Genre: Reality TV
TV Rating: TV-14
Other Choices: MADE, True Life, Jennie Garth: A Little Bit Country
Available On: Online
Common Sense Says: Reality spin-off has stereotypes, brawls, and salty vocab.
Common Sense Rates It:
Parents need to know
Parents need to know that Mob Wives Chicago mirrors the reality show that it spun-off from and includes lots of conversations -- both positive and negative -- about the gangster lifestyle. Expect lots of references to violent crime (including comments about someone getting shot in the back), crude sexual references, drinking, smoking, and salty vocab ("bitch," "piss," and bleeped curses). Verbal exchanges often lead to threats of violence and actual brawls that include punching, shoving, and hair pulling.
- Families can talk about why these women decided to appear on a reality show. Is it for fame? Money? Sympathy?
- Series like The Sopranos and Lilyhammer and films like The Godfather offer fictional portrayals of the Italian mob. Do you think the Mob Wives franchise offers viewers an image of the Italian mob that's different and/or more accurate?
- Do you think that the Mob Wives franchise reinforces stereotypes about their community? Why or why not?
What's the story?
MOB WIVES CHICAGO, a spin-off of the reality series Mob Wives, follows the lives of five Chicago-area women who are somehow "connected" to the mob world. It stars Renne Fecarotta Russo, the niece of alleged Mafia strong arm "Big John" Fecarotta; Nora Schweihs, daughter of the late alleged Chicago hit man Frank "The German" Schweihs; Pia Rizza, daughter of crooked police-officer-turned informant Vincent Rizza; and Christina Scoleri, daughter of alleged Mob burglar Raymond Janek. Also joining the cast is tough-talking Leah Desimone, daughter of alleged gangster "The Wolf Pack" Desimone. From facing stigmas for being related to a mob "rat" to dealing with financial problems and custody battles as single parents, these women show what being connected to the Chicago mob is like from their point of view.
Is it any good?
Like it's sister show, Mob Wives Chicago offers viewers a voyeuristic look into the lives of women who are reaping the consequences of having a relative or spouse who is allegedly affiliated with gangster-related organizations. While some of them appear to be enjoying some financial benefits from these relationships, they don't seem to be enjoying the money- and power-driven lifestyle as much as their Staten Island counterparts. Nonetheless, much like the New York wives, they quietly -- and with subtle pride -- accept the attitudes and moral codes of the community they grew up in.Some plot lines -- like the desire of one wife's daughter to build a relationship with her incarcerated father and the attempt of another wife to locate her deceased father's grave -- have the potential to add some substance to the show. Unfortunately, the women's constant cursing and brawling, combined with discussions of their relatives' criminal behavior, makes it impossible to take them seriously. If anything, it only continues to reinforce some very negative stereotypes about Italian-Americans.
The Good Stuff
Messages: Mob Wives Chicago looks at how the cast's lives are impacted by their relationship with their past and current connections to the mob. Not all references to criminal elements are negative. Women as trophies or competitors is a theme.
Role Models: Many of the women are accepting and quietly proud of their relatives and the role they allegedly had in the mob. Some look down on those related to informants. The wives exhibit questionable behavior when they socialize (like arguing, physical fighting, and drinking too much), but those who are parents are loving mothers to their children.
What to watch out for
Violence Frequent discussions of violent murders and other crimes. The women often threaten to slit people's throats, beat people up, and do other violent things to people who bother them; disagreements often devolve into cat fights and physical brawls.
Sex: One of the mob wives works as a stripper to support herself and her children. References to "goomahs," the Italian slang term for mistress.
Language: Lots of salty vocab, including words like "damn," "ass," "crap," and "bitch." Curses like "s--t" and f--k" are bleeped. Sexual words like "balls," "slut," and "whore" are audible.
Consumerism: Mercedes-Benz cars, Chanel sunglasses, and other big-ticket name brands and logos are visible. Music featured on the show, including music by Ladyhawke and The Asteroids Galaxy Tour, is featured and promoted in between show segments.
Drinking, drugs & smoking: Adults drink wine, champagne, and cocktails. Characters smoke cigarettes and cigars.