It's not hard to understand why Victoria Gotti decided to do "Growing Up Gotti," a new reality series that presents, in the style of MTV's "The Osbournes," an inside peek at her private life, airing Monday at 9:30 and 10 p.m. on A&E.
The daughter of John Gotti, who died in 2002 while serving a life sentence for murder and racketeering, certainly knows what it means to grow up in the public eye, scrutinized by spectators who automatically make a series of assumptions even before they meet her.
"People hear my last name and all kinds of things come into their minds," said Gotti, 38, to a new acquaintance in the first episode. "They could be intimidated. They could get anxiety-ridden."
Her world, Gotti insists, is nothing like "The Sopranos," the HBO mob hit -- oops, make that "success" -- that has only reinforced many preconceptions about her. Although she says her daily routine is pretty mundane, "Growing Up Gotti" catches its main subject at a pivotal time in her life and shows the busy Gotti as she tries to juggle her responsibilities as the divorced mom of three teenage sons with her duties as editor-in-chief of the a new magazine, as well as her somewhat wary desire to begin dating again.
The premiere episode finds Gotti and her three headstrong sons in a very tense mode. The boys aren't happy that mom wants to sell their Long Island mansion where their father, Carmine Agnello, used to make a home with them, and they're even more upset that their mother is ready to wade back into the dating pool.
Gotti herself stands firm with them, but her resolve is a little shaken after a matchmaker sets her up with a bald 58-year-old who has a penchant for such inappropriate remarks that Gotti walks out on their dinner date.
"I'll give you a $1,000 if you take him to a ditch somewhere and roll him out," she tells the chauffeur after she gets back home. "I'm serious. Really."
Nope. Nothing like "The Sopranos" here, that's for sure.