Flashback Friday: Mob Wives (2011-2016)

There has been a fascination with the mafia since the beginning of the modern entertainment industry. The danger, the violence, and the potential for financial and material profit have a certain appeal. But there is also the chance that the ones you love most will not be immune from your decisions.

Mob Wives was on the air via VH1 from 2011-2016. This Real Housewives-esque series followed the lives of women whose relations were in jail due to mafia-related activities. Shot in the New York City borough of Staten Island, this reality show delves into the day-to-day lives of the wives and daughters of prominent members of the American Mafia. While they are trying to support the men they love, they are doing their best to provide for their children and live as normally as possible.

When the series initially premiered ten years ago, the argument that it was based on Italian-American stereotypes was not one that went unnoticed. Like all reality television, it can be mildly entertaining. But, the catch is that the reader knows that it can be as fully scripted as programs that are completely fictional.

Do I recommend it? Maybe.


Law & Order: SVU Character Review: Dominick Carisi Jr

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the television series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Read at your own risk if you have not watched the show.

There is something to be said about a well written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

In this series of weekly blog posts, I will examine character using the characters from Law & Order: Special Victims Unit to explore how writers can create fully dimensional, human characters that audiences and readers can relate to.

If there is anything that gets us in trouble, it is inexperience and the inability to control our emotions.

On Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, that inexperience and the inability to control one’s emotions was the introduction to one of the newer members of the squad, Dominick Carisi Jr. Carisi is of Italian-American descent. Born and raised on Staten Island, he comes a tight knit and complicated family.

Over time, his inexperience and lack of ability to control his emotions was tempered, though certain cases brought out his lesser qualities. Looking to the future, Carisi started taking night classes at Fordham University to earn his law degree. Adding knowledge of the law helps him professionally, but the joke is that DA Rafael Barba (Raul Esparza) is not always pleased with Carisi’s interjection.

To sum it up: When a television program is only for as long as SVU has been on, the interjection of new characters and new emotions is needed to shake up both the narrative and the characters. Carisi, as a character, because of his inexperience and quick temper, was the shakeup that SVU needed. Though it sometimes got him in trouble, he has matured into a character that is beloved both by the other characters and the fans alike.

I Wonder If The Boys Were Asked To Cover Up

Winter is finally behind us and summer is just around the corner.

That means the heavy jackets and multiple layers can be replaced with t-shirts, shorts and jeans.

Samantha Sollitto is a typical 16-year-old attending Susan E. Wagner High School in Staten Island, NY. With the weather heating up, she recently wore jean shorts and plum-colored tank top to school. She was stopped by a school employee who determined that the dress code had been broken.

According to the employee, Ms. Sollitto was forced to change her shirt because her arms were not covered up.

This happens every year. As it gets warmer, suddenly schools are having a conniption because their female students want to be comfortable.

While I respect that a dress code is important, it also bothers me that only the girls were being stopped and force to change their clothes.  There are countless stories of this ilk that appear in the media this time of year and it always the girls who are asked to change their clothing, never the boys.

It’s the same old story, that female flesh is a temptation to the male sex and must be hidden. It feels like not only is the boy’s education worth more than the girl’s education, but that she is a distraction in the classroom. It doesn’t help that the young lady in the story felt like she was being body shamed, which has been proven to lead to eating disorders.

I applaud Ms. Sollitto for stepping forward and speaking up. Perhaps if more us did, the double standard and body shaming would hopefully be a thing of the past.



An Unnecessary Loss

Daniel Fitzpatrick of Staten Island was a sweet, loving, sensitive child.

Instead starting the new school year in a few weeks with the rest of his classmates, young Mr. Fitzpatrick will be found at the cemetery.

This boy is dead. The reason that he is dead is that he was bullied. The only solace he could find from the bullies is death.

The statistics are scary. Upon seeing their peers bullied, 85% of children will not stand up for their peers. Since the 80’s teenage suicide due to bullying has gone up 50%.

It’s easy to say that kids will be kids. Bullying is part of growing up. At some point, we get past the bullying that we experienced during childhood.

Pardon my French, but that is b*llsh*t. Bullying leaves emotional and physical scars that, even decades afterwards, still remain un-healed.

Not only should the school be held liable, but the parents of the children who bullied Daniel should be held liable. It is the job of the parents to teach their children to treat their peers with respect, even if their peers are different. These parents did not do their job.

I speak passionately about this issue because I was in Daniel’s shoes at that age. I could have killed myself, but I did not. The scars of that bullying still live with me, even 20+ years later.

While we cannot stop bullying in the school at a cultural level, we can stop at the individual level. When a child is bullied, especially when he or she takes their life, the parents of the bullies should be held accountable. They need to understand that their child was directly responsible for the unnecessary loss of their classmate.

Then perhaps, we can stop it at a larger cultural level.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

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