The Princesses

by Leandra Medine
May 13, 2013
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On Bravo’s newest effort to bastardize an entire legion of people

I can appreciate the hypocrisy of what I’m about to say. After all, was it not I who loudly proclaimed her affection for everyone’s favorite yenta, Patti Stanger? Who proudly touted her near-evangelical devotion to The Real Housewives of Orange Country and their transcontinental counterparts in New York and New Jersey? Indeed, I believe it was.

But, Bravo, you’ve really done it this time.

With Princesses: Long Island, my network of choice has proven the reliability of its now- perfected reality TV cocktail: equal parts voyeurism, indulgence, and plastic surgery. In the case of Princesses, the recipe yields a program that chronicles the antics of six heinously extravagant millenials living with their parents in greater New York. Its stars are named Amanda, Joey, Casey, Erica, Ashlee, and Chanel. Yes, Chanel.

Obviously, I should love it.

Enter the hypocrisy. While I evidently felt no such moral repulsion when tuning into Shahs of Sunset (Sundays at 10pm, guys!), I winced at Princesses evident parodying of those cultural stereotypes so closely associated with my extended mishpuchah (for the uninitiated, this means family.)

“Has cable television ever showcased such an abundance of Juicy tracksuits?” I wondered. “Of marriage woes? Of kvetching?” And while it’s hard to pinpoint the most cringe-worthy moment in the show’s inaugural teaser, I’d wager that “Shabbat Shalom. Go fuck yourself” is a solid contender.

Maybe it’s my admitted bias, but—like a Lonely Island short or a YouTube video gone viral—Princesses strikes me as both utterly hilarious and wildly offensive. Of course, the real question is whether I’ll tune in when Bravo eventually debuts the show. To which, for now, I’ll only respond: Oy vey.

-Written by Mattie Kahn

REPLIES
  • Amy

    If Jill Zarin, Mama Elsa, and Lindsay Lohan had babies, they would be the stars of this tragic show. This is like the JAP stereotype on steriods. Bravo, I am disappointed as well.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lusafdie Luciana Safdie

    This is just sad, and promoting a stereotype that is far from the truth.

  • CarlyAnn

    LOL!! is this for real?? Cause I felt like I just watched a JAP stereotype filled SNL skit.

  • brunetteletters

    I hate when they promote something that doesn’t really exist…

    Because then, other girls want to be like that and they get frustrated and depressed.

    Whatever promotes people to be someone else, is bad!

    Brunette Letters Blog

  • http://twitter.com/social_la SOCIAL_losangeles

    Love reading your posts, they always make me laugh! Ridiculous that Bravo is promoting this.

    http://www.social-losangeles.com

  • lisa

    does mattie kahn write everything for this site now?

    • Leandra Medine

      I WISH! She is a far better writer than I am but unfortunately, her schedule only permits her four/five posts a month.

      • http://madamecouture.blogspot.com/ Emma Hager

        What is her formula?

  • cubscout

    ugh, well said.

  • CakesCookiesAndCardigans

    I double dog dare you to try to make new balance sneakers look fab…

  • http://www.hauteinhabit.com/ Haute Inhabit

    “Are you guys Jewish?”

    “No, Fuck no.”

    *hangs out with them anyways*

  • Share

    I am a little surprised at the castigations of Bravo. ALL of these reality shows play on stereotypes. I guess it’s true that: a) one enjoys looking at what one suspects is probably wrong (but is still so devilishly pleasurable!) (i.e. voyeurism); and, b) one winces when it is a group with which she identifies.

    Need I confess that I’ll enjoy watching? :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/belulopezchamba Belu Lopez Chamba

    I still can’t get over the fact that “The Rachel Zoe Project” has been cancelled for this (lets suppose, I don’t really think it has a direct relation).

    World is coming to an end.

  • andrea

    WE (meaning members of the tribe) can laugh at it (privately, amongst ourselves). But others (read non-Jews) will watch it and think that all Jews are like this. For them, it will underscore & validate age old stereotypes of Jews & prejudices against Jews, especially since people today get much of their information from TV . If it were a show depicting stereotypes of black people it would never get the green light. People would scream racism. I cringed when I saw the commercial for it. Shame on Andy Cohen.

    • devo13

      Ae you kidding? What about “Basketball Wives” and the other terrible reality shows that depict blacks in a bad light? We are certainly not all like the images seen on TV and feel as offended as you might about your own televised stereotypes. I guess Bravo is just capitalizing on another group of people who they can poke fun of, regardless if it is representative of the entire tribe.

      • Michele

        Elle oh elle, tune into VH1 on Monday(?) nights. Shame on Mona Scott Young.

  • Lust Covet Desire

    I meet girls like this everyday in Murray Hill. Will give the TV version a chance.

    http://www.lustcovetdesire.tumblr.com

  • Sayraht

    well this just makes us look redic.

    http://urbanjap.tumblr.com/

  • Savvy Spice

    I hadn’t heard of this show! Thanks for sharing

    -xoDale

    http://www.savvyspice.com

  • The Provoker

    Fierce princesses. I’ve just
    posted up one my DENIM on DENIM on DENIM outfits. If you like denim, you’re gonna love this! Do tell what you think on the
    craziness and l hope it entertains ;)

    xx The Provoker
    http://www.the-provoker.com/2013/05/shawshank-re-denim.html

  • Hanna

    So you are only upset now because this show has Jewish stereotypes? But ok with stereotypes for everyone else?

    • Leandra Medine

      I think these ones just hit slightly closer to home is all

      • Hanna

        Thanks for the response Leandra. Hopefully you will grow and loathe stereotypes of all human beings are not just your own ethnicity.

    • Mattie Kahn

      Agree with Leandra. I think it’s more that the extent to which these shows exploit stereotypes is made plainer when it’s your own culture’s stereotypes that are being portrayed. I’m all too happy to cop to the hypocrisy of that.

      • Share

        I’m happy you clarified this, Mattie, because there’s a bit of confusion. Glad you know that it’s hypocritical, too. (It’s also human! Don’t stress all the negative comments. Continue to be a reflective writer.)

        With regards to Leandra’s comment, yes, some might say it’s easier to see when things are closer to home. Others might say that the points that Mattie makes are very visible from a distance too. (Forest vs trees perspective, here.) Having said that, who’s to judge when certain problems–in this instance, a network that makes much-oh moolan-oh from peddling stereotypes–become evident to individuals? No one. Just stay open/honest and you’ll continue to grow as a writer. (I think you’re very talented, Mattie. Le, very funny, but you could use better punctuation every once in awhile!)

  • http://cirquedelatelier.blogspot.com/ Cirque de l’Atelier

    More importantly than blatantly parading stereotypes of different ethnicities for mass mocking, what’s the greater message that shows like this send?? People will always offend people, Jewish, Arab, American, white, black, it’s part of sociology and finding an identity, you put down others. What’s truly scary about these shows is that it sends the message that if you act like a Howler Monkey and say horribly, and most often poorly conceived, things, you too can be a mini celebrity. There are people out there that actually look up to and what to emulate The Real Housewives…. let that sit in for a minute. These people shouldn’t be emulated, they should be socially eviscerated. Ps, check out my new reality show coming this fall…..

  • Lisa

    It appears that Bravo, much like all other commercial networks will go as low as theycanv go to find a hit. Clearly they don’t know what may or may not be a hit and choose to ride just this or that side of what is in poor taste. Sigh……..
    http://www.flirtylingerie.com

  • Katy

    Interesting perspective, thanks for sharing! Personally I was disgusted with these shows that essentially create living caricatures of cultural stereotypes way back when Jersey Shore debuted. I think that TV entertainment (with a few notable exceptions) is continuing to devolve, but so long as there is money to be made it will go on. Watch the movie Idiocracy and let me know how long it will be before “Ow, my balls” airs on primetime.

  • Captive Louise

    I wonder which cable channel will show this little pearl of reality TV here in Portugal.

    http://captivelouise.wordpress.com/