Love and relationships are a complicated part of our lives. Many of us see relationships in a subjective way; biased and based on how we were raised and the relationships we are surrounded by. Yet there is a clear cross-cultural difference in how individuals communicate with each other, and the expectations that are upheld between one another in relationships. Born into a Russian-Jewish household, I was raised differently from the average American girl, which has made dating outside of my culture interesting. When I share stories with my mother about certain “male friends,” she is always a bit surprised by the differences she finds in what she knows as dating and what I have experienced.
When “Russian Dolls,” the since canceled Lifetime reality show about a gaggle of Russian women living in Brighton Beach, premiered on the Lifetime Network, my Brighton friends and I gathered around a television to mark the occasion. What we were expecting was something akin to a Russiafied “Jersey Shore.” What we saw was, remarkably, much worse. The Dolls were shamelessly portrayed as superficial, vain, and none too bright; shining examples of the untranslatable Russian word poshlost, meaning something like “self-satisfied vulgarity.”
Anyone tuninng into reality show ‘Russian Dolls’ might expect off-color humor. One viewer was appalled by the anti-Semitic stereotypes peddled on the small screen.
The new reality show ‘Russian Dolls’ is little more than stereotypes strung together. Many in Brighton Beach are just happy the actors aren’t explicitly described as Jewish.