We just got off the phone with Elina Miller, the creator of the Brighton Beach reality show that’s drawing parallels to Jersey Shore, who confirmed that the planned series is bonafide.
Miller is working alongside Alina Dizik and Christine Mahin to produce the show, and they’re aiming to make more than just a Jersey Shore clone with swapped-out ethnicities. She said the show hopes to introduce Russian-Americans – and the intricacies of their culture – to a broader audience.
“While some of the stereotypes may have merit, I’m trying to show that [the community is] a lot more complex,” Miller said.
Miller described her “altruistic” goal as turning stereotypes on their head and “showing people that while there might be some things that they would expect, it’s about more than meets the eye.”
But the 25-year-old Russian-American realizes that it’s about entertainment, and the appealing elements of reality shows are cross-cultural.
“One thing that’s common across all cultures is the desire young people have to have fun, to unleash,” and Brighton Beach may not be different in that regard, she said.
The three creators are in talks with cable networks to air the show, but everything is contingent on casting. The group has partnered with vueplanet.com, a Russian-American social networking platform with more than 60,000 users, to host the casting application (BrightonBeachShow.com was a prototype and not intended to be the official page for casting).
Miller said they’ve already received scores of applications and have started sorting through them, and she’s got faith that they’ll nail the right mix of people to secure a popular television channel.
Surprisingly, despite the show’s name and subject manner only two of the three creators are Russian, and none have ever lived in Brighton Beach. Miller and Dizik were both raised in Chicago, where they met, among the city’s Russian community.
Miller is a Northwestern University graduate that has worked on reality shows – or “docu-series” as she prefers to call them – including Paranormal State. It’s there that she met Christine Mahin, who she said lends an American perspective to Brighton Beach, broadening its appeal. While in college, Mahin also produced a scripted reality show titled Sheehan Beach, which resembled MTV’s Laguna Beach but with Villanova students.