By Melissa Camacho,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Reality show about reformed hip-hopper is mediocre at best.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The show aims to present Gotti as a reformed bad boy, but there's enough iffy stuff going on to send some pretty mixed messages about family relationships.
Positive Role Models
Gotti is trying to rebuild his name and reputation in the hip-hop industry after being acquitted of criminal charges. He loves Deb and his children, but he's shown attempting to control his estranged wife. He also struggles with balancing his work and family. Gotti refers to women as "scallywags," "chicks," and "hos."
Violence & Scariness
Frequent arguments between Gotti and recording artists and Gotti and Deb. Gotti's record label is named "Murder Inc." Some of the featured music references violence.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some of the music heard features sexually explicit lyrics. Infidelity is openly discussed. Dating is sometimes discussed.
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Strong language throughout. Words like "damn" and "hell" are audible; "s--t" and "f--k" are frequent, but bleeped. The word "ho" is also bleeped.
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Products & Purchases
Expensive cars (Range Rovers, Cadillacs) are visible. Popular hip-hop music occasionally heard. Features well-known musicians like Russell Simmons, Ja Rule, DMX, Lloyd, and Vanessa Carlton.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Alcohol (wine, beer, mixed drinks) is sometimes visible. Gotti was charged and acquitted on federal charges of laundering money for drug kingpins.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this series -- which follows hip-hop music executive Irv Gotti as he regroups after being acquitted of laundering drug money -- deals with mature themes like legal controversy, infidelity, and divorce. It offers mixed messages about family relationships and includes scenes in which Gotti's children are affected by their parents' issues. You can also expect a lot of strong language (most of which is bleeped out) and some drinking, as well as sex and violence references in featured songs.
Where to Watch
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What's the Story?
GOTTI'S WAY chronicles the life of former record label king Irv Gotti as he tries to reclaim his hip-hop throne. As the head of Murder Inc. Records, Gotti was responsible for guiding the careers of popular musicians like Jay-Z, DMX, Ja Rule, Ashanti, and Jennifer Lopez. But his reign was cut short in 2003 when he faced federal indictment for laundering drug money. Acquitted of all charges in 2005, he now has a new record label deal and is on the verge of exploding back into the music scene -- in his own way. As the former rap mogul attempts to climb back to the top, he also copes with ups and downs on the home front. Deb, his estranged wife (and best friend) is open about their problems, discussing her struggles with their relationship and Irv's long history of infidelity. Meanwhile, Gotti tries to maintain a consistent -- and sometimes controlling -- presence in her life, as well as in the lives of their three children.
Is It Any Good?
The Gotti family's loving-but-dysfunctional relationship adds some drama, but it isn't really that fun to watch, especially when Irv and Deb discuss their problems in front of their kids. Gotti's Way is an obvious attempt to restore Gotti's professional and personal reputation. But while the show may appeal to hip-hop fans, the mixed messages it sends about family relationships doesn't make it a overly positive viewing choice.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about why Gotti got his own show. What audience do you think producers were hoping to reach?
Why are viewers so interested in "celebreality" shows? Do you think Gotti will be able to rebuild his career?
Why are some artists (like Cher, for example) able to successfully revive their careers, while others aren't?
How can children cope when parents are having problems? What can parents do to help their kids when families are facing hard times?
- Premiere date: October 8, 2007
- Cast: Deb Gotti, Irv Gotti
- Network: VH1
- Genre: Reality TV
- TV rating: NR
- Last updated: February 24, 2022
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