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Made in Staten Island

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Made in Staten Island TV Poster Image
Standard reality show has tough characters, violent themes.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Lots of discussion about what it will take to leave the street life behind, but a lot of the focus is on the bad behaviors and criminal histories of the cast.  

Positive Role Models & Representations

The bad choices some cast members make leave viewers questioning whether or not they're really serious about improving their lives.  

Violence

Some screaming, pushing, shoving. Some cast members are convicted felons; others are facing charges for assault, etc. Having parents in jail and the potential of serving jail time are discussed. The mafia is also discussed from time to time. 

Sex

Some innuendo. Romantic relationships between them often get contentious. One cast member is a young father.

Language

Lots of bleeped cursing including "s--t" and "f--k."

Consumerism

Red Bull cans are partially (but obviously) visible. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Drinking is frequently visible (and sometimes the cause of problems). A cast member’s father is imprisoned on a drug charge. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Made in Staten Island is a reality show about young people, some descended from mobsters, and their lives on Staten Island. Many members of the cast have had troubled pasts, ranging from living in mob families to getting involved in violent street activity, getting arrested, and serving time. Most of these things are discussed (versus happening on camera in real time), but these themes are central to the show. There's also lots of bleeped cursing, as well as threats of violence, and some pushing, shoving, and screaming. There's some sexuality and hooking up, as well as visible drinking and partying.

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What's the story?

MADE IN STATEN ISLAND is a reality show about a group of young adults and their families on the South Side of Staten Island trying to go from the street life to living the straight and narrow. It features Karina Seabrook, the granddaughter of mobster Salvatore "Sammy the Bull" Gravano; her boyfriend, Paulie Fusco, a young man who dreams big while trying to stay out of trouble; tough girl Kayla Gonzalez, whose street fighting has left her in legal trouble; and Christian "C.P." Patterson, who, thanks to his bad temper, is facing assault charges and may end up in prison like his father. It also features twins Taylor and Joe O'Toole, who are fighting their own demons while trying to stay out of trouble, and Dennie Augustine, a lively partyer who also serves as the voice of reason. But as they try to start new chapters in their lives, they can't (and won't) completely let go of the Staten Island lifestyle they've always lived. 

Is it any good?

This stereotypical series sends mixed messages when it comes to the idea of these young people trying to break free from their current ways of life. While some are pursuing an education as a way of improving their lives, others express the desire to improve but keep making poor decisions when it comes to threatening violence, fighting, street hustling, and other poor choices. 

Some will recognize a few of the Made in Staten Island cast members, thanks to their appearances on other reality shows like Promposal and Mob Wives, the latter of which only serves to perpetuate common generalizations about people who live in Staten Island. The combination of all of these things makes it hard to take these young adults, or their desire to make real changes, seriously. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the reasons young people may choose to engage in dangerous or criminal behaviors. Does poverty drive them to do it? Or is it something else? 

  • How successful is Made in Staten Island at highlighting the efforts of young people to improve their lives? Is this what the show is really about? 

TV details

For kids who love reality TV

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