A new Oxygen network show (“Brooklyn 11223“) is focusing on people of Italian descent living in Bay Ridge, the waterfront district of southwest Brooklyn. Too bad the neighborhood is increasingly made up of a mix of immigrant communities, including Chinese and Egyptians.  Watch the trailer below:

I’ve already written about “Russian Dolls,” Lifetime network’s short-lived show about Russians in Brooklyn’s Brighton Beach. I’m not surprised that just as Brighton locals protested the Lifetime show, Bay Ridge locals (joined by local councilmembers and politicians) are protesting this new Oxygen release for degrading women and portraying their community in a negative light (the show’s tagline is all about “betrayal”).

Producers are calling Bay Ridge a “small, close-knit community” in the same way that “Russian Dolls” producers called Brighton Beach a “mysterious” and “highly protective community.” I called their bluff  in my review of the show.

It seems that TV producers keep trying to recycle the same cliched tropes in the hopes of reaching Jersey Shore or Real Housewives levels of success and fame. How far can you go on shoddy production, weak story lines, forced drama, and a fetishizing of a neighborhood that is nothing like the show’s depiction? Let’s see how long this one lasts…

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Russian Dolls Promo Image from Lifetime Network

If the guilty pleasure in watching reality TV shows is derived from the voyeuristic clips of outrageous, hair-pulling catfights and the chance to glimpse the homes and lifestyles of the rich and not-so-famous, then Russian Dolls won’t satisfy even the basest TV-watching desires.

From my review in the newest Bitch magazine. Read the rest below, or buy the print or digital edition here!

After I wrote the review, the Lifetime network ran a marathon of all the remaining episodes in season one. It is still unclear whether the show has been cancelled or if it will return for a second season. My review should make it pretty clear which option I prefer.