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'The Show With Vinny' review: Let Ma talk

Growing up, Vinny Guadagnino wouldn't invite friends over

Growing up, Vinny Guadagnino wouldn't invite friends over to his family's modest Staten Island, home. Now it's the backdrop for his MTV talk show, aptly named "The Show With Vinny." The 11-episode talk show launches Thursday (May 2) at 10 p.m. with Lil Wayne as the guest. Photo Credit: MTV

THE SHOW "The Show With Vinny"

WHEN | WHERE Premieres Thursday night at 10 on MTV

WHAT IT'S ABOUT In a modest middle-class Cape on Staten Island, a talk show is born, starring former "Jersey Shore" cast member Vinny Guadagnino, as himself, along with his mother, Paola Giaimo, who cooks -- and does plenty of talking herself -- and sisters, Antonella and Mariann Guadagnino. There's also a special appearance by Uncle Nino (whom we've previously met on "Jersey Shore"), bearing gifts (his own blend of wine, or we think it's wine). The premiere -- previewed last month following the "MTV Movie Awards" -- featured in-home interviews with Lil Wayne and YouTube comedy star Jenna Marbles. Future guests include Jenny McCarthy, Kat Graham, A$AP Rocky and Mark Wahlberg.

MY SAY "The Show With Vinny" is a certifiable mess. It's as if this were a talk show performed as a card trick, where the deck is tossed in the air and the cards haphazardly flutter to the ground. It's the anti-talk show, the talk show that isn't a talk show, the talk show from another planet -- that would be Staten Island -- talk show. And yet, in a weirdly unexpected way, it almost works -- and potentially could work.

The real stars -- the ones who caught our eye and made us laugh (or made me laugh) -- are Paola and Nino, but "The Show With Paola and Nino and Vinny" is probably too long a title, so "The Show With Vinny" will have to do.

As a host, Vinny needs work -- a lot of work. He laughs too hard (mostly at his own observations, or in the manner of an obsequious infomercial pitch- man). His questions are lame, incurious and star-struck. (Vinny, you have Wayne and all you can ask about is his fashion line and skateboarding skills?)

But there's charm here and -- you may hate me for saying this -- even some promise. Most of all, the host is very nearly likable. Now, he just has to grow a talk-show-host brain.

BOTTOM LINE Let's count our blessings: At least this isn't "The Show With Snooki."


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