Friday, November 25, 2011

Russian Dolls: Picked Up In Australia!

I noticed that both Michael Levitis and Eddie Zee were notifying their adoring public that Russian Dolls was being picked up by Nippon TV in Japan.  My first thoughts…how is that possible.  Japan?  Of all the places on earth, that is the last place I would have guessed would be interested in Russian Dolls.  

I immediately thought, the Japanese revere their elderly parents.  How in the world is the way Marina treats Eva going to go over in Japan?  They would be horrified to say the least.  The more I thought about it the more preposterous it seemed to be.  So I clicked on the article that Michael posted to see it with my own eyes.  I was right!  They are not being picked up by Japan at all.  This man, with a law degree who is part owner of a large restaurant, has not read the article at all and jumped to conclusions.  The article mentions several countries and the different shows they are picking up.  Japan is picking up some shows, but NOT Russian Dolls.

Relevant part of article: Australia’s Nine Network picked up Picker Sisters; Lifestyle and Lifestyle You acquired Glamour BellesDance Moms and Russian Dolls; and Sci-Fi/TV1 General Entertainment took The Captains of the Final Frontier.

I’ll tell you who is picking up Russian Dolls…Australia.  Yes, Lifetime and Lifetime YOU in Australia is picking up the show.  Don’t ask me why, but it makes more sense, doesn’t it?  I will post the links to two articles and you can see for yourself.  Maybe I read it wrong, but I don’t think so.  I hope Michael reads the fine print in his contracts better than he read this article.

So no, Russian Dolls will not be going to Japan any time soon.  Let’s see how well received they are in Australia.  I am very curious!

Links to articles: Article one  and  Article two

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

All American Muslim: Episode 1, Shadia and Jeff's Wedding

Shadia Amen and Jeff

I watched the first episode of All American Muslim and I enjoyed it.  There were no theatrics, fights amongst the cast, cursing, yelling or drama, like on other reality shows.  Instead, there was calm, rational discussion about the Muslim way of life from the conservative and liberal points of view.  It was entertaining, interesting and educational.

The first episode deals primarily with the wedding of Shadia, a Muslim, and Jeff, her Irish, Catholic finacee.  In order to please Shadia's parents, Jeff has decided to convert from his religion to hers.  He feels that his religion is secondary to his love for her.  During one of the discussions, it was said that a Muslim man can marry a woman of any religion, but a Muslim woman must marry a Muslim man.  In any case, the conversion is a relatively simple matter and Shadia's father even helps Jeff to learn how to pronounce the words he must say at the ceremony.  Jeff's mother is a little upset about his decision to change religions, but ultimately wants whatever makes him happy and he is an adult, so she has to accept it.  At the wedding they try to blend both cultures in with Jeff's cousin performing some Irish folk dancing and Shadia's relative performing belly dancing.  There is no drinking at the wedding, Muslim rules forbid it...too bad for the Irish family.

The newly weds look very happy.  I expect there will be many adjustments for them to make.  Cultural differences can be difficult, especially in the beginning of the marriage.  I don't know if season one is long enough for us to see that, but the previews of next week show Jeff emotionally upset about something.

Of course, throughout the show, they introduced the other families and gave us a little background on them.  I have to say the show is very refreshing from other reality shows. Without all the drama, they are able to really tell viewers a lot about themselves.

This seems like a great show, with 5 diverse yet Muslim families, to give us some insight into the culture and traditions of that community.  I feel like I have learned a lot already.

Picture credit: TLC

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Russian Dolls: Marina Never Looked Better

The world pretty much knows that I am not a Marina "fan" and my guilty pleasure has been to take pot shots at her whenever the opportunity has presented itself...and she has given me plenty of opportunities.  But today, as I look at Michael's facebook page and the picture he posted of Marina, I have to say she has never looked better.  Maybe all those tweets about going to the gym and doing zumba classes for her brother's wedding paid off?  She does look like she lost some weight.  She says this is her fall "look."  I think it agrees with her.  The darker colors are very complimentary as is her new hair color.  Now all kidding aside, and try to be objective, don't you think this is a new and improved look for Marina?   

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Russian Dolls: Rasputin Battles Onegin

Onegin Restaurant slated to open soon

A new Russian restaurant is supposed to be opening soon in the West Village in Manhattan.  Vat is the problem?  Well, they seem to be trying to associate themselves with Rasputin of Brighton Beach.  Michael Levitis and Marina are not very pleased with this association and have asked them to refrain from linking the two restaurants together.  However, that has not been the case and recently Michael is threatening legal action if something isn't done about it.  The Onegin restaurant is not only much smaller, it is much less expensive and yet they allegedly say they are being headed up by the team behind Rasputin.  If that was the truth, Michael would certainly not be upset over it.  Here is Michael's letter:

To whom it may concern:
It is with great dismay that my wife,  Marina Levitis, and I read your recent article on Onegin restaurant.   Marina co-owns Rasputin Restaurant and I am a director therein.
Please note that Rasputin is not affiliated in any shape or form with Onegin nor any of its managers or owners.  This is not the first time that Onegin claimed to be our sister restaurant.  They have already been served with a cease and desist notice by our attorney regarding same back in August.  I will happy to provide you with a copy on Monday.  
It seems Onegin has willfully  chosen to disregard said notice and has again brazenly used Rasputin name, publicity and goodwill to promote their cheap imitation of Rasputin. I will now instruct our attorney to commence a lawsuit against Onegin and any publication that falsely reports on the affiliation.
I am hereby requesting that your site post a prompt retraction of your article. We hereby reserve the right to use all remedies available to us in law or in equity in the event of your refusal to comply with this request.
Should you have any questions I can be reached at  Thank you in advance for your cooperation with above request.
Michael Levitis

I guess we will see what comes of all this if Michael keeps us posted.  Frankly, I don't blame them for taking action, what's right is right!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

All American Muslim: The Zaban Family

The Fouad and Zaynab Zaban are a conservative Muslim couple with four children: Jamilah, Ayah, Mohamed and Fatima.  Fouad is the head coach of a football team at Fordson High School, Zaynab is a part-time secretary and the two older girls, ages 10 and 11, wear the hijab to school.  

It will be interesting to see how they balance their conservative religious traditions in a non traditional community settings of jobs and school.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

All-American Muslim: The Jaafar Family

Mike is a Deputy Chief Sheriff and has worked in law enforcement for 17 years.  He married his high school sweetheart, Angela, a consultant to a major auto manufacturer.  Together they have four young children: Jenna, 10;  Julia, 8; Jad, 4; and Ryan, 3.  A couple with busy careers and family responsibilities, the Jaafars consider themselves a modern Muslim family.  They are participating int he series to help increase sensitivity and awareness for their community.  

Picture credit: TLC

Saturday, October 29, 2011

All-American Muslim: The Bazzy-Aliahmad Family

This seems to be a unique family.  Nina was raised in a community of devout Arab-Americans who practice Muslims cultural practices as part of their daily lifestyle. While Nina's mother is very traditional and wears the hijab, Nina is nontraditional. She is a very ambitious business woman and has opened up her own nightclub. Considering the conservative nature of her culture, and the fact that this type of business is predominantly run by men, Nina is taking on a challenging venture.  She is married to Ali and they have one son, Andre, age six.

Picture Credit: TLC