Brighton Beach: The New Jersey Shore?

A few weeks ago, Jessica Grose at Slate noted that in order to follow up the tantastic–shit-show-turned-cultural phenomenon Jersey Show “MTV needs a new tribe to study.” Grose suggested that Massholes, a program documenting the “feisty” escapades of New Englanders with a “nearly carnal love for the Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics, and Bruins” and a penchant for aggressive driving, beer binging and inter-tribal warfare, might be an appropriate replacement. Now come hints that the next tribe to get a close up (after the kids in South Beach) may be in Brooklyn– Brighton Beach more specifically.

“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?” The show’s casting call reads. “If so, we may want to cast you for a new reality TV show that centers around a group of Russian-American strangers living together in a house on the shores of Brighton Beach for a summer. The cameras will roll as you do what you do best — eat, drink and PARTY.”

So, does Brighton Beach have the potential to rival its Jersey cousin? Sure, Brighton has “Euro/Techno/Russian music blasting,” kalbaska “[sneaking],” and “birthday parties at Russian restaurants every weekend” – qualities that distinguish its residents and allow for the same kind of ethnic stereotyping and self-mocking spectacles that the show’s Guido predecessors’ owned and thrived on. The Russian-America group lacks the mainstream visibility of the Guidettes, however, and this under-the-radar status may undermine Brighton’s potential for widespread ridicule/relatability. As of now, producers are still marketing the show to networks. Whether or not it will actually materialize is up in the air.

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