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The Boston Globe


Television Review

Plenty of characters, little story in ‘Southie Rules’

For much of the first episode of “Southie Rules,” the show’s producers provide subtitles. As if the Southie accent — dropping the “r,” saying “wicked” and “doll-ahs,” and yelling “Ma!” — is hard to understand. Maybe I’ve lived in Boston too long, but I don’t find it hard at all to comprehend the characters on the A&E reality show, which premieres Tuesday night at 10. Lines such as “Where are you going?” and “This is going just swimmingly” — they’re pretty easy to follow if you know how to speak English.

But the subtitles are part of the producers’ strained effort to make Southie seem exotic and interesting. OK, we get it, Southie is a neighborhood of triple-deckers and tough-talking men and women who hate yuppies and love sports. We get it, we get it, people were entertained by “The Departed” and “The Fighter” and “Mystic River” and are familiar with the Wahlbergs. And yes, the Southie accent and attitude — fierce, and fiercely loyal — can be really funny. Just check out the “The Real Housewives of South Boston,” a YouTube series from the comedy team Paulilu. It’s spot on and hysterical.

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