If you love "Jersey Shore" despite — or because of — its over-the-top ethnic stereotypes, Lifetime may have a show for you. The cable network has announced a 12-episode run for "Brighton Beach," a new reality series being hailed as the Russian-American version of MTV's hit that's expected to air next spring or summer. The new show will focus on denizens of a Russian-American enclave near Brooklyn's Coney Island, another "East Coast boardwalk scene" a few miles away from the Jersey beach where Snooki and The Situation became pop-culture icons. What can viewers expect? (Watch a Russia Today report about the show)
Who are the main characters?
While "Jersey Shore" follows twenty-somethings, "Brighton Beach" will track three "colorful families" involved in running a popular Brighton Beach nightclub. According to Gene McCarthy, a Lifetime vice president, the show will be a "multi-generational story" with a focus on "women living, dating, and working in Brighton Beach" and the men in their lives.
How stereotypical will they be?
Reports are a bit mixed. During the "Brighton Beach" pilot phase, a producer promised "guys wearing Adidas pants, leather jackets and gold chains, and driving souped-up cars." But more recent hints indicate a less flashy storyline featuring "women in their 20s, 30s, and 40s and even grandmothers... as they struggle to assimilate." The show seems unlikely to ruffle as many feathers as "Jersey Shore" which unabashedly promoted the idea of Italian "guidos."
But surely there will be some drunken debauchery?
Vodka-drinking is likely to be an integral part of the show, but whether it will lead to street-fighting and regrettable sexual entanglements a la "Jersey Shore" remains to be seen. As Gawker puts it, Lifetime was "apparently too squeamish to air a show that's just about kids getting drunk and hooking up, so this one is about families getting drunk and hooking up."
Are there other "Jersey Shore" copycats in the works?
Naturally. "Brighton Beach" is just "one of a few titles in various stages of development that are being compared to the MTV series." For instance, Comedy Central is developing "Party Down South," which it dubs "Jersey Shore" for the grits-eating crowd, though "it is being edited as a comedy rather than a straightforward reality show." There's also the as-yet-unproduced "Koreatown," which takes the concept to Los Angeles' (you guessed it) Koreatown neighborhood.