Tuesday, March 27, 2012

"Bay Ridge Jersey Shore" Not Bay Ridge or Jersey Shore Enough

Brooklyn 11223 premiered last night and predictably it was a train wreck, but maybe not for the reasons we hoped for. Ever since it was first announced that there would be a reality show set in Bay Ridge, the outcry from long time Ridge residents and Blacky has been slightly more vociferous than that over the Trayvon Martin shooting. The chief complaints were "they're going to make us look like buffoons like Jersey Shore does" and even worse "that's not even our zip code!". After spending a few minutes attempting to find the Oxygen network though - and apparently it doesn't even have an HD feed on Fios - I can tell you it's much worse than Jersey Shore. And not in a "train wreck you can't look away from" kind of good way.

The first thing you notice about Brooklyn 11223 is that the production values are really, really bad. Like bargain basement cheap. If MTV is like McDonalds for your brain - you know it's bad for you but it's still ok when you're half drunk at 2 am - then this show was the ham and cheese sandwich in a bag they serve to homeless people, criminals waiting for their appearance before the judge in central booking and New York city public high school students. I have no experience making television shows but I'm fairly certain Bottle and I could make a superior product on my iphone video camera. Jersey Shore at least looks like it's relatively cheaply made yet has competent people working on it. And while Jersey Shore is full of semi attractive people acting foolish, this show features some of the uglier, obese residents of Bay Ridge acting childish and not in a funny way. The entire series revolves around one incident that may have happened years ago (one of the girls might have slept with one of the other girls boyfriends) that would usually be one of many annoying plot points on another more interesting reality show, but instead is the focus of the show. Besides what looks like a huge brawl at Bay Ridge bar Bullshots (and the cameos of local bars and folk hero Bay Ridge Yeti dancing were the ONLY high points of the show), there doesn't seem much worth watching here.

So relax people of Bay Ridge. Yes, Brooklyn 11223 is not an entirely accurate portrayal of your sacred neighborhood, although there are definitely a good number of people living there who resemble the cast (don't believe me, just go to Salty Dog on a Friday night). And no, that's not the correct zip code. The producers have said that the show takes place all over Brooklyn, but other than a quick fight on a Coney Island beach and some scenes in a Coney Island auto shop where some of the cast works, the show is mostly set in Bay Ridge. But you shouldn't have to deal with this show for long, and I wouldn't worry about your hometown becoming synonymous with drunken, Italian stereotypes (well, anymore than it already is). This show is terrible in a way that I believe won't lead to a nationwide craze, like the millions who love the pathetic yet lovable Guido antics of Snookie and the Situation. It's just a shitty show that will lead to a quick cancellation. America might love shit, but at least we have the good taste to recognize when it's packaged nicely.

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