New Bay Ridge Reality Show Causes Uproar
By Paula Katinas
BAY RIDGE — For a television show that hasn’t even aired yet, “Brooklyn 11223” is generating a lot of negative buzz in this part of the borough.
“Brooklyn 11223,” a new reality series featuring two young women, Joey Lynn and Christie, who are bitter rivals and whose intense hatred for each other spills over to their friends, will premiere on the Oxygen Network on March 26 at 11 p.m.
The show takes place in and around Bay Ridge and features scenes filmed in the neighborhood’s restaurants, clubs and streets, according to a press release from the Oxygen Network. Scenes were also filmed in Bensonhurst, Gravesend and Coney Island.
The show’s promotional trailer makes “Brooklyn 11223” look like a Bay Ridge version of “Jersey Shore,” according to civic leaders, who said they find the portrayal of the community as a place for tough-talking party girls offensive.
“It’s a disgrace,” said Karen Tadross, a producer with The Ridge Chorale/Jeff Samaha Productions. “I’m tired of seeing bad behavior rewarded in our young people. Producers think it sells. And it probably does sell. But it makes our community look bad.”
“A show like ‘Glee,’ now those kids are a positive influence,” Tadross said, referring to the Fox-TV hit about high school students singing in the glee club.
No one wants to see a bunch of foul-mouthed characters who make Snookie and The Situation look like intellectuals, several civic leaders told the Bay Ridge Eagle.
Councilman Vincent Gentile is so outraged by the show that he organized a press conference to blast it. Gentile has invited female civic and business leaders to come to the press conference to speak out against the new show. The press conference will take place on Friday, Feb. 24, in front of Beyond Dance, 8717 Third Ave., at 11 a.m.
Gentile got a look at the promotional trailer and did not like what he saw.
“Judging from the trailers and previews we’ve seen, it will be gratuitous, classless and heavy on the stereotypes,” the councilman said in a statement.
Gentile is demanding that Oxygen yank the show off the air.
“It’s not a realistic portrayal of our community,” Tadross said. “They don’t even have the right ZIP CODE,” she said, pointing out that Bay Ridge’s ZIP CODE is 11209.
In the press release promoting “Brooklyn 11223,” the Oxygen network described the show as a riveting, no-holds-barred look at today’s young people.
“The series provides a voyeuristic look into the lives of a group of twenty-something friends whose once rock-solid friendships have been torn apart by betrayal,” according to the press release.
The show, which “showcases the urban streetscapes of Brooklyn,” follows Joey Lynn and Christie and their friends “as they spend their summer learning about themselves, the bonds of friendship and the price of betrayal,” the press release states.
What was the “betrayal” that tore the two women apart? Apparently one seduced the other’s boyfriend several years ago.
Representatives from the Oxygen Network did not return calls by press time.
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