Mob Wives TV Poster Image

Mob Wives

(i)

 

Real-life mafia wives reinforce negative stereotypes.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Despite the hardships that some of these women face as a result of their father and/or partner’s incarceration, all of them seem to acknowledge and put up with the gangster lifestyle. Women's roles in these communities is complicated and not necessarily positively portrayed.

Positive role models

The women cope with single parenthood and other life situations brought on by being raised by or married to a gangster, but some of them still enjoy the perks of being part of "The Family." Stereotypes about women and Italian Americans are reinforced.

Violence

Catfighting is frequent among the wives. Drita D’Avanzo is known for being physically violent as a child. Karen Gravano fears retaliation thanks to her father’s actions. One cast member claims that she doesn't have a problem with her family’s criminal activity because it was always directed toward someone else. Discussion of criminal acts, including violent ones.

Sex

References are made to being a "ho" and "riding" and "banging" people. The women discuss staying with and/or divorcing their incarcerated husbands. One woman states that she'll only date people in the (gangster) lifestyle.

Language

Words like "bitch," "hell," and "ass" are audible; curses like "f--k" are bleeped.

Consumerism

The women are shown wearing expensive fur coats and high-end brands like Chanel and Louis Vuitton. Some incarcerated husbands call their wives from jail for food items like Vanilla Coke and Twinkies.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Drinking (wine, champagne, mixed drinks, shots) and cigarette smoking are visible.

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.

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?

QUALITY

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.

Families can talk 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?

TV details

Premiere date:April 17, 2011
Cast:Drita D'avanzo, Karen Gravano, Renee Graziano
Network:VH1
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:TV-14
Available on:Streaming

This review of Mob Wives was written by

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Adult Written byHazel21 January 10, 2012

Good show with 1 bad apple

I love the show except for Karen. She has the biggest mouth out of everyone and blames everyone else. She needs to understand that you have to talk to someone the way you want them to talk to you. I know there has to be drama but she is a s*** starter.
Teen, 17 years old Written byBrittany.green May 3, 2011
not a show for kids!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent of a 15 year old Written bymhoy April 24, 2011
What other families should know
Too much sex
Great role models

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