Mob Wives

mob wives ang mural

There is no doubt that Mob Wives’ Big Ang was larger than life when she was on this earth, and her Staten Island home has memorialized the fun-loving reality star in a big way. The city commissioned a mural of Ang that was unveiled in front of family, friends, and fans on Sunday morning. 

As the final season of Mob Wives winds down, it’s been difficult to watch Ang struggle with the return of her cancer (and subsequent clean bill of health) after losing her to cancer three short weeks ago. In the days following her death, there was unnecessary drama surrounding her co-stars, but hopefully, this mural will serve as a constant reminder to live and love as Ang did. 

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I thought maybe watching Mob Wives would get easier, but it didn’t. I’m still so sad for Big Ang’s family and friends, and I want her co-stars to stop engaging in behavior that she would frown upon. Do you hear that ladies? The episode begins with Carla Facciolo, Renee Graziano, and Karen Gravano coming to cook for Ang who is recuperating form her lung surgery. While she is in a lot of pain, she’s up and about and anxious to find out if she’ll have to undergo chemotherapy. As the women nosh on a delicious looking spread, Karen shares her disappointment that her father has been denied early release. She blames his name…any other inmate with his record of good behavior would be back on the streets by now. Ang is just happy to toast her friends and be out of the hospital. 

Drita D’avanzo’s daughter Gizelle is celebrating her birthday, and her mother surprises her with the puppy she’s been begging to get for the last few weeks. This brings the miniature dog count in their family to two. Meanwhile, Karen is meeting with Brittany Fogarty, the newbie who must regurgitate everything that’s ever said to her by anyone. Karen complains about the court’s vendetta against her father. While Brittany can somewhat relate, she has never felt like Karen, that she has to defend her own name due to her father’s actions. Karen then decides to try to warn Brittany (yet again) of the pitfalls of being friends with Drita. Brittany hopes that her sharing Drita’s latest beef with Karen wasn’t considered instigating. She didn’t realize the history between the pair, and she’s taking herself out of their issues. Oh really? Their conversation turns to Brittany’s distaste for Carla and Renee, but she agrees to give them one more chance for Karen…since their fathers have so much history together. 

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Karen Gravano

Shame, shame, shame. Instead of honoring the memory of their amazing friend Big Ang, the women of Mob Wives are getting into Twitter wars over planted stories… and could they be any more passive aggressive (said in my best Chandler Bing voice)? It’s pathetic.

Not only do their posts and retweets take away from those grieving for their beautiful, larger than life co-star, but they aren’t even tweeting at each other. Their silly behavior needs to get in check, and stat. On one side, we’ve got Karen Gravano going on and on (and on) about “someone” making up a rumor that Ang’s family didn’t want her or newbie Brittany Fogarty at the funeral due to their fathers’ reputations as informants. On the other side, Drita D’avanzo is staying relatively silent but obsessively retweeting Brittany’s statuses which defend Drita’s honor. Give me a break. Please.

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I’m not going to lie, watching last night’s Mob Wives was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do for this gig. I’ve recapped this show since it started, and I loved getting to see Big Ang’s fun-loving personality on her drama-free spin-off Big Ang. It’s so sad to recap Ang’s battle with cancer (and her co-stars’ ridiculous petty, immature, and bullish behavior) knowing the outcome. However, I poured a glass of wine, toasted Ang’s sass and class, and tried to keep the tears to a minimum…and I’m guessing a lot of you did the same!

When the episode begins, Drita D’avanzo is still raging at the thought that Karen Gravano is spreading lies about Lee, but she won’t let it spoil the high of her finishing the first draft of her memoir. She shares a precious exchange with daughter Giselle whose birthday is quickly approaching. All Giselle wants as a gift is a second puppy, but she knows her dad will be a tough sell. Drita does a role play where she pretends to be Lee so Giselle can practice her powers of persuasion. Get that adorable child another dog!

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Everyone grieves differently. Everyone grieves differently. Everyone. Grieves. Differently. I’m going to keep repeating that mantra so that I don’t go off on the fact that Mob Wives’ Karen Gravano is giving soundbites to multiple media outlets regarding her friend Big Ang Railoa’s funeral. In fairness to Karen (who thought I’d ever type that??), Ang was loved by so many, I know her fans want to know how her friends and family are dealing with her tragic death to cancer…and I am sure the sites requested a comment. 

Beloved Big Ang was laid to rest on Monday at Brooklyn’s Basilica of Regina Pacis with family, friends, and her Mob Wives co-stars of past and present in attendance. As I’m guessing is the nature of the “lifestyle” as the ladies like to call it, there were rumors that Karen and Brittany Fogarty were banned from the memorial service due to their father’s penchants for cooperating with the feds. Not so, says Karen!

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Big Ang with granddaughter

The realization that Mob Wives’ most beloved star Big Ang Raiola has passed away from cancer still hasn’t really hit me yet. While she prided herself on her larger than life, surgically enhanced features, I think we can all agree, they paled in size compared to her giant, compassionate heart and her friendly, genuine smile. The world is a little smaller without her in it, but I am grateful she shared her vibrant personality with all of us who watched the show. 

Big Ang was the only reason to watch Mob Wives. As her co-stars brawl and partake in scripted drama, we could count on Ang to share no nonsense advice and sometimes humorously stirring the pot. While the current season features Ang’s second battle with cancer, here’s hoping her co-stars truly learn that there are much, MUCH more important things in life than holding grudges…if only to honor their true, sweet friend.

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blonde hair big ang mob wives

News of Big Ang’s death has spread quickly this morning and her friends, co-stars and fellow reality TV stars took to Instagram to share their tributes. 

Everyone from Sheree Whitfield to Drita D’Avanzo and Renee Graziano and so many more, the stars shared their favorite pictures and thoughts about the beloved Mob Wives star.   Big Ang was loved by all who met her and will be missed by so many. 

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 15: Angela 'Big Ang' Raiola of 'Mob Wives' visits at SiriusXM Studios on December 15, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Ben Gabbe/Getty Images)

After a year-long battle with throat, lung and brain cancer, Big Ang passed away at 3:01 a.m.  The Mob Wives star, whose real name was Angela Raiola, was just 55 years old. 

Angela’s death was confirmed by her friend Vinnie Medugno early this morning.  He wrote, “It is with sad regret that we inform you that at 3:01 a.m. Angelia Raiola peacefully ended her battle with cancer, and was called home. She was surrounded by nothing but love from her immediate family, and the closest friends. YOU, (her fans) were some of the most special people in the world, and she loved you immensely. Thank you for your love, prayers, and unconditional support of Angela right to the very end.”