Hey Andy Cohen: Va Fa Culo!
I grew up in a predominantly Italian neighborhood, in a prodominately Italian city (Providence), in a prodominately Italian state (Rhode Island), surrounded by my prodominately Italian family, so I know a thing or two about Italian-American culture.
Hence, it has always bugged me the way Hollywood, and later it’s red-headed stepsister TV portrayed Italian-Americans. Propagation of ugly stereotypes at it’s worst!
Even the really well made films like Raging Bull, based on a real life person’s true story, succumbed to showing us at our worst. There it was again, the image we’ve all seen countless times on celluloid. The Italian-American male, sitting down to dinner in his underwear, immediately flying into a violent rage. He flips the table, gives his mouthy wife a few good slaps, and then unleashes a profanity filled series of threats out the window toward his neighbors. Nice.
It’s not that these knuckle scrapping ne’er-do-wells don’t exist. Every culture has its downside. But that’s all the media seems to want to give us, and it is nothing at all like me, my family or my neighbors.
Image if Warren G. Harding (or whomever your personal pick for worst US President ever is) was used as the mold for every fictional depiction of US Presidents. Every singe time the image of a US President was shown, in movies, on TV, in commercials, he’d be some incompetent and ineffectual crook — and that’s the only image of a US President the entire world would ever see!
Yeah, The Sopranos was a well crafted story based on real life characters, but where’s the other side of the coin? Where’s the counterpoint to the Italian-American as dangerous, ill-bred, ill-educated, organized crime member point? Jane, you ignorant slut! Where’s the Italian Mary Richards or Rhoda Morgenstern? Is Marie Barone really suppose to be complimentary to Italian mothers? Seriously?!
Worst yet, is Bravo’s real life answer to The Sopranos: The Real House Wives of New Jersey. *shudder*
To be fair, Bravo is an equal oportunity portrayer of negative stereotypes. If The Real Housewives of Atlanta can follow affluent African-Americans who go all ghetto at the snap of a fake nailed finger, then I suppose one could argue that table flipping gutter trash like the Guidices are only a fair balance. Good God up in heaven, where did Bravo find such poor excuses for human beings when they cast this sorry excuse for a show.
Yes, the fact that RHONJ truly is a show about nothing is annoying. But the real life portrayal of the absolute worst negative stereotypes of Italain-Americans just angers me. Sorta like picking your most awful distant cousin as a public representative for your whole family. Who does that?
No, sorry Andy Cohen, you may be laughing all the way to the bank, but I won’t be your accomplice-in-crime. See, there’s this little white button on my remote, and on it is printed the word “OFF”. As in @#$%-OFF.