Considering how invested Renee Graziano is in the mafia "lifestyle"—of which she adamantly repeats her disgust for "stool pigeons" and "rats"—it's incredibly bizarre that she would open up her world to reality TV cameras as part of Mob Wives, the new VH1 series that follows four Staten Island women who have to go it alone while their husbands and/or fathers are incarcerated. Renee's father, Anthony Graziano, was high-ranking member of the Bonanno crime family, believed to be the consigliere. In 2002 he was indicted in New York and Florida for charges of bookmaking, murder, conspiracy, illegal gambling and investment fraud among things. He's currently serving time in North Carolina and is expected to be released in January 2012. Renee's ex-husband, a man named "Junior" was part of the FBI's biggest mafia bust ever earlier this year. When asked in an interview segment on the show what she thinks of the mafia, Renee's response was, "What mafia?"
The drama and tension of the series, though, is caught up in the return of Karen Grazano, the daughter of Sammy the Bull, who notoriously turned state's evidence and helped bring down John Gotti and the Gambino crime family. After her father testified, Karen and her family moved to Arizona, but for this show at least, she's going back to Staten Island to work on a book she's writing about her dad. Renee, whom one of the other cast members says, "is like, for a girl, way too much into the whole mob scene" doesn't want anything to do with Karen but is forbidden to speak to her anyway, otherwise her father will cut her off, financially (and "at the knees").
Mostly though, the series showcases what it's like to be a single mom while your husband is in jail. It doesn't look as rough as it did in Goodfellas, although the men get sent food to their cells, much like they did in that movie.