A reality show about mobsters, Al Capone lore, a "lasagna-loving" family and more Italian stereotypes than you can shake a (bread) stick at — all set in Chicago?
Whoever thought of that one is a real cafone.
"Proving once again that anything can be made into a reality TV series," RedEye Chicago reports the aforementioned situations are the premise of a new reality show "The Capones" debuting on the ReelzChannel this fall.
"The Capones" will star Capone's great-nephew Dom and his mother Dawn as they run their family business, Capone's Restaurant and Pizzeria in nearby suburban Lombard.
Insisting "America’s fascination for Italian culture in movies is undeniable," the press release for "The Capones" lays down cultural stereotypes at a break-neck pace:
- Dom Capone is called “The Boss” around the restaurant and "runs this unkempt crew at his Italian eatery with an iron fist."
- "Dawn is the meddling mother who gets involved in everyone’s business, whether they like it or not."
- Dom has a current girlfriend called “The Princess” and ex-girlfriend dubbed “Madness Cherry Lips.”
In addition, the show promises "two crazy aunts and the unemployed friend “Sausage”, drunken cousins, a pathological liar, flirty waitresses, an eccentric uncle “Toupee Lou," an Irishman, and of course, the neighborhood troublemakers “Meatball” and “Bart.”"
If it all sounds like a riot, there's one group that's not laughing at the spectacle: The Italian American Human Relations Foundation of Chicago. The organization's president, Lou Rago, slammed the show to NBC Chicago:
"It's unfortunate that this many years after Mr. Capone's death they would try to cash in on his death. These shows throw functional illiterates in front of a television and celebrate things we shouldn't be celebrating."
According to the Sun-Times, "The Capones" won't be Dom's first time in front of a camera. Fans of R. Kelly's "Trapped In The Closet" hip-hopera may recognize him as Joey the mobster (RedEye helpfully notes he's the one Twan called "the blob father" after Joey called him "LL Fool J.")
Though Reelz is banking on a hit in the vein of "The Godfather" films or "The Sopranos" series, Italian mob-themed shows in Chicago have a poor track record: Both the widely-panned "The Mob Doctor" and "Mob Wives" tanked with critics and audiences alike.