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The “Jersey Shore” clone proposed for Brighton Beach doesn’t even have a TV deal yet, but some here in Brooklyn can’t wait for the cameras to start rolling.
“I think it’s a good idea to see what the [Russian] kids are doing,” said Janet Veksler. “Some kids want to rebel, some kids are different. It would be interesting.”
Forget that Snooki and company have knocked a few Italian-American noses out of joint with their obnoxious antics, Veksler, a social worker with the Brighton Neighborhood Association, says controversy is good, and that her own daughter would be “perfect” for the show.
“This is not the Italian situation,” Veksler said. “On the Jersey Shore you have stereotypical Italian-Americans. Here [in Brighton Beach] you have all kinds of kids - some who just came from Russia, those in between, and others born here.”
Just last year, Brooklyn played host to MTV’s “Real World” in Red Hook. The twenty-something cast included an Iraq war veteran and a transgendered woman.
“Brooklyn is proudly the Russian-American capital of the USA, so I would hope that any possible ‘reality’ show would respect the ‘real’ beauty and character of the Russian community,” Borough President Marty Markowitz said.
The producers of the proposed Brighton Beach reality show are very clear about who they want to cast and what they expect from them.
“There will be plenty of vodka, techno music and guys wearing Adidas pants, leather jackets and gold chains, and driving souped-up cars,” co-producer Elina Miller said. “There will also be a lot of hot, decked-out Russian girls.”
The online casting site asks, “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?”
Veksler’s daughter Sara Shatan, 17, is actually too young to audition for the new series, but the junior at Leon M. Goldstein High School in Manhattan Beach says that the kids at her school are already “crazy about the show.”
“Not every Italian person is a Guido and not every Russian person is a Russki,” Shatan said. “Six people can’t represent everybody. You can’t take it seriously. Not everything they say is real.”
Pat Singer, president of the Brighton Neighborhood Association doesn’t think a “Jersey Shore” rip-off will be positive for her community, however.
“I wouldn’t watch it,” Singer said. “It will make a cartoon character of an ethnicity. Our young people are good kids. I can’t see them acting like toughies.”
©2010 Community Newspaper Group
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