Now that we've seen a glimpse of Lifetime's reality show about the Russian community in Brighton Beach, Russian Dolls, featuring "guys wearing Adidas pants, leather jackets and gold chains" and "a lot of hot, decked-out Russian girls" (plus some of their in-laws!), what do actual Russians in Brighton Beach think? Um, how about a community liaison's slam saying "they don’t speak this dirty language and they hate vodka."
Ari Kagan, who is Comptroller John Liu's liaison to the Russian community, told Sheepshead Bites:
There is no question in my mind that the Russian Dolls series will depict the Russian-speaking community in a distorted way, as a caricature, as a joke. Lifetime does not care about the thousands of great, beautiful, funny, smart and hard-working young Russian speaking women who attend colleges and universities, make money as paralegals, librarians, nurses, journalists and computer specialists. They are great daughters, sisters, wives and mothers. They don’t spend most of their time in nightclubs, bars or lounges. They don’t speak this dirty language and they hate vodka.
Of course, we do have our own bad apples, low lives and criminals, but they constitute a minority in the Russian speaking community. Lifetime wants to create a lot of fun and entertainment by throwing the reputation of Russian-speaking New Yorkers under the bus.
Keep in mind, some other community members think the title is synonymous with "prostitution," too.
One woman told WPIX, "We are not about sex, we are not about drunk people, not about vodka, not about violence," but another said, "I grew up around here, I'm not Russian but ... I think it's a little accurate. It's ridiculous that people say it's too sexy, because Brighton Beach is a hot pot and sex sells."