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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this reality drama featuring women who are "connected" to convicted mobsters contains some questionable messages about the gangster lifestyle, as well as about the benefits and challenges this lifestyle creates. Expects some strong violent references (like comments about being shot in the head), and crude sexual references. The language is often strong ("bitch," "piss"; other bleeped curses) and drama between the women is played up to include lots of screaming and threatening. Drinking and smoking is frequent.
Good show with 1 bad apple
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What's the Story?
MOB WIVES follows four women whose lives have been transformed by their relationships to convicted mobsters. It stars Renee Graziano, daughter of famed mobster Anthony Graziano; Karen Gravano, daughter of notorious mob informant Sammy "The Bull" Gravano; Carla Facciolo, soon-to-be ex-wife of convicted money launderer Joseph Ferragamo; and Drita D'avanzo, who's married to convicted bank robber Lee D'avanzo. From single motherhood to living with the notoriety of being an informant's daughter, these Staten Island women offer a first-hand look at the price they're paying for -- and the continued benefits they're reaping from -- being associated with the gangster lifestyle.
Is It Any Good?
The series offers a voyeuristic look into the lives of women who, thanks to their birthright and/or relationship choices, are living with the consequences of having their parent and/or spouse convicted (and subsequently incarcerated) for gangster-related crimes. While they struggle to cope with living life on their own, some of them appear more frustrated with the loss of the wealth- and power-driven lifestyle they used to enjoy as a result of their underworld connections. Others accept that their loved one did something illegal but are more upset about him being caught and convicted rather than the fact that he actually did something wrong.
The wives' attitudes and moral codes are the result of being raised in a culture that views criminal pursuits as a quietly accepted function of their community. But the women's over-the-top behavior, as well as their willingness to accept these illegal activities as little more than an inconvenient (but financially lucrative) norm, plays into existing stereotypes about both the gangster lifestyle and about Italian Americans. These ladies will certainly appeal to the curious, but chances are they'll get very little sympathy.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the Mafia. Do TV shows like The Sopranos and movies like The Godfather offer accurate accounts of what this kind of life is really like, or do they glorify it? Is the Italian mob different from other organized gangs?
Why do you think these women decided to appear on a reality show? Is it for money? Fame? To garner sympathy for what they're going through? Do you think their acceptance of the gangster lifestyle is appropriate? Why or why not?
What kinds of ethnic and gender stereotypes are challenged or reinforced in this show?
- Premiere date: April 17, 2011
- Cast: Drita D'avanzo, Karen Gravano, Renee Graziano
- Network: VH1
- Genre: Reality TV
- TV rating: TV-14
- Last updated: March 15, 2023
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