Jennifer sat down with The Hollywood Reporter to dish on both of her new shows.
Jennifer shared a little insight into Big Ang’s upcoming series: “She’s larger than life, and there’s going to be a couple of characters added to her show that are really going to make a splash. So I think that this show is going to be much different than Mob Wives in the sense that it’s going to be a lot more lighthearted and a lot more colorful and fun. Given the circumstances of what’s been going on with Mob Wives and the intensity, I’m looking forward to some of that colorfulness.”
She explains why she waited until season 2 to introduce the world to Big Ang. “I did know going into this that Big Ang was a star. I’ve known her since I was a kid, and I always had her in mind, but what I wanted to do was build the brand around the initial four women who had real close, authentic relationships. Big Ang has been a part of my family for like 25-30 years. She’s actually my older sister’s best friend. My thought was that she only really has a real connection through Renee, so let me build this first with these women who have these deeper relationships and kind of bring Big Ang in either for a couple of episodes that season and then have her in full time for the second season. And I think from a casting perspective, you always want to have something up your sleeve for the following season. Ang was my magic trick.”
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It’s reunion time for the Mob Wives. Oddly enough I feel as if the season flew by, but when I see footage of past episodes, I realize I’ve been watching this show for what seems like forever. Joy Behar is hosting the debacle, and I’m curious to see if she can keep the crazy in line.
We revisit the season, with special attention paid to Junior Pagan’s betrayal and Renee Graziano’s breakdown. Renee and her sister Jenn Graziano, who is a producer on the show, are asked about their thoughts on Junior. Renee is actually very calm, and sadly she reveals that she miscarried before everything went down with Junior. Her sister discusses why she continued to film Renee during her dark times, and Renee admits that she urged her sister to document it. Joy reminds Renee that Junior was wearing a wire in his watch which explains his reaction to Renee gifting him with a new watch for his birthday. Both Drita D’Avanzo and Jenn are confused as to why Junior would want to be on a television show when he was trying to be so sneaky. Renee and Jenn reveal that neither have spoken to Junior, and Renee has heard that he was rejected from the witness protection program.
Last night was the season finale of Mob Wives, and one never knows what is going to happen with this rowdy group of women…especially since there’s a dreaded meeting between to women who have a penchant for beating the poo out of each other.
Renee Graziano and Drita D’Avanzo meet for cocktails to discuss everything that has been going on in their lives. Drita relays the news that Lee will not be transferred to a prison in Brooklyn. Renee outlines her father’s plea deal, and she is relieved that the other people that Junior affected didn’t get much time. Renee has also scheduled the meeting between Drita and Karen Gravano for the following day. Drita is willing to go so the pair can move forward, but she doesn’t want Karen rehashing the past. Good luck with that!
Last night’s Mob Wives seemed to be another calm episode, thank goodness. Most of the women were dealing with their jacka$$y exes, but there were no screaming matches, no altercations, and no drama. It was a bit weird, I’ll admit!
Drita D’Avanzo is playing with her new pup Lucky when she receives a call from soon-to-be-ex-husband Lee. She shares her rap video/bank robbing debut with Lee, and he’s excited for her. She drops the bomb that she wants to start dating. Drita is confused at how supportive he’s being, and it makes her remember why she married him in the first place. She’s thrilled the pair is getting along and can be friends, but she really wishes Lee had never cheated.
Ramona Rizzo and Karen Gravano head to a specialty grocery. Karen wants to get Ramona’s opinion about reconciling with Drita. Ramona is not at all on board. At. All. Karen is only considering this treaty to make Renee Graziano happy. Ramona warns that Drita will end up getting physical as she’s a “different breed.” Karen is quick to say that the second Drita gets violent, Karen will end up in jail for rearranging her face. Ahhh, mending fences…
On last night’s Mob WivesKaren found yet another endeavor, and Drita impressed us with her ability to throw down a rhyme. Also impressive? That Renee has kept it together for yet another episode!
Renee Graziano exits her father’s status hearing. She calls Big Ang to reveal how hard it was as her family members and friends ignored her. Her father was in poor health, but he was happy to see Renee there to support him, which made her feel better about such an icky situation. I must say I am impressed to see how well Renee is keeping it together.
Big Ang and her sister Janine head to get some Botox. While she is no stranger to plastic surgery (duh) and injections, it’s her first foray into Botox. It is much more painful than she could have imagined, but she is beyond pleased with the results. Her doctor tries to discourage her from getting extra injections, but Big Ang is addicted. She lurves it.
On last night’s Mob Wives, everyone shockingly got along. There were no brawls, no altercations, and a relatively small amount of drama. What’s going on, ladies?
Renee Graziano and Ramona Rizzo head to lunch, where Renee finally realizes that she needs to stop throwing a pity party for herself. She doesn’t want Junior Pagan to have that kind of power of her after his shady dealings. Ramona reveals that the feds obtained a search warrant for Joe’s house and have confiscated all of her jewelry from the home. It’s over 200k worth of baubles, and Ramona is beyond upset about the hoops she will have to jump through to have it returned.
Karen Gravano is anticipating the release of Mob Daughters and she is going to have a big party, including media, red carpet, the works. Karen is nervous about the potential questions the book could generate, but she is very excited about the venue.
Big Ang is excited about the holidays, especially for her sister Janine’s Christmas party at her massive home. Renee is looking good and arrives ready to have fun. Drita D’Avanzo shows up and is awe of Janine’s house. Of course, Renee wants to get to the bottom of Carla Facciolo implying that Renee knew Junior was a rat. Both Drita and Big Ang are defending Carla because they don’t think she meant any harm. Renee is finally ready to listen to reason, and Big Ang is grateful. She just wants to have a fun party!
Drita and Carla go shopping for jewelry for Carla’s niece’s sweet sixteen party. Drita relays to Carla how crazy Renee went over hearing Carla’s comment from Karen. Carla is so tired of how sensitive Renee is being, and she can’t believe Karen didn’t convey the context in which her statement was said. Drita tries to play peacekeeper, but it seems like it’s going to be a lost cause.
Ramona has a meeting with Joe’s attorney. She wants to get her jewelry back…although she doesn’t seem to care about her children’s birth certificates which were stored with the jewelry. He tells her that her possessions are likely in a vault in Texas. Not only are many of the pieces expensive, but they have sentimental value. Ramona is livid.
Carla and Renee meet for coffee to hash out their differences. Carla is beyond angry that Renee would ever believe that Carla thought that way about her. She basically goes on off on Renee for not coming to her first. Carla is also shocked when Renee takes responsibility for making the assumption, and all is well (for now) with their friendship.
Ramona, Karen, and Big Ang are taking belly dancing lessons. Big Ang can’t get the moves down, and Ramona blames her massively huge breasts for her lack of balance. Karen isn’t getting the hang of it either. She blames her preoccupation on the fact that some of the victims are trying to boycott her book. She is just trying to tell the story of her life. Ramona believes it must be difficult for all parties involved. Ya think?
Drita has a cute scene with her youngest daughter. Her four-year-old is the week’s star student, and Drita surprises her daughter by announcing she’s going to get a puppy. Her daughter is thrilled, but Drita isn’t too keen on naming a dog “Sparkles.”
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?
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?