The undisputed star of Mob Wives, Angela “Big Ang” Raiola, will star in her very own spin-off this summer! Not taking any chances with a cheesy title, the network has simply titled her new show, after her nickname, Big Ang, and has ordered 10 episodes of following the most fascinating of the wives.
“Big Ang” will give viewers a glimpse into the life of one of reality TV’s most over-the-top and loveable characters. We’ll tag along as she hangs out with her family and friends, spends time at her increasingly popular Staten Island bar, The Drunken Monkey, and even hangs out with ‘da wise guys.’And yes her longtime friends from the original “Mob Wives” series will visit from time to time as will her loveable canine sidekick Little Louie.”
Dogs, alcohol, and lovable criminals? Sounds awesome! One of the VH1 suits describes Big Ang as “the definition of authentic.” Hear that, Kelly Bensimon?
In other Mob Wives news, show creater Jennifer Graziano responded to the recent revelation that her brother-in-law Junior Pagan was working as a FBI informant. On the VH1 blog, she says that she should have known something was up when he claimed he didn’t care how being on the show would ruin his reputation on the street.
She says VH1 asked if she wanted to stop production on the show, but she decided to keep going. It has created problems in her family.
“He used to tell me that he was my brother. And, it turns out, he didn’t care about me — and he sure didn’t care about Renee.”
TELL US — WILL YOU WATCH BIG ANG’S SPIN OFF? WHAT DO YOU THINK OF JUNIOR’S ROLE AS AN INFORMANT?
On last night’s episode of Mob Wives, the shiz hit the fan as Renee Graziano continued to deal with the fall-out from Junior Pagan. Renee worried that karma would find her and all of Staten Island would turn on her, just like she turned on Karen Gravano! Luckily for Renee, her friends stood by her and she even had an epiphany. Which, was over-shadowed by some drama concerning her best frienemy Carla Facciolo.
Things begin with an all too real and extremely distraught Renee learning that Junior‘s rat behavior has become front page news. As in everyone is talking about it and everyone knows she’s in love with a rat. Renee is in a tailspin worrying about what everyone is going to think and how she will be treated by her circle. It seems Junior’s cheating ways cannot be quelled and, unfortunately, he’s cheating with the feds this time! And the feds do not a good mistress make.
Someone who knows all too well about having a rat in the family, is Karen. Karen calls her mom to discuss what Renee is going through. Karen’s mother is empathetic to Renee’s plight and especially for how AJ will suffer from his father’s actions. Karen describes her mom as the family rock who held everything together and still does.
Learning of Junior‘s actions has forced Drita D’avanzo to reconsider the state of her relationship with Renee and she decides to pay her a visit. Drita is afraid—who wouldn’t be—but decides to put her fear in her purse. Renee answers the door, unarmed and alone, and not even wearing make-up. She’s a mess. Drita is sympathetic and offers Renee a hug and a shoulder to cry on.
Renee and Drita discuss Junior‘s betrayal, and Renee reveals that he was in cohorts with the feds before moving back in with her and before restarting their relationship. The realization that Junior not only ratted out her father, but used her to garner more information about her family is devastating. Drita is overcome with emotion and tears up. Renee, oh poor Renee. A broken Renee just wants to know the truth about Junior’s intentions for getting a back together.
Paralleling the effects of rattism years later, Karen is recording her book for audio release. As she struggles through Chapter 11, the memories are still painful for her. Everyone wants to know who and what is in Karen’s book and regardless of whether he likes it or not, one Lee D’avanzo has a prominent role in the story. Despite Lee’s insistence that he and Karen were scarcely a thing, Karen is holding firm to the notion that he was not only a huge part of her life, but that he betrayed both she and her father. Drita, of course, will also have a place as the least loyal friend who ever lived and the one person Karen cannot forgive. Karen doesn’t care who’s mad – sometimes the truth isn’t what people want to hear. Amen sister!
Drita announces she is training for a boxing match. Drita grew up boxing. Boxing is second nature to her; like putting lipstick, loving a man named Lee, and slurping wine with Carla. Drita’s prized possession is her mean right hook. And she believes training to box will help her channel some of her aggression. Sadly, during a sparring match she kinda loses it and ends up reverting to her kick boxing survival ways and kicks her trainer. Uhhh… this isn’t Mortal Kombat!
Big Ang Raiola pays a visit to Renee, who is quarantined at home and has taken up permanent residence on her sofa with a box of tissues and the newspaper bearing Junior‘s betrayal. Big And is wise and soulful, counseling Renee to go on for AJ‘s sake and reminding her that she mustn’t let this destroy her. Renee reveals that the worst part of all of this is being called a rat herself; which is both shocking and horrible. This has helped Renee put Karen‘s situation into perspective and she doesn’t want AJ to be treated the way Karen was when she returned home to Staten Island. At least Renee’s priorities are in whack!
The next day Karen stops by. When she arrives, Renee is up and moving around and she has lipgloss on! Victory in small things! Renee is also packing up Junior‘s belongings. Renee admits this has been the wake-up call, really the tidal wave of wake-up calls and reality has now come crashing down. She recognizes just how unsavory being a mafia princess really is and for the first time she is truly willing and ready to abandon the lifestyle which has become her identity and her sense of self.
Renee has been forced to reassess her entire life. Unfortunately, she also realized there is no more one big happy family when it comes to Junior. She has not only lost the love of her life, and her father, but also her identity.
The show is set to start shooting in July and show creator Jennifer Graziano tells Hollywood Life that she knew from the start Big Ang was too big of a personality to contain. “When I first brought Big Ang in, I wanted her for season one, but I felt like she was a little bit older than the other women. She’s a friend of my older sister and my aunt. … We’ve known her since we were kids. We had that one major connection, and I thought, ‘Let me build my brand first, then save her as my secret weapon for season two,’ which I think worked out great.”
Fans are responding well to her, as Jennifer predicted, so she thinks the show will do fine with resting on Big Ang’s shoulders. “Everybody loves Big Ang. She’s just so hysterically funny, so genuine, so real — it’s almost like you can’t believe what you’re seeing! This woman is so special and so crazy, and I knew that when I brought her on for season two.”
And thankfully her current co-stars aren’t bitter over the news. Renee Graziano says she’s happy for her. “God bless Big Ang! I’m not a jealous person. She deserves it; let her do her!”
Speaking of Renee, she shared recently that she’s GLAD that her father and her husband were both arrested and that the whole thing played out the way it did. Her reasoning? So we all know this show is the real deal (nail polish change mid-meltdown aside).
“Actually this might sound a little cocky but I’m glad it’s playing out in national headlines. Because people know this is real. You get a lot of remarks that this is staged. Listen, if I could get the government or anybody behind the scenes to get them to pinch 127 people and get my ex husband into a snitch we would be gazillionaires and everyone would want us!”
Renee also wants to let fans know that just because her ex-husband, Junior Pagan, and dad, Anthony Graziano, will be behind bars, her story line won’t become stale and pointless.
“If everyone thinks this is all I have they are sadly mistaken. That came, that blindsided all of us, no one was expecting that …this will not affect my story line and I have a lot more than Junior in my life.”
TELL US – ARE YOU WATCHING BIG ANG’S NEW SHOW? DID YOU EVER DOUBT THE VALIDITY OF THEIR MOB LIFE PORTRAYED ON THE SHOW?
Fans are loving Big Ang, it would seem. The Mob Wivesstar is reportedly in talks for her own spinoff show!
Sources tell Wetpaint that “a deal is in the works. Nothing has been signed, but a deal is being set up.” VH1 declined to comment, but where there’s smoke…
The networks are handing these spinoffs out like candy, aren’t they? Snooki & JWoww, Lisa Vanderpump, Bethenney Frankel and on and on….. Like a free gift with purchase.
It seems that Mob Wives is turning out to be too much reality for some viewers of the show. After recent episodes showed the grizzly reality of the mob lifestyle, fans are speaking out about the show losing it’s entertainment value.
Two weeks ago, the show featured the ladies’ vacation to the Poconos, where they fired off some rounds in the woods to reconnect them to their roots or something. Karen Gravano, daughter of former mob boss, Sammy “The Bull” Gravano, recounted the first time she discovered her father’s gun under a mattress. Now, relatives of some of Sammy’s victims are speaking out about the inappropriateness of the show and the topic!
“Sammy was a psychotic killer. And I do believe genes are inherited,” said Lynda Milito, a mob wife of her own, who credits Sammy for offing her husband Louie Milito. “What about the people [Sammy] killed, and their extended family? How can [Karen] be allowed to shoot a gun? The apple does not fall far from the tree, and crime does not pay,” Lynda tells the NY Post.
Concerns were also raised about Karen, who was once on probation, being in contact with a firearm. In response to the concerns, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Philadelphia Field Division issued a statement denying that any illegal behavior took place on said trip. “We are aware of the show and the episode. We do not have a criminal investigation.”
Karen also denies breaking probation and issued a statement through her rep denying any wrongdoing. “My probation terms have been over since 2003. At that time, I filed a motion to have my constitutional rights restored and to my knowledge, they have been restored. They’re doing everything they can to discredit me because of their personal issues with my father.”
Moving on to other distressing Mob Wives issues – Renee Graziano has been dealing with the horrific reality of learning that her ex-husband, Junior Pagan, ratted out her father, Anthony Graziano, which resulted in his return to jail. Junior is reportedly in the Federal Witness Protection Program.
Renee has shared that she fell into a deep depression, later leading to hospitalization after she contemplated suicide. Well, now Renee is moving on, but she will “never” speak to Junior again!
“I have no relationship with my son’s father whatsoever,” Renee told HollywoodLife. “Not at all. I found forgiveness for myself, because if I didn’t, I wouldn’t be able to go on and date and be a happy person. As far as my father is concerned, I won’t be able to forgive him [Junior] not now and not ever.”
Renee also reveals that her son AJ is healing as well, but things are still difficult for him. “He is doing the best that he can and hopefully he will come out of it soon.”
Not surprisingly, as Renee is the one who has brought them all together, Renee credits her co-stars for keeping her sane and helping her through the awful situation. “They have helped me,” she shares. “I’m in a really good place with the girls. I don’t always like them, but I love them.”
Renee is also ready to start dating again! “I’m single and I’m open to dating,” she dished “I’m looking for a real man.”
Maybe they can give Renee her own spinoff, too. Bachelorette-style.
[Photo Credit: WENN.com]
TELL US – WOULD YOU WATCH A ‘BIG ANG’ SPINOFF SHOW? WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE OUTCRY OVER RENEE’S GUN FIRING? WHO DO YOU THINK RENEE SHOULD DATE AFTER JUNIOR?
It seems Urkel has a bit of a temper. According to reports, Jaleel White blew up at his dance partner,Kym Johnson, during Friday’s rehearsal, and things got so heated that other Dancing with the Stars contestants and producers needed to step in.
Jaleel became agitated after he stepped on Kym’s foot and she cried out “ouch”. He got in her face and told her to “stop acting like a baby” and at one point called her an “idiot”. Kym stepped outside while Donald Driver tried to calm Jaleel down. Jaleel claims that producers paired him with “a stupid partner”. When Mark Ballas approached Jaleel, he reportedly spat at him “You remind me of that annoying sitcom neighbor who gets into everyone’s business!”
The source says that producers had to break things up and attempt to cool everyone down. Rumor has it that Jaleel has been refusing to step foot back in the rehearsal studio, and that he’s demanding his own space somewhere else.
Jaleel fired back this morning, saying that the reports have been “greatly exaggerated”. “We go to work every day, and there is an alley full of tabloid reporters. It’s not fair to us and that’s life, and I hope people can see through it. There’s no drama in my life.”
Also denying the extent of the blowup is Mark Ballas, who tells TMZ that it’s all crap. “We’re in L.A. man … everything’s fabricated.”
Last night’s Mob Wives followed Renee Graziano’s emotional distress, and it becomes more and more evident that something shady was going on with husband Junior Pagan in regard to her father’s arrest.
Renee is still in a very bad place after both Junior and her father went away on the same day. Karen Gravano understands that, perhaps they needed to be arrested, but she wishes the feds could have at least waited until after Thanksgiving. Over the phone, her friend Nikole pleads with Renee to motivate herself for A.J.’s sake. While, Renee promises she doesn’t let her son see her so upset, she is screaming and sobbing for most of the conversation.
Ramona comes to visit Big Ang at the bar. Ramona shares with Big Ang how horribly Renee is doing. Big Ang has left her multiple messages, but she had no idea things were so bad. They discuss the need to get Renee out to take her mind off of the situation. Ramona can’t believe that Junior would surrender to the feds, and not even tell Renee and A.J. that he was doing so. She knows now that Thanksgiving will be forever tainted for Renee, much like it is for her, as her grandfather died on Thanksgiving. Ramona states that her grandfather was the true definition of “a gangster” that is lacking in today’s society. Big Ang agrees…no one is loyal anymore. Are these women listening to themselves? I know that Ramona loved her grandfather and he no doubt thought she hung the moon. However, for her to be hung up and proud on the fact he was a criminal, is a little off to me.
Carla Facciolo and Drita D’avanzo meet for lunch, and Carla fills in Drita on Renee’s breakdown. Drita can’t imagine what Renee is going through. She thinks that maybe she should take the kids to visit Lee in jail before the holidays. She hasn’t seen him in over a year. Carla tells Drita that Junior left a note before turning himself in to the feds. Drita can’t believe it – she thinks that if Junior was going to surrender, he should have let Renee take him in to say good-bye.
Drita heads to the Drunken Monkey to see Big Ang. She tells Big Ang she is considering taking the kids to see Lee. Drita admits it’s hard to try to shield her daughters from this lifestyle, only to have to take them somewhere as scary as a prison. Big Ang agrees, but she thinks all men look pretty hot in prison uniforms.
Carla and Joe take their kids roller skating. They really are such a cute family. I hope Joe can stay on the straight and narrow because it is obvious his young son truly idolizes him. Meanwhile, Renee goes to Ramona’s for a pre-Thanksgiving dinner. She promises she will stand behind Junior while he’s in jail. Renee has decided to put a positive spin on Junior’s incarceration, because she knows he can’t cheat on her in the slammer. She is brought to tears talking about her father though. Karen arrives and proposes a toast, and Renee starts screaming like a banshee. Celebrate? They expect her to celebrate? She can’t do this – and she leaves. I hope she’s getting some help.
At home, Drita shares a fun moment with her youngest daughter. She hopes to be both a mother and father to her girls, in Lee’s absence. When she tries to bring up the possibility of visiting Lee, Giselle doesn’t want to go. She doesn’t know who he is, she hasn’t even comprehend who “Daddy” is. Even with Drita’s chiding, Giselle is adamant about not meeting Lee. Drita is heartbroken.
Big Ang, Ramona, and Karen take Renee to a drag queen show in an attempt to take her mind off what she’s going through. Big Ang loves a drag show because they sort of remind her of, well, herself. Renee is even laughing – the women can’t believe it! Over cocktails, Drita tells Carla that there are rumors circulating that Junior snitched on Renee’s dad. Carla is floored. Drita and Carla’s husbands were both incarcerated, thanks to rats. Well, thanks to doing criminal activity, but they were ratted out by others doing the same thing. This news makes Carla sick to her stomach.
Karen and Carla meet for dinner, and the pair discusses an article that accuses Junior of flipping on Renee’s father. Of course, Karen needs to clear the air…yes, her father “cooperated” with the feds, but he didn’t do the “scummy act” of wearing a wire. There is no comparison between Karen’s father “cooperating” and Junior “ratting” on Renee’s dad. After setting the record straight on that little issue, Karen hopes that Renee will be able to overcome this madness.
Big Ang has a friend over to her house, and they are chatting about the recent Junior gossip. Big Ang makes it clear that there are rules in this lifestyle and Junior has broken them. His selfish actions will affect how people see Renee and A.J., and that is a tragic thing to do to one’s family. She reveals that when she was arrested, the police tried to get her to be an informant, but no way, according to Big Ang.
Karen and Ramona go to Renee’s house to make sure she’s okay. Renee cannot, and will not believe the article. She points out that the writer has had to recant three different stories. Renee is worried the way things are going A.J. will be losing his mother next, as she’s stretched so thin emotionally. Renee knows that A.J. is being punished for having a father who is accused of being a rat. She apologizes to Karen for having to go through all of this again, as she was labeled similarly due to her father. She breaks down apologizing for not being a good friend to Karen when she returned last year. She is all over the place, crying, shaking, calm, quiet. Karen wants Renee to face the facts that the gossip could be true, but she refuses.
Renee goes to church in hopes of finding some peace. Big Ang goes to visit her sister Janice with a copy of The Post, which basically confirms the rumors that Junior snitched on Renee’s father. Renee is a basketcase and it’s very difficult to watch.
Next week, Renee tries to come to grips with the news. She now believes that Carla has been talking crap about her behind her back. Carla accuses Renee of being extremely paranoid given her current state of affairs.
WHAT DID YOU THINK OF LAST NIGHT’S EPISODE? WILL RENEE BE ABLE TO PULL HERSELF OUT OF HER DEPRESSION? SHOULD DRITA TAKE HER DAUGHTERS TO VISIT LEE?
Renee Graziano has had a tough few months. Despite the success of Mob Wives, her family drama has been a nightmare for the reality star. Renee’s ex-husband Junior Pagan (who she decided to reconcile with) was arrested, and shortly after that, so was her father. It soon emerged that Junior had “snitched” to the FBI about Anthony Graziano, after framing him. Renee is speaking out about her family being in shambles and how she is handling the betrayal.
“I felt like someone pulled my heart out of my body,” Renee says of her reaction when she learned of Junior’s November arrest. And the feelings exploded once she learned that “her knight in shining armor” was wearing a wire and had snitched to the DEA about her father. Junior is now reportedly in the witness protection program, while Renee’s father remains in custody for extortion.
Renee believed Junior wanted to reconcile with her to rebuild their family, but now she knows he was using her to get to her father. “I thought Junior came back because he loved me,” she shares with Us Weekly (via their print edition). “Little did I know, it was a big lie.”
Despite her shock over Junior’s arrest, Renee says she knew something was amiss. “Junior and I had been fighting – he was getting calls from an ex-girlfriend – and we hardly spoke over the weekend. Monday he was gone,” she says of how the drama began.
“When I saw an envelope downstairs, my first thought was, Junior left me,” Renee shares. “But his letter said he had turned himself in and hoped I would find somebody better. I was shocked.”
“That night I was on the phone with my cousin, who was at my dad’s house. I heard the doorbell there and somebody said ‘It’s the police!’ They took my dad,” she recalls. “Within hours, my father and my ex-husband were ripped out of my life. I had to protect my son.”
Initially, Renee didn’t believe the rumors that Junior was responsible for her father’s arrest, but then Junior called and personally confirmed that he was the culprit. “He admitted he was the snitch. The f-word must have come out of my mouth a thousand times. It was inconceivable.”
“Honestly Junior ratting out my dad is the last thing in the world I would have expected. He was the son my father never had.”
Renee reveals that her heartbreak soon turned to depression. “I was suicidal,” she confesses. Renee suffered from a nervous breakdown in late January. “I couldn’t breathe, my body was shutting down and my anxiety was insane. I felt like I was going to die. I think I spent six days in the hospital”
However, there was a positive to all the drama – her co-stars came together to support her. “The girls from the show were there for me.” she reveals. “They stepped up and were ready to protect. I love them very much.”
Unfortunately, Renee’s harrowing experience has made it impossible for her to trust again, although she is ready to move on. “I want to believe there are good guys out there,” she says. “But if Junior walked into the room right now, I would make sure I got a clear shotgun right in his face. I set his letter on fire not to long ago, along with his clothes and his pictures.”
Despite her rage, Renee is ready to forgive and move forward.”I actually have found forgiveness,” Renee confirmed, while fighting back tears. “If I don’t forgive, you’ll have hate . . . Forgive, but never forget.”
Taking to Twitter, Renee also let fans know she is recovering and feeling stronger. “I know GOD has big plans 4 me. I made it thru that surgery ordeal. Then this horrible sad family issue … Strong.” Adding, “I swear I get better by the min because of all the love every1 is showering me with.. I think u guys r gonna help me stop CRYING!!! Xoxox”
Viewers watched the drama first-hand on last week’s episode and will see the continuation on next Sunday’s episode.
WOULD YOU FORGIVE JUNIOR? DID HE USE HER TO GET TO HER FATHER? ARE YOU IMPRESSED WITH HOW WELL RENEE IS HOLDING IT TOGETHER?
Oh Mob Wives, you never disappoint…completely. Last night we started seeing the breakdown of Renee and Junior, and not much of anything else.
Carla is trying to teach Drita how to flirt that doesn’t involve her comparing her biceps to those of potential suitors. They go dancing in the city, but Drita is quick to warn any men that approach her that she likes to get violent. Save that for the fourth date, Drita. At least Drita realizes, the guy she hopes to meet isn’t one of the many meat-heads who are watching her dance on the banquette. She is ready to leave after one of her dance partners cops to knowing Drita’s soon-to-be-ex Lee.
Big Ang is dining with Karen and Ramona. All of their crime families go way back, and Karen likes walking down memory lane. Ang has changed her hair. I’m on the fence about it. Big Ang tells the girls about her arrest, which occurred thanks to her friend wearing a wire. I am sheltered. I think to myself that I would be more concerned about being arrested than blaming the people who got leniency for putting me in that situation (however, I’d be mad at them too!). Own up to your mistakes, people! Big Ang kind of does…
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