Showing posts with label Television. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Television. Show all posts

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Why It's Hot To Be Italian American Right Now..

Is it just me or is every other word on TV, Internet or paper talking about being Italian American? The Internet is blowing up with new Facebook pages of people wanting to create some type of Italian American presence.

I think to be Italian American is a life time thing, its your life, its your identity.. its not something you jump on the bandwagon for because you see a show that makes you think this is Italian. Is this why it's hot to be Italian American right now?

To each his own, I suppose... but I am getting increasingly disgusted with the amount of garbage out here in cyberspace and in the media. Who is being genuine? NO-ONE!!! It's all about the payout, who attends the most events, sign on for reality shows and then those who opposed the negativity are now in alliance with those who stand for negative stereotyping.

I don't want to harp on this but the real Italian Americans are not being heard and the phony people are standing up at the front of the press line.

What are your thoughts?
If you're interested in discussing live: Visit the Italian American Girl group on Facebook:

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

"Masters of Reception": TLC's New Show About An Italian American Family Owned Wedding & Catering Business From New Jersey.

It appears TLC has become fond of picking up shows that include Italian American family run businesses from New Jersey. This time around, producers Kelly Ripa (who is from NJ) and Mark Consuelos (who is part Italian) have teamed up with the Frungillo Family from NJ, who run multiple catering/banquet halls and produce some of the most lavish and over the top weddings you've ever seen.

Robert and Jerry Frungillo have been in the wedding business over 30 years and have served everyone from Frank Sinatra to the Pope. The show promises to focus on the family quality and how the business is based on the foundation of their values and work ethic.

According to Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos, "We are so excited to be teaming up with TLC and feel that this show is a natural fit with their programming," says Ripa and Consuelos. "We are fascinated by how the Frungillos put these weddings together, and all the while make it seem so effortless. We truly believe TLC's audience will fall in love with this family. We certainly have."

The Series premiere is Tuesday, August 18 @ 10/9c.

For more on the show go to:

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Italian American Director, Martin Scorsese Discusses His New Mission To Save Movie Classics.

For More On The Story:

FYI- Scorsese is also set to direct the new biopic of Frank Sinatra. That will be interesting to see. Leonardo DiCaprio is said to be playing the role of Frank Sinatra.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Real Housewives of NJ- Bravo's Top Series Sparks Major Talk About Negative Portrayals of Italian Americans in the Media.

Who watched the Real Housewives of NJ last night? Well apparently a lot of people did, it was one of the highest rated 'Real Housewives' ever! So, what sparked the interest of so many to watch? Hmmmm. I admit, I watched. I watch the series for the other cities too and will admit its a bit of a guilty pleasure. I was concerned about this particular series in NJ, because of course a lot of talk emerged about the individual women and their Italian American backgrounds and immediate stereotype to a Soprano-esque style show. Now, I don't think these ladies live any differently than other affluent women who like to spend, gossip and hangout, as we've seen on the other "Real Housewives" cities. What Italian Americans should be concerned about is the fact that a network is capitalizing on not particularly saying Italian American, but attaching a stigma to New Jersey Italian Americans, of which some of these women happen to be. OK, so what if someone has a shady background and they decide to do a reality show, do you have to promote show as if it were the Sopranos? Of course they do, the stigma sells.

Let's discuss for a second-- the Sopranos was a drama, fictional series. Tony Soprano is not real. OK, now that we have that out of the way, I have to say...putting a negative stereotype or insinuating negative connections sells that network viewers and big bucks in advertising. The cast mates and the viewers are going to be taken for a ride while network execs laugh all the way to the bank on the Italian American's expense. These women from New Jersey are just being themselves, but the work of creative producers/writers, editors and network executives creates the larger negative stereotyping picture that the masses get sucked into. Its a formula.

Again, remember this is my opinion, but its something to think about.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Scott Baio Talks About Growing Up Italian-American With His Mother's Cooking.

Everybody loves Scott Baio. Baio grew up in Brooklyn , NY with Italian immigrant grandparents. So, I think many us can relate to his up ringing.

Recently, SB was interviewed about his new gig on VH1 where he executive produces along with TV teen star and buddy, Jason Harvey (from the Wonder Years) about a show where they resurrect the careers of other teen stars, now adults, called, "Confessions of A Teen Idol." I watched it, and I absolutely loved it. How smart of Baio and Harvey to come up with this and resurrect themselves at the same time. Money maker for sure. If you didn't catch Baio on last season's VH1 celeb-reality, where he basically documents his life as a new father and husband. You should catch the new show. Its really good.

Well, here is a great interview with Scott about the show, his up ringing, and his mother's cooking. Margie definitely loves Chachi. For the record, I did love Jason Harvey too on the Wonder Years, one of my favorite shows.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

It's A Wonderful Life--Airing Tonight on NBC, at 8 pm.

You must tune into this amazing movie from the 1940s. Its one of my favorite old movies along with Miracle on 34th St. What's most amazing about this movie, is the fact that the story line is completely relative to our everyday lives and even now, more so with the hard times upon us. There is hope! Hope, faith and LOVE...isn't that what LIFE is all about.

It's A Wonderful Life was produced, written and directed by, Italian-American, Frank Capra.

Read more about his bio-

Friday, December 12, 2008

Is The Media Playing A Major Role In The Collapse of A World Financial Crisis?

This is a debatable topic. I feel like my answer would be, yes. There is no denying the facts of the global financial crisis because the effects are being felt worldwide and especially here in the United States. I think it's one thing to be informed and watch the news networks, but is our constant need for information poisoning our economic choices? What's to say a stock holder sees a report on one of the money reporting networks and happens to see a forecast of negative news about their particular holdings. Whats to say this information is right? Or is it hear say just to create mild panic and catch your attention for a minute during sweeps? What does the investor do? They dump, sell ..whatever the term is...bottom line, if major investors pull out, they break down the stability of the stock system, which then breaks down the stability of the economy --when this happens in masses. (which it has) Kind of reminds me a little of the movie, "Wall Street." We all know its just not the stock market, but everything else in the economy being reported on, whose giving you the right information without panicked headlines and full of ratings BS? Remember television is a business too, they're just trying to survive. If you like panic stricken headlines then they will give you panic. So, is the media creating false panic and a negative economic ripple effect on a global scale?

By the way, all of this matters to me regardless of my age or background. In fact, this should matter to everyone of my age group and background. Its our future, not the corrupt jackasses selling Senate seats like tickets for a Yankee Stadium seat. Ugh.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Italian American Museum Presents Award Winning TV & Documentary Producer Tony Di Nonno and Presentation of "Antonio Meucci and the Age of Invention."

The Italian American Museum presents the speech and presentation by award winning TV producer and documentary film maker, Tony DiNonno. The film, "Antonio Meucci and the Age of Invention, " reveals the life of Antonio Meucci, the real inventor of the telephone.
The film will be shown on:
November 19, 2008
Wednesday Evening - 7P.M.
Italian American Museum
155 Mulberry St. NY, NY 10019
Limited Seating! Reservations Required!
For more information on the Italian American Museum visit:
This event was Sponsored by New York Council for the Humanities, a state-affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

How in the world are we going to get young Italian Americans to preserve their heritage when we're surrounded by negative stereotypes in the media..??

Lately, I feel like I'm surrounded by this negative Italian American stereotyping. But, I have to say its not stereotyping by other cultural seems our own home grown Italian Americans are putting themselves in this box of negativity. By this, I mean acting like or comparing themselves to 'mobsters' or 'wise guy' type personas. Now, we have shows like the Sopranos, which was attacked because of the negative stereotyping. But mind you I think the problem with that show is the audience and not the show. Granted, ok..why isn't the show called some other ethnic last name...? The answer is simple, its about capitalizing on an negative image that many people are fascinated with which makes everyone money.

What makes this even worse is that most Italian Americans lets say from the tri-state area can't seem to separate fact from fiction. Yes, you may know someone who looks or acts like Tony Soprano, but really is that what every Italian American looks or acts like? Yes, I do know a few people who look and act like that too...but I know the difference between fact and fiction. Just because a show is shot in New Jersey and your neighbor is kinda shady, doesn't mean they're in the mob.

So, the responsibility of keeping the Italian American image upstanding does also belong to the audience-YOU. Now, many of you scholars will say its more than that and television programmers, producers and studios need to stop this type of defamation, which I agree. I will also say as a television producer that if we never produced anything about this (which is a factual part of history-organized crime) then television would not exist and no one would produce anything. Again, I reiterate we should all be responsible for our own actions and image portrayals.

I don't watch the Sopranos because to be honest with you...its a little much for me, but if I do catch a re-run..I don't feel the need to go out and get acrylic nails and act like Carmella Soprano. Its up to the rest of us as producers, writers, teachers, professors, professionals to upkeep the Italian American image. This ties into my original question, how can we keep the attention and interest in our heritage with young Italian Americans? I realize I'm lucky because I am very close in the generation gap of being Italian American and I think it must be harder for the 2nd, 3rd and 4th generations to keep the traditions, culture and social characteristics within reach.

Its all about education. If we can keep the younger generations interested in what its about then we can succeed in preserving our heritage. For every Soprano show, there should be more positive, savvy programming to counter the negative imagery. You can't have any good if there's no bad. So, if the Sopranos show exists, then it exists- but we have to educate and be more media responsible to portray all the images of being Italian American.

This leads me into general media and television programming. For example, I was watching PBS, and there was an Italian American show about promoting an Italian American music CD. The whole show including hosts from PBS was a complete disgrace. Usually, I love anything PBS including their educational and cultural productions. But, this was just not right, you have a few cast members from the Sopranos promoting a CD and their latest projects. It seems to me they put themselves in their negative Italian-American stereotype characters and literally act like that typical gangster persona to capitalize on their careers. Is this real? Are they for real? Maybe they're for real, but if we're going to show one type of Italian American, then you must show all types of Italian American. So, again..there isn't much Italian American programming on television. (PERIOD) I can only hope that we can produce Italian American programming in the near future that portrays all of us. If not, our generation, my generation-- will truly begin to believe that Italian Americans are gangsters and talk like they have meatballs in their mouth with limited vocabulary and Cadillacs in their driveway.

I'll finish this off by saying yes, there are people who are really for real and act like this because that's who they are and don't capitalize on it, then there are those who act like this and capitalize on it to create the negative stereotype. We must be fair and educate on all parts of the Italian American. I'm on a roll today, too much bullshit out there and nothing real. Let's get real. Get me interested!

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Launch of the Italian American Network.

If you're looking for all things Italian American then you can now tune into the newly formed Italian American Network. An online based site that features programming from fashion to travel, and interviews--this channel is for all things Italian American.

For more information please visit: