She’s been called everything from Milton Berle in drag (Auntie Milty?) to Herman Munster (not in drag). If you haven’t seen the new reality show Big Ang – starring Angela “Big Ang” Raiola - that premiered on July 8, on Vh1 - then you must! It takes bizarre and boobs to a whole new level. At first you’re like what is this? Then BOOM! You’re addicted.
Big Ang, the show’s namesake, is the break-out star from the other reality show Mob Wives. Bigger than life, Botoxed, huge (I mean HUGE) breasted, big-lipped and brash, Big Ang is like a runaway train – with a 24/7 cocktail car. But ya gotta love her. In fact, that’s her catch phrase, “Everybody loves me!” If nothing else, she’s brutally honest, unapologetic and genuinely…out there. And really, “Ang” should have an “e” at the end, shouldn’t it? Otherwise it’s pronounced “ang” as in bang without the ‘b’. But, ay! Whadoo I know? If it’s good enough for the niece of Salvatore "Sally Dogs" Lombardi, a deceased captain of the Genovese crime family, it’s good enough for me.
Big Ang, like most reality shows, basically has camera people following the star(s) around in their everyday life, hoping that with cutaways, dramatic edits, and sophomoric drama coupled with an emphatic soundtrack – the show will be interesting. Just looking at Ang is interesting. She doesn’t even have to do anything. But she does. She drinks, smokes and then drinks again with her “girls”; Lil Jen, who is in her fifties and lives at home with her parents, and Linda, both whose hobbies include getting hammered, talking about getting hammered, fondling young guys, dancing on bars and dry humping strangers. Girls just wanna have fun.
Ang has been the paramour of many a wise guy and perhaps from that experience she has gleaned a philosophy of life that’s uniquely her own, spouting such sage aphorisms as, “When me and my girls go out – we drink, we dance, we do whatever the f**k we want!” And, “I think the Feds are out of their f**king minds – they’re givin’ everybody life! [sentences] There’s nobody left! We need some new guys – REAL men!” Now I’m not quite sure if Ang meant we need new criminals or new Feds or just plain new men in general. Personally, I agree to all three.
Big Ang, has had a little brushy-poo with the law herself - for trafficking cocaine. Yeah, but she was a single mom, times were tough, and in her words “I hadda do what I hadda do.” Who can blame her? But Ang is a survivor and has put the little cocaine bust thingy behind her and is on to bigger and better things. Like making her bar The Drunken Monkey, now a Staten Island attraction, a success (see the Premiere show).
But before the grand re-opening of the Monkey, Ang and Linda hold an open casting for hot young guys to be “shot boys” at the bar –that is, walk around the bar shirtless peddling $2 shots. The “job interview” consists of the guys taking off their shirts and flexing their muscles. But hey, qualifications are qualifications. Some of them were MBAs – Mighty Buff Asses. One guy, Damien, had Linda remarking, “That’s one fine piece of meat!”
In Episode 2, Ang tries to detox and one of the things she does is go for a high colonic. That doesn’t last long because when the attendant tried to insert the speculum in her derrière, Ang says, “Ooo dat hurts! I don’t need no tube in my ass! I need a cigarette in my mouth and a drink in my hand.” Sometimes sh*t doesn’t happen. Ar, ar, ar.
In my favorite episode, Episode 4, Ang comes down to Florida to buy a condo. In Fort Lauderdale no less - my ‘hood! Damn, I wish I could have been her Realtor! We could have gotten whacked together and then talked about getting whacked again, in between shots of Jager, of course.
Ang stayed at the Ocean Manor in Fort Lauderdale because her uncle Sally used to stay there. Hey, with Vh1 footing the bill – I think I would have chosen, I don’t know – The W or maybe the Ritz Carlton, or the Pelican Beach Resort – oh wait. Yeah, I don’t think they’d probably dig Linda and Lil Jen getting wasted and dry-humping their guests. Their loss. Anyway, the first night in Florida, Ang throws a huge cocktail party because what’s five minutes without a cocktail? The fun really starts when Ang and Linda try to get Jen, who hasn’t had sex in six years, laid. I’m tellin’ ya – it’s a hoot. Oh, and Ang also rented a 73-foot yacht for shitz and giggles, which lead to…you guessed it - more drinking!
All those other mob women are a bunch of boring gavones compared to Big Ang. Some may argue that Ang’s uneducated and crass. Well, let’s see – she owns her own business, has her own TV show and can afford to spend $2,500 a clip at Bed, Bath & Beyond - without coupons. And, unlike some women who live off the salaries of their so-called “prestigious” husbands or boyfriends, Big Ang does it her way – no apologies. The way she figures it, “I’m gonna do whatever the f*ck I want, because one minute you’re here, and the next minute you’re f**king dead!,”
Shakespeare couldn’t have said it better.
And Dat’s da View from dis F**king Broad.
Big Ang airs on Vh1
Anna Collins is a writer, photographer, and Realtor.