Last night, VH1 premiered its Mob Wives spin-off Big Ang. For the uninitiated, the titular star's real name is Angela Raiola and she is basically what would have happened if Russ Meyer had a laboratory that allowed him to build actual women and one of them went severely awry. I think she is the campiest personality mainstream U.S. pop culture has experienced since Madame. Her affect amounts to that of Emory from The Boys in the Band with his brain scooped out and replaced with Baby Sinclair from Dinosaurs. During the premiere, Ang repeatedly told us how much everyone loves her. It's in her theme song, even. She is at this point an overgrown child who's been told that she's been cute several thousand times too many.
That said, she was the breakout star of the second season of Mob Wives with good reason — she's the only tolerable person on that miserable show. What's so interesting about Big Ang, in fact, is that in a subgenre based around orchestrated arguments and occasional blows, she goes against the grain by exuding benevolence — and she's been rewarded for it. How often does a reality star get her own show for just being nice? That she's also utterly bizarre top to bottom, though, also works in her favor.
So that's special, and I do love a good camp icon. She seems to have devoted her life to being larger than it. I also like how the clip above in which she tries out shot boys for the "re-grand opening" of her bar the Drunken Monkey a) is basically a recreation of Toni Braxton's "You're Makin' Me High" video, b) reveals her love of thick guys and c) shows her licking her lips openly. Ever since Samantha Fox put in my head just how loveable sluts are at an early age, I have been very into women who openly lick their lips.
But also, she's kind of insufferable, has nothing to say and is probably her own biggest fan. So that kind of sucks. I also hate that her nickname doesn't have an "e" at the end. Whenever I read it, I want to pronounce it with a hard "g" so that it sounds like Eng, of the conjoined twins Chang and Eng.
So Big Ang: yay or nay? Hit it or quit it? Smash it or trash it? Don't make your decision until you watch the video to the left — all I did was slow down her saying, "Latin lover" and the woman fucking roars. She's either the best cougar ever or the host of a demonic entity. Not that there's anything wrong with that.