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Mob Wives The Last Stand

Posted in: Basic Bitch Shit, Mob Wives, Pop Culture, Television
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Mob Wives was, once upon a time, an almost empowering TV show.

The series focused on a group of women from Staten Island who were friends with a shared bond: They were either daughters or spouses of men who’d done time for organized crime. The major emotional draw of the program was the strength each woman demonstrated in keeping their families and their sanity together when their more traditional expectations of reality had been burst wide open.

But over the course of six seasons the series has deteriorated into a circus of cattiness and venomous rage. Cheap, poorly conceived plot lines regurgitate pointless conflicts to pit women, who’re supposedly life-long friends, against one another over and over again. With each introduction of a friend-of-a-friend the show’s drama has become more illogical, yet predictable.

What do VH1, The Weinstein Company, and Viacom gain by promoting female division?

Karen_the_bull

Season after season cast member beef is manufactured and recycled as grown, middle aged women with children and families behave like unsupervised, parentless teenagers. Are these women to be blamed? Were they always this hateful toward one another? Did social media notoriety and television ratings simply make it easier and more convenient for them to broadcast their issues, to vie for alpha supremacy? Or are they just pretending to be this basic, this petty, and this jealous because producers and programming directors urge them to do so?

Renee Graziano is a big part of the problem.

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It’s unfortunate that Renee’s insecurities rule her behavior, even though it isn’t hard to understand how she got that way. This aspect of her humanity, her very real emotional distress, abandonment issues and vulnerability make it easy for a certain type of woman to identify with Renee’s character. But let’s call a spade a spade though: Renee is a spoiled brat. The turn off here is a hyper awareness among the cast, perpetuated by Graziano, that she’s the reason they have the show. Renee’s continual tantrums betray an entitled demand for respect and subjugation. Her need for attention is so strong that she fabricates turmoil; turning on anyone who stirs even the slightest breeze over her insecurities, or whoever fails to indulge her whims for domination. The only reason Renee’s still on the show is because her sister is an executive producer.

This season Graziano has a new puppet in model Marissa Jade. You can see Renee’s eyes practically glaze over with anticipation whenever she brings a new basic bitch into the mix. She likes to flaunt her power and influence among the women, and will favor anyone who blows sunshine up her ass, for giving them the opportunity to behave like a classless skank on national television. Renee is beyond lit that Marissa is an eager to please shit talker. Here, we have Natalie G vol. 2 – except better because she’s more malleable to Graziano’s will and intent.

Drita D’Avanzo is the real star of the series.

drita_park
Drita has the most twitter followers of any Mob Wives cast member, leading Renee by 100K. She is easily the most authentic and least pretentious of the women. Davanzo’s powerful connection to viewers comes from her confidence in herself, her strength, resilience, self respect and dignity. Drita doesn’t take the other women’s shit. They keep giving it though, and she she keeps standing up on her own two feet. She hustles, and provides for her daughters, making certain to give them good examples of what a capable woman can do when she sets her mind to something.

Oh, and, as we learned this week, Drita was raised poor in the projects. Drita didn’t have the same luxuries as her counterparts on the show. Her father didn’t rub elbows with dons. Her family didn’t have large backyard barbecues by the pool. There’s a strong distinction in the humility and respect between people who’re accustomed to having whatever they want and those who’ve had to work for their success.

Carla is an interesting player For three seasons Carla appeared to be the most no-nonsense, reasonable of the Mob Wives. Which is why her friendship with Drita made so much sense. They had more in common with one another than the other women: Both were single moms to two young kids, trying to maintain normalcy until their incarcerated husbands returned. When Carla left at the end of Season 3, I figured she had too much class to endure the antics of the show’s producers, and it’s big mouthed centerpiece – Renee. Carla’s sudden return and unexplained beef with Drita at the end of last season is suspicious. Did Carla negotiate a larger salary for herself so long as she maintains a feud with Drita and panders loyalty and friendship to Renee?

Big Ang remains the best thing about Mob Wives

Big Ang only wants to enjoy herself and have a good time. When she says as much she means it. Ang is the neutral party with all the women, and even when she does dish the gossip she always tries her best to bring a positive perspective to it. Her reaction to yoga reflect my overall feelings to the Mob Wives series:

bigang_eyeroll

It’s insulting and pathetic that reality television continues to exploit and glorify women’s most basic natures for profit.

The idea that a program geared toward women needs conflict and division to secure ratings and advertiser dollars is a) outdated and b) not true. Good, successful television can exist on the promotion of unity, family values, and positive, uplifting messages. VH1, A+E and their parent companies choose to air women behaving badly, to indulge cattiness and competition among women and their guilty pleasure is distasteful.

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Post Originally Published: January 21st, 2016

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