(CBS Local)– Season two of “Families of the Mafia” premieres tonight on MTV after “Jersey Shore: Family Vacation” and this year’s docuseries promises to be even more intense than last year’s thanks to the addition of two new families. The Gravanos, the O’Tooles and the Laroccas are back and the Nayfelds and the Cutolos join the mix.
The gripping series dives into the lives of five notorius mafia-tied families as they continue to deal with the ramifications of being tied to organized crime. CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith spoke to Karen Gravano, the daughter Sammy “The Bull” Gravano who worked for the Gambino Family, and her daughter Karina Seabrook about the new season of the series and what’s it’s like to be connected to the mob in 2021.
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“I think for me what is really fascinating about this series is family is the current flow of everything, said Gravano. “Even though we grew up in a certain type of lifestyle, there’s so many relatable stories to every day life. Everybody really came front and center and told their stories. Being able to do this with the other four families and my family was really special. My father played a bigger part and told a lot of his stories. My daughter has her own direction and her own story outside of our family history, which was really special for me to see.”
“I feel like what was most important was to have this platform,” said Seabrook. “I feel like coming from the background and family last name that I do, a lot of people assume and have things to say, but what’s important is I’m building my own path. I’ve learned from their mistakes and I love my family for who they are. I’m going in a completely different path.”
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While viewers will get the opportunity to understand how the deaths and imprisonments of family members has impacted generations of these families, they’ll also get to hear first-hand accounts of what life was like in the mob. Gravano appreciates the fact that her father was willing to speak his truth after going to prison for his actions.
“There are so many misconceptions about his life and for him to sit down and tell it the way he tells it, he brings you inside that world and let’s you see the good, bad and ugly,” said Gravano. “Prior to me getting on TV and telling this story, there is so much attention that goes on the mob and it is really glamorized and glorified, yet there is a dark side. Families go through struggles when they lose a loved one. To hear it coming from my father and hear the about the choices he made, why he went into the mob and what his beliefs were helped me put everything into perspective in my head. I’m proud of him for telling his story. We wanted to highlight the reality of what really happens.”
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“I can thank my family for keeping me sheltered and shielded from that lifestyle growing up,” said Seabrook. “I also got the knowledge that I needed to know. It was real and it was my life. I grew up visiting a lot of men behind bars. My mom grew up with the glitz and glamour of that lifestyle and I grew up with the repercussions of it.”