The Gravano name is synonymous with "mafia" on Staten Island. Karen's father, Sammy "The Bull" Gravano, was underboss of the Gambino crime family, and when Karen was growing up, she had everything she ever wanted -- but nothing lasts forever. The mafia was taken down, and the Gravanos moved to Arizona. Soon after, Sammy went to prison and Karen had her own legal issues. Karen then moved back to Staten Island to start her own empire, eventually bringing along her daughter Karina. They both put down roots there despite concerns from their family out west. Karen is trying to make sure her daughter stays on the right path and focuses on her future, not just her volatile boyfriend Paulie. Sammy is keeping tabs on both women, trying to make sure the Gravanos living on Staten Island now fare better than those of yesteryear.
The Italian-American Mafia created the structure used by other criminal organizations in the New York underworld, and they worked with these groups to increase their power and influence. One of these groups was the Irish Mafia, known as the Westies. Billy O'Toole was brought up in the Westies lifestyle and followed in the footsteps of his father "Wild Bill," who made a name for himself on the streets of Brooklyn. Because of the volatile lifestyle in which he was raised, Billy wasn't around to help raise his twin children Joe and Taylor. The household was reliant on his ex-wife Jess, a hardworking single mom. Both Joe and Taylor have had run-ins with the law, and Jess is doing everything she can to make sure her kids don't continue the family's destructive cycle.
The mafia worked closely with many drug syndicates in an attempt to make more money. Gina LaRocca jumped into the drug world in Staten Island and Brooklyn, a decision that led to nine months in Rikers and the abandonment of her son CP when he was a baby. Christian, CP's father, is currently serving a seven-year sentence on narcotics charges in upstate New York, leaving CP to be raised by his Aunt Trish and Uncle Anthony. While Trish and Anthony have stayed out of the street life, they are no strangers to it. They are trying to build a life for CP, who has had his own issues with the law. The older CP gets, the more Gina, Trish and Anthony have tried to show CP a life away from the streets, using his father as the greatest example of where the mafia lifestyle can lead you.
When you're raised on Staten Island, there are all sorts of people, both in the lifestyle and out. Lisa Augustine and Karen Gravano grew up in the same friend circle, but they came from two different worlds. Lisa's daughter Dennie just finished college, and Lisa is trying to make sure she stays on the right path, but everyone has their demons, and Dennie is no exception. Her father abandoned her and Lisa when she was young, and that haunts her to this day.