Sunday, September 25, 2011

Russian Dolls: Letter To Lifetime

Dear Lifetime:

I am not a television producer or executive.  I have no experience or education to draw from in critiquing your decisions.  However, I do have a lot of common sense.  In creating and marketing your show, Russian Dolls, you and your staff broke all the rules of common sense.  So is it any wonder the show bombed completely after showing 7 out of 12 episodes?  Let me tell you how I think you should have handled this from the beginning.  I am not saying the show would have been a success, but it might have had a better shot than you gave it.

First of all, you advertised the show to be "the next Jersey Shore + Real Housewives" trying to capitalize on the tremendous success of those shows.  I can tell you that Russian Dolls never came close to imitating those shows.  You set up people's expectations too high and then let them down. 

Secondly, you irritated, even outraged, the one group who may have given you some ratings, the Russians themselves.  You unnecessarily changed the name from Brighton Beach to Russian Dolls, an ethnic slur/insult.  Why?  Was that in order to make it popular with other groups?  Personally, I think the title Brighton Beach fit much better and was closer to "Jersey Shore" than Russian Dolls.  And let's face it, you only had 3 dolls to work with.

Third, what may have been your biggest error was airing the show opposite Jersey Shore, which was already into it's fourth season and had premiered the week before.  If you wanted to snag some of their viewers, and clearly you did by pimping the show as the next Jersey Shore, what in the world made you think that fans of that show were going to change channels in the middle of their program to watch yours?  Only an idiot would have thought that was a good idea.  You should have aired it any time BUT that time, so Jersey Shore fans could have checked it out.  Then, when it was predictable that the time slot was terrible, you made it worse by airing it an hour later!  Way to go!

Fourth, the show tried too hard to force Russian culture and tradition into it's storyline (storylines that were lame to begin with and dialogue that was laughable).  The majority of your cast members had accents that made them difficult to understand.  And most of them were not even likable people.  Were you portraying the Russian community as materialistic, obnoxious, and self centered?  That's what I got out of it.  The exceptions to this "portrayal" being Renata, Eva and Anna.  Renata always conducted herself professionally, with class and grace.  Eva was portrayed as pursuing her dreams and caring for family.  Anna is the one young person on the show to be admired and respected. She has a strong work ethic and is concerned for her family's well being.  That is a big burden for a young girl, but she feels responsible for them.  Now if you could have found more people like that, perhaps people could watch the show and maybe the Russian community would have supported it.

Fifth, the show was too scripted. Nothing seemed natural to me.  The "confessional" skits between Eddie and Albert, were insulting to all women, not just Russian women.  And is anyone going to believe Diana's answer for the lip tattoo was to save money on pencils???  Frankly, I do not belive she really went through with it at all.  It was just drama created for the show.

Sixth, you banned me from posting my blogs on your Bright Beach Facebook Page.  Why?  I was promoting your show for you.  No one on your "team" was keeping fans up to date.  At least you left me alone on the Russian Dolls FB page where practically all the posts were mine.  Your staff couldn't be bothered to interact with the fans that showed up?  They didnt post updates?  Way to go.

Anyway, the inevitable happened.  Eddie is looking for another reality show, like he deserves one.  NOT!  Anastasia's gravy train has come to a halt.  After seeing her attitude on the show I doubt she is going to be getting work any time soon.  Diana better find Mr. Rich Right soon too, before she gets more facial tattoos and ruins her beautiful face altogether.  Anna, I wish you the best of luck in all your business endeavors, maybe the exposure from the show did you some good.  I  hope so.  Eva, please teach your grandchildren some real values, like the importance of family, because Marina just teaches the about materialism and disrespecting their elders and your son allows it.  Renata best of luck with Outstanding YOU and your Passionista Movement.  Svetlana, did you really come up with that idea of a Russian nesting doll necklace or did a company approach you to use your name?  They look over priced to me. 


  1. Thank god show is getting cut off the air it's giving the russian community as well as Russian culture a bad reputation. On top of all of that I thought the show was very racist to other cultures. You can determan that from the 1st episode. Another thing that stupid about the show all the cast members act way to fake for the show why because every one of em know each other from the area and I personally know how they act which is not how it's portrayed on the show. Person who created this blog keep up the good work speak your mind because everything you say Im with you 100%

  2. Anonymous, I will and there is a new blog going up on Episode 8 in a minute. The more I watch the more "fake" this show comes across. There is very little real about this reality show. Thanks for your kind words.