Thursday, August 18, 2011

Russian Dolls: Negative Opinions Continue!

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One week after the first episode aired and negative opinions are still forthcoming over Lifetime's new series, Russian Dolls.  How do the people in the community of Brightonn Beach feel about the way they are being represented on the show?  Many are sick over it.  Several new articles today go on in great detail as to the sentiments of the Russians and Jews living in this neighborhood. 

What are they saying?  In their view, the show represents the "low lifes" of the community.  It's painful for many to watch, especially older, female viewers, who are the primary Lifetime audience.  The show portrays them as being materialistic and showing off their wealth.  It does not show the hardships that immigrants face when coming to this country.  The aspects of the Russian stereotypes portrayed on the show, while it may exist in Brighton Beach, definitely represents only the minority of its residents.  Yet, they feel the whole community is being painted with the same brush on the show.

The show barely mentions Jews, which is unusual since most of the cast is Jewish.  The reasons for avoiding the "Jewish" component is unclear.  It may be to avoid even more attacks from the Jewish community or it may be a way of trying to maintain it's popularity with viewers.  The Jewish values are all about living your life with dignity and respect not how much wealth you can acquire and flaunt. So maybe it's better if they don't mention it on the show?

Of course, in the end, it's all about entertainment.  The creators, the cast, the network, will not hesitate to show viewers anything that will generate ratings and money for all of them.  That's the bottomline. If that involves exploiting and portraying their neighborhood, their Russian culture and their religion in a negative be it.  In the end it's all about the almighty dollar.  That's entertainment!

Make sure to tune in for tonight's second episode of Russian Dolls and let's see what critics will have to say abou tit tomorrow: Lifteime @ 10:30 PM ET


  1. I think everyone is taking this show out of context. It's not meant to be taken so seriously, after all it's reality not actuality- I'm sure most of it is scripted. It's been taken way close to heart. I have to say that they do talk about the culture and how the indvidulas on the show have worked hard for what they have and now that they can afford why not enjoy it, especially coming from nothing. I too am a Russian Jew and I feel that whether it is an accurate representation or depiction of the community as a whole you cannot fit everyone into one category and tie a nice and tight bow around it all. It is what it is, and to be honest with you at least we are talked about at all and depicted and for once not like criminals, at least thus far. Who knows what is in store after all only the 1st episode has aired. I will continue watching and seeing what is in store.

  2. Renata I appreciate your comments. Maybe many are taking the show too seriously, but they feel this stereotyping is taking away from the progress the Russians have made to change their image. People watching the show do not live in Brighton Beach and they are getting a distorted view of what the people there are like. Hopefully the show will have more balance in future episodes. And, as for criminals, Michael Levitis has been prosecuted and recently sentenced to three years probation and $15,000 fine.

  3. Are you kidding me? Please tell me you are. First of all, I am a "Russian Doll". I am first gen russian/jewish female born and raised in Chicago. And guess what!? My parents and their friends and and the whole community ARE LIKE THIS! They wouldn't be so offened if they weren't. Being born in American and having American values, I have tried to fight this mentality my whole life! However, because we respect our parents and have to "do as they say" it's very difficult to break free from what was ingrained from childhood. I too, have tried to bring a "spanish guy home" and have "hurt my parents". The main problem is, that although living through and overcoming hardships, they do think they are better than everyone else and it's all about outdoing each other and Keeping Up with the Jones. They also will always believe they are right and this is the right way to be. You think Russian/Jews are only this way in Brighton!? GIVE ME A BREAK. They all are materialistic from Chicago to L.A. They are the same everywhere!

  4. Anonymous, thank you for commenting and for sharing your experience in such and open and honest way. Many of us who are not familiar with the culture and the Russian Jewish communities are not sure what to think. Those that are offended make it appear that the show is exaggerating or untrue. However, I do believe you, you have nothing to gain or lose by telling us the truth! It is much appreciated.

  5. you all must realise, that reality shows for the most part are all about idiotic drama, that producers try to show. In case of RUSSIAN DOLLS,
    besides the drama, producers try to show the interactions between the family members, their issues, their way of live and other aspects of their existance in America. I realy dont see this being offensive to any one. Like in any show, there are negative and positive people. And we as the audience must decide for ourself if want to look or act as them. If you feel its garbage, dont watch it! If you feel there is something you can learn from it, then watch it! Thats about all. No harm intended!