Sisterhood Blog

(Jewish) Long Island Princesses

By Debra Nussbaum Cohen

  • Print
  • Share Share

Could it get any worse? On June 2nd Bravo will debut a new reality show titled “Princesses: Long Island,” starring half a dozen spoiled women in their late 20s, all of whom are Jewish, according to the show’s publicist. If the series can be judged by the promo, they will give the already-offensive term Jewish American Princess a bad name.

The promo starts off with some woman who sounds like the love child of Fran Drescher and Joan Rivers screaming, “Guess what I have? Manischewiiiiiiitz!” and moves into a scene of bikini babes jumping into water when one girl screams “I think I broke my vagina bone!”

The stereotyping comes fast and furious: One girl says “My farklemptness is making me shvitz” and then another, who appears to be sitting in a limo, says, “Hasidic Jews, how do they get their curls so perfect?” At a bar, one of the characters says in a thick Lawng Oyland accent, “Are you guys Jewish?” Then someone named Erica drunkenly sings “Hava Nagila,” before falling flat on her face.

Then come the tears. One cast member cries to a friend, “Everybody judges me that I’m not married, and that I’m 27 years old like something’s wrong with me!” Another is seen snuffling into her cellphone, “Mom? Help….me” before dissolving right into a wedding scene, which is presented by the series as a Long Island Princess’s only worthy goal. This nauseating slice of life concludes with one “princess” snarking, “Shabbat shalom. Go fuck yourself.”

Charming. Asked if she thinks the show stereotypes Jewish women, the publicist — who asked not to be named, saying after finishing our short interview that she did not want to be quoted — said, “Not at all. You can’t really make any judgments about the show until you’ve seen it. I’m Jewish as well. No one on the show claims to represent all Jewish women. It’s a study of a subculture of an area of Long Island, of women who are in their late 20s, living at home and trying to navigate relationships with their families and friends. All that good stuff.”

Now, I’m as much a fan of Bravo’s guilty pleasure reality series as the next brain-candy consumer. I really enjoyed the original Real Housewives of New York. Loved watching Jill Zarin on that show and was bummed when she didn’t return for more recent seasons.

But “Princesses: Long Island” takes junk television to a new low. It looks like a Northeast iteration of “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.” Instead of watching apparently poor, stunningly un-self aware Southerners make fools of themselves, we have indulged Long Island girls with too much time and money on their hands doing the same.

Though I have nothing at all in common with the young women who appear to think that they will be able to parlay their participation into husbands or at least personal appearance deals (the bio of one cast member reads like a personal ad), the idea that anyone watching this show will think that they somehow represent Jewish women is embarrassing.

Back in 2008, some people, including a justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, complained that HBO series The Sopranos stereotyped Italian-Americans as mob members.

With “Princesses: Long Island,” I finally know how they felt.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: princesses: long island, sisterhood, long island, jewish women, entertainment, jap, jewish american princess, bravo

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.