Mob Wives Chicago debuts tonight on VH1 at 8 p.m. Eastern.

This has been said before, but with a lot of reality shows these days, it’s hard to tell where acting ends and reality begins. Anyone cast in one of these shows now knows what’s expected of them: screaming, hot tub sex, crying at least once during filming, and so on. Throw the implication that the women on Mob Wives Chicago are supposed to be, well, Mob Wives, meaning hotheaded, high heel-wearing, masses of hair and hilarious euphemisms for getting injured and before even watching a second of this show you kind of know where it’s going.

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The premiere of Mob Wives Chicago ends with a fight. A big, ugly, hair-pulling fight in a classy downtown Chicago bar. Drinks are thrown, bodyguards get involved, and so many cusses are whipped around that VH1 practically has to bleep out the whole scene. The ladies who are fighting, Christina and Pia, are best friends who, after just a little too much drinking, get into some fight about how another one of the women, Nora, supposedly said something insulting about Pia to her cousin and Pia just accepted Nora’s apology. It’s a stupid little argument that gets blown out of proportion, but that’s par for the reality television course. This blow up was as expected as Leah's a fur coat or Pia’s job as a stripper.

What’s not expected, though, is Mob Wives Chicago’s watchability. Yes, this show is basically insulting to Chicago as a whole and I, as a proud resident, should be appalled. In a lot of ways, that’s true, but on the other hand, I can’t not watch another episode, lest I don’t find out what happens when Christina, who’s been divorced from her husband for a year but still lives with him, finally reveals the situation to her nine-year-old daughter who apparently hasn’t figured the whole thing out. How could I live with myself if I didn’t find out what brutal murder Renee’s baby daddy committed that landed him in prison for the rest of his life and then some? Plus, while this show certainly puts a black mark on Chicago’s reputation, it’s still kind of neat to see Renee, the owner of the optical place around the corner from my apartment, really laying into Pia because her dad’s a rat. Their Chicago isn’t my Chicago at all, but it’s kind of poignant that at least location-wise, both of our realities overlap a little.

Mob Wives Chicago is not a perfect show. It’s not even really a good show. The graphics are nice and the gimmicky surveillance footage of the women is kind of fun, but it’s trash TV, to say the least. That being said, on a sad, hungover Sunday morning, there’s something super comforting about watching mindless drivel, even if it is ruining our society second by second.

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Stray observations:

  • These women aren’t so much mob wives as mob daughters and nieces.
  • This show also introduces viewers to new words like “goomar,” which is the mistress to a married mobster—Pia’s supposedly one to many men—and “stunad,” which means crazy.
  • Some of these women are legitimately pretty funny, like Leah who describes her ideal man as “fat and round” and the other women as “balloonheads.” She’s also single and still lives with her dad, who was or is a mob associate. She says that when she meets the big assed man who sweeps her off her feet, he’ll know that her dad is moving in with them too.
  • “Rule number one with Nora: You don't ask her if her dad was a hit man.”
  • “In Chicago they don’t say ‘jail,’ they say ‘college.’”
  • Renee thinks Pia’s job as a stripper is degrading. She tells Nora she thinks Pia should “get two jobs, three jobs, whatever you gotta do as long as you’re not doing blow jobs.” That’s a nice way to put it.
  • This show is really good for one-liners that are both dramatic and hilarious, like Nora’s “This is the calm before the storm and the tornado’s about to hit” and “We had so much class when I was growing up I was drinking Dom Perignon when I was five.”
  • If the teaser for the rest of the season is any indication, we’re in for a good run of hair pulling, swearing, pointing, and threats.

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