Are forthcoming reality TV shows about Boston, Southie too much Hub to handle?

Andrew Square in South Boston

In recent years, Boston has been the focus of stories on the big screen.

Now, a slew of reality shows are close to airing and will feature Boston and its law enforcement agents, union members and residents on the small screen.

Four reality shows focusing on Boston and Bostonians were announced earlier this year and two of them feature South Boston. One of those South Boston shows is scheduled to premiere this fall.

With so many shows about the Hub getting ready to air, will the nation suffer from over saturation of Boston?

Some South Boston residents, who have expressed concern over some of the shows, said they’re already “pooped” by reality TV anyway, never mind the coming onslaught of Boston broadcasts.

“I’m getting really pooped, over saturated right now. I’m almost sick of it,” said Maureen Dahill, the founder of the online neighborhood magazine Caught in Southie. “Before, it was kind of voyeuristic. I kind of like watching crazy, trashy people, but it’s almost like eating too much candy.”

Dahill also expressed concern about the potential for the South Boston shows pushing stereotypes and the possibility of South Boston becoming TV’s new Jersey Shore.

And that is a possibility, said Robert Galinsky, the founder and principal of the New York Reality TV School.

“If there’s one successful show or two out of four, you’re guaranteed production companies will be swarming into Boston and will be trying to figure out what’s the next community, what’s the next small pocket of people [they] can tap into and make a show out of,” he said, citing the spinoffs that followed MTV’s hit “Jersey Shore.”

While Galinksy said it’s likely the producers of the shows will feature a broad thumbnail of the Hub and will cast over-the-top Bostonians, there is a chance the shows could fail based on what he’s seen of Boston on business trips here.

“If reality television fails in Boston, it’s also going to be because the participants on the shows are going to be too sophisticated and too intelligent,” he said. “It’s a huge community of very smart people and that might not translate well with some of the car crash audiences of reality TV … which would be incredibly ironic and sad.”

Reality real soon

A run down of the upcoming reality shows from their network descriptions:

  • Boston Blue, from TNT, is a procedural docu-drama set to premiere next year that follows the men and women of the Boston Police Department’s exclusive and highly decorated gang unit.
  • Southie Pride, from TLC, is scheduled to premiere this fall and will take viewers inside the homes of five South Boston women as they struggle to make a life for their families and protect the people they love the most.
  • Southie Rules, from A&E, will follow one wicked-stubborn native South Boston family as they battle the relentless gentrification of their neighborhood.
  • Teamsters, from A&E, will be executive produced by Mark Wahlberg and will give viewers a first hand glimpse of the most legendary union in the most aggressive and territorial city in America.


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