Meat balls, ball busting, bill roulette and a boat – was “Southie Rules” everything you expected?
Hours after the reality show made its debut on A & E, Metro caught up with cast member Jon Niedzwiecki – A.K.A the stripper – who admits it was “nerve-racking” for him and his family to watch the Tuesday night premiere, so they took the edge off with a viewing party at their triple-decker South Boston home.
“It has definitely been a unique experience, but its one we’re all really happy with. We wouldn’t change anything about it,” he said.
The series, which follows the antics of Niedzwiecki’s Southie family, faced heat from critics before it hit the airwaves.
Scores of people in the Boston area also expressed trepidation over the possibility the show might give the rest of the nation a bad impression of Southie, and many suspected the series may be scripted.
A lot was riding on Tuesday’s premiere, and now the reviews are in.
Boston resident Steve Morin said the show had “bad acting, worse Boston accents and the jokes try way too hard.”
“The show is a disgrace to this city,” he said on Twitter.
Those who approved pointed to the show’s comedy as a redeeming quality.
“I thought (Southie Rules) was funny… Thanks for the laughter. Remember kids… it’s not a documentary,” Bridget Lee said on Twitter.
Check out a clip of Tuesday’s show:
“Caught in Southie” writer Heather Foley, a lifelong South Boston resident, is somewhere in the middle, and admittedly “conflicted” about the series.
“I was worried it would be ‘born and bred (Southie residents) versus the yuppies; that they’d be edited into the butt of a joke, but they weren’t,” Foley said. “I think that the family itself was great. I was pleasantly surprised with how likeable they came across.”
But Foley’s feathers were a bit ruffled over the feeling that some of the scenes felt forced.
“I didn’t care for how sitcom-like and scripted it came across. That was not necessary. The family had enough personality to carry the show without it,” she said.
Joel Olicker, CEO of the Somerville-based company Powderhouse Productions, was on location for some of the filming, and shot down the notion that the show is anything but genuine.
“They are a passionate family, and have a unique, very identifiable blend of traits that make them compelling. They have this snarky sense of humor with each other… people get that right away. That is a classic way of being for families like this. There is a lot of love and you can feel it,” Olicker said.
Niedzwiecki and his family are adjusting to their newfound notoriety, but in the meantime they are determined to appreciate the supporters, and brush off the haters.
“Some people just want to take jabs, but that’s okay. No one (in my family) is taking it personally. You can’t please everybody”