Devin's actual family, but hey, maybe in three years he'll be filming a spin-off show, selling his own line of Skinny Boy Light Beers, and winning the Celebrity Apprentice, or something. We're rooting for you, Devin.

Anyway, all of them together will war against the “yuppies” who think their old Southie ways are weird. Will we watch? Of course. Morbid curiosity demands it. The better question is: Will the nation watch? Will Walter and Camille become America's shorthand for “people from Boston?” We probably all have an interest in finding out the answer to that terrifying question.