Dear Vh1, I watched and now I’m discussing.

19 04 2011

The drunken, overtanned, self-righteous cast of Vh1’s new series Mob Wives are a little much to handle, even for reality TV.   Renee, the Mafia Princess; Drita and Carla, the Single Moms by way of Felon Spouses; and Karen, the Rat’s Daughter; all made for some seriously overdramatic Sundy night television.
By appearances, these are four fur-laden, hard-talkin’ gangster groupies who would’ve been kicked outta the Bada Bing faster than… well, faster than I can finish this Sopranos analogy.

Speaking of,  I think that the concept of Mob Wives comes too long after the close of HBO smash The Sopranos, which ended production in 2007, to really cash in on the American public’s fascination with the mafia.

I had two thoughts while watching the 10pm re-run of the Mob Wives premiere:

1.  Every single one of the Italians who huffed and puffed over Jersey Shore better be as, if not more, upset about these four broads and their famiglias.  
The Shore crew got nothin’ on these Staten Island women- they curse, drink, talk shit and fight more in the first episode than the fist-pumpers did all summer! If Jersey Shore made people perceive all Italians as sloppy and spoiled, Mob Wives will typecast those same Italians all as criminals.

2. Snitching is bad. Rats ruin families. Sooo what the hell kind of disgrace are these women bringing by being filmed discussing their lives so prominently connected to an unspeakable lifestyle?
This “Don’t Judge Me Cuz You’re Not Me” attitude doesn’t fly, because they’ve volunteered to be on television! Signing on for a reality show puts a face on the organized crime epidemic that is obviously alive and well in the boroughs on NYC, so people are going to draw conclusions and form opinions about you, your family and how you’re raising children in such an environment.

The format of the show, depicting each “wife” as an inmate — sentenced to hard time keeping the family together while their men do a stint in the pen — and using surveillance photos to transition from situation to situation, is about the freshest thing to hit the dishevelled network (are they about music? reality shows? award shows and specials? cultural countdowns?) in years.

The four women are seemingly all bravado, but there is a certain depth to their mindset that needs to be examined. How anyone could believe that the whack-and-lie process is one to be admired or revered is baffling, but these women are sure to continue preaching about loyalty, judgement and how hard they have it — while wearing lynx coats, designer heels, extensions, perfectly manicured nails and professionally done make-up — sitting inside their gated mini-mansions on (presumably near the upscale Todt Hill section of) Staten Island.

The NY Daily News said this series “should sleep with the fishes,” but overall, Mob Wives is sure to be a trashy little pleasure for the under 45 crowd — far surpassing the shallow Real Housewives.

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UPDATE : Ratings for the flagship episode are in! The first two airings, at 8 and 10 pm, brought in a combined 2.2 million viewers. Other shows kicking off on Sunday were Audrina, following the ‘hectic Hollywood life’ of Audrina Patridge formerly of MTV’s The Hills (1.2 million viewers) and Saddle Ranch, a hard look at the hot mess of a business and the staff of a chophouse/bar on the Sunset Strip (1 million viewers).

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