Ridge tunes out for “Brooklyn 11223”

The hotly-debated reality show “Brooklyn 11223” premiered March 26 on the Oxygen Network to the cold shoulders of business owners and local officials.

The show, which follows the lives of two girls and their “crews” as they seek to resolve a dispute that happened when they were teenagers, sparked the ire of Bay Ridgeites from the moment they learned about itmany people worrying that “Brooklyn 11223” would be the next “Jersey Shore” and would project a derogatory image of the area to watchers of the series.

It’s no surprise, then, that many didn’t bother tuning in. Arlene Rutuelo, owner of Nordic Delicacies and a critic of the show, remarked, “I actually did not want to give my time to that show. I read some excerpts in newspapers and blogs and the concerns we [the group that vocalized opposition to the show] spoke of have come true.”

Back in March, State Senator Diane Savino called for a boycott of businesses that allowed the network to film in their establishments. Savino remains steadfast in her opposition to the show, articulating, “I am a little busy in Albany working on the state budget. Even if I was home doing nothing, I would not watch that show for reasons previously stated.

“All that being said, from the reviews, it would appear that calls to cancel it would be a blessing for the show as it seems to be worse than inane drivel,” Savino went on. “Finally, I continue to hold the position that I will not look favorably on any one who allows Brooklyn or Italian Americans to be manipulated for public humiliation or personal gain, and will make my dining and shopping choices accordingly, and encourage other Brooklynites to follow suit.”

Nonetheless, the talk of a formal boycott seems to have died down as Carlo Scissura, chief of staff for the Brooklyn borough president said, “Businesses obviously need money and we have always supported local businesses.” However, Scissura continued, “They need to be mindful that the shows are not portraying the people in the neighborhood in a positive light.”

Councilmember Vincent Gentile echoed Scissura’s sentiments, adding that, in this economic climate, boycotting businesses would never be an option.

But, Gentile’s opinion of the show remained unwavering as he commented, “I think the show speaks for itself. It’s vapid, gratuitous and unsophisticated. The producers said it would be ‘trashier than Jersey Shore but filmed in Bay Ridge’ and I think they hit their mark.”

So, who did tune in? As this paper went to press, a spokesperson for Oxygen said that the number of viewers for the premiere of “Brooklyn 11223” was not yet available.

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