Is your front door locked? Are your blinds drawn? Because we are discussing the innermost lives of La Cosa Nostra right now, and by that I mean Mob Wives on VH1.
Have you seen this show? According to the network, Mob Wives is a "docu-soap that follows the lives of four struggling, 'allegedly' associated women who have to pick up the pieces and carry on after their husbands or fathers do time for Mob-related activities." But how is VH1 making it and what lives have been lost in the process? Is there a crack staff of cameramen and editors working out of a mattress-filled safe house in Staten Island? Will I get “whacked” if I point out that Renee, Mafia Princess, has eyebrows straight off of Ursula, Sea Witch?
Or do these women have as much association with the Mafia as I have with Krispy Kreme Donuts (ate one once)? Are they really just adorably delusional wannabes whose greatest con is getting a reality contract off of VH1? Is Mob Wives a gritty look into the personal lives of legit mafioso, or a gritty look into the personal lives of four guaranteed pathological liars? Let’s examine the evidence gathered in the first three episodes and render our verdicts:
Karen Gravano is trying desperately to escape her father’s mobster past by moving back to Staten Island from Arizona, writing a book about the mob, and starring in Mob Wives. Her father, Sammy ‘The Bull’ Gravano, was apparently a pretty big deal in the 90’s—but then again, so were Cross Colors.
Authentic mob connection. Why else would she elect not to appear onscreen, but instead be portrayed on the show by John Travolta? (Uncredited, but I'd recognize those baby blues anywhere.)
Drita D’Avanzo is the most beautiful sociopath ever caught on camera.
She’s a raging mobster shaped like Kate Moss, and she will casually refer to breaking a girl’s cheekbone in a club while pounding a punching bag with pink boxing gloves. In Episode 2, we saw her rage switch get “flipped”:
Her husband has been in jail almost the entire time they've been married, presumably for his own safety, and he refuses to tell her when he’s getting out.
Despite her thick Staten Island accent, Drita is actually, like, Albanian? And her dad is a soccer coach? Not that it matters. I will take Drita any way I can get her, she’s the most beautiful and deadly thing to cross my TV screen since the end of Shark Week.
Carla Facciolo is married to an imprisoned stock broker who she is in the process of separating from. She’s constantly at the gym, and I have yet to see her make a facial expression.
Carla has raised her 8-year-old twins alone while her husband has been in jail, and she has told them their whole lives that he is “at work,” so maybe we shouldn’t be shocked if she padded her resume to get on a reality show.
For your consideration:
Renee Graziano, the Maria Callas of Mob Wives, the self-proclaimed Mafia Princess. This woman is literally made to have dramatic meltdowns, the same way a bird is made to fly or a fish to swim. She’s constantly weeping to her therapist, sobbing at her son, storming out of bars, pulling on f**k-me boots while staring deeply into her own reflection, all of which is clearly bravado to shield the most sensitive heart beating on Staten Island. In Sunday's episode, her ex-husband and the father of her son AJ was arrested in an FBI “Mob Bust,” which resulted in an epic meltdown that impressed no one—especially not her exquisitely bored son.
Renee is, by all accounts, the most “in the lifestyle,” but considering our only evidence of that connection is her screaming at CNN and being greeted warmly by a pizzeria owner, its entirely possible she’s just a hell of a good time.
As of Episode 3 the jury is still out. I’m not really certain if I should leave my panic closet to get some groceries or if goons have cut the brakes on my Tracker.
... Do you think Episode 4 will establish definite mob ties, or is it safe to leave my house?
... Which of these Mob Wives actually is in the Mob?
... Do you know how to tell if brakes have been cut?