Southern Brooklyn

First Look: "Russian Dolls" Brighton Beach Reality Show Video Preview

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Sheepshead Bites has snagged the first publicly-available look at Russian Dolls, the new Brighton Beach-based reality show that will air on Lifetime on August 11 at 10:30 p.m.

Lifetime says the show, which had the working title Brighton Beach, provides a “rare and entertaining look at Brighton Beach’s colorful multi-generational families whose dramas and dreams contend with their Russian heritage while living in this famous, alluring, vibrant and highly protective community.”

The series, originally pitched as the Russian response to the MTV hit Jersey Shore, continues to fuel chatter throughout the neighborhood, with some Russian-American leaders excited for the spotlight, and others worried about a poor depiction of the Russian community based on stereotypes. Everything from the name – a term for prostitutes – to some of the people it revolves around, has been criticized. Sheepshead Bites was the first news outlet to reveal a Brighton Beach reality show was in the works, breaking the story in February 2010.

We’ve been asked not to give too many details about the show away – and, yes, we’ve seen full character bios and episode synopses – but we will tell you that it focuses on eight local Russian-Americans.

Here’s the roster of characters, with brief descriptions, provided by Lifetime:

  • Anna (22) – An aspiring model and skillful flirt, Anna recently opened her own modeling school.  She craves the spotlight but still lives in a tiny apartment with her parents and meddling grandmother.
  • Diana (23) – The goal in life for this princess is to find a man she can marry.  Of course, her prince will need to drive a nice car and pay for absolutely everything.
  • Anastasia (26) – Graduating college is not in the cards for this Russian darling who seems more interested in going to the gym, tanning, applying makeup and making sure her hair extensions stay in place.
  • Eddie (26) – A handsome lady-killer, Eddie is looking to make a name for himself in the world, while juggling the ladies and his busy social calendar.
  • Albert (26) – A wheeler-dealer who values his money and social status in Brighton Beach, Albert knows exactly what he wants:  to make millions of dollars and bring a nice Russian girl home to his mom.
  • Marina (34) – Dripping in furs and diamonds, Marina is all about status.  When she isn’t going head-to-head with her spirited mother-in-law, Eva (age 56), Marina runs the popular local club/restaurant Rasputin with her husband Michael and knows everyone in Brighton Beach.
  • Renata (47) – Sweet, energetic and whimsical, Renata hosts a popular Russian radio show.  She’s always trying to make nice when it comes to her friends and lovable, yet overbearing, husband Boris.
  • Sveta (47) – She rules her 30-year marriage with an iron fist, while her husband Sasha runs a local jewelry store.

We’re going to keep our traps shut about what we think for the time being, and instead let you watch the preview and read about the characters. What do you think of how the show looks, and how will it reflect upon the community?

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