Friday, July 29, 2011

Russian Dolls: Brighton Beach Russians Up In Arms!

Welcome to Brighton Beach, little Russia by the sea!  Things have gotten a little stormy since Lifetime began filming it's new reality series "Russian Dolls" in Brighton Beach!  The network rocked the boat when they decided to created a sterotypical Russian reality show based on Jersey Shore!

Why should Italians be the only ones upset at the way they are being portrayed? Jersey Shore had Italian American noses out of joint for the way they were being depicted. Mob Wives had Italian Staten Island residents hitting the roof because they believed the rest of the country would think they were all like the ladies on the hit show. Now the Russians from Brighton Beach, Brooklyn are going to get a dose of reality television when the Russian Dolls hit Lifetime’s airways on August 11th.

The Russian community is not happy with the way they are being stereotyped in the new show. Ever since taping began last fall, community leaders and residents have been voicing their strong disapproval to Lifetime executives. The show advertised they were looking for the Russian “Snooki” and “Situation” in order to create a Russian version of Jersey Shore where drinking vodka and partying would be the main theme.

Those signing the letter to Lifetime, protesting the new show, include an impressive list of well educated, professional individuals who feel that while Russians have made valuable contributions to society, they are always being depicted in a negative light.

Lifetime has responded to the communities concerns and say they have “toned down” the original idea of the show. Lifetime states that they are using their own “voice” and not that of MTV. The concept of the show is that is it a “multigenerational women’s story about life in the community,” including dating, working, and their relationships. 

But, the Lifetime posters at Brighton Beach, looking for cast members, read: "Are you the Russian Snooki or The Situation? Are you a super outgoing and fun-loving Russian-American that sometimes sneaks kalbaska, pel'meni and vodka from the fridge? Can people hear the Euro/Techno/Russian music blasting from your car before they see you pull up? ... The cameras will roll as you do what you do best - eat, drink and PARTY."

Sorry Lifetime, I am not buying it. You wanted to capitalized on the success of Jersey Shore so you created a slightly different version using Russians instead of Italians. How different is it? First you have the theme of the “beach,” the Jersey shore versus Brighton Beach. Then, when looking for your cast, you specifically say that you are looking for a Russian “Snooki” and “Situation.” Your promo clip, giving us a glimpse into the show has fighting, drinking and flirting. Where is your “voice” Lifetime?  Where does MTV's voice end and yours begin?   Just sayin’!

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