Princesses: Long Island
is a show that defies words. But fear not, Kveller readers–that will not stop me! I will be live-tweeting (as @Kveller) this car wreck of a “reality” show which implicitly defames Long Island, Jewish women, women in general, relationships, and basically all that is holy. My live-tweeting and the show will be on Bravo at 9 pm EST on (mark it on your calendars) Sunday night. And I CANNOT WAIT!!!!!
“Why on earth should I follow your live-tweets, Jordana, and about such an insane show?” you are thinking. “What’s in it for me?” I’ll lay it out for you below.
1. My credentials for both live-tweeting and reality TV are solid.
I think of myself as a smart person, and yet in certain instances, I am drawn to reality TV the way some people can’t help but slow down when they see an accident being cleaned up on the Long Island Expressway. This has been true ever since I snuck out of work to watch Temptation Island back in 2000. There are certain shows that hit a nerve in me for their sheer idiocy. This show is one of those cultural moments.
I last live-tweeted for Kveller on Oscar night… and if you were there, you know what a hit that was. Admittedly, I was seriously inebriated at the time but JUST THINK HOW FUNNY I WILL BE ABLE TO BE SOBER!!! The mind reels.
2. This show is particularly horrid.
This show, a look into the lives of Jewish 27-30-year-old women who mostly live at home and live for “amenities,” is a preposterous wallow in the stereotype of the Jewish American Princess. From The New Yorker:
‘These women, perhaps even more than other reality-TV subjects, seem eager to fulfill the subcultural caricatures they’ve been cast to represent. White, a self-proclaimed Jewish American Princess and the most shameless by far, gloats that her mother still makes her bed, gets mani-pedis with her father, and has a salon employee carry her to her car on his back so that she won’t be seen in flat shoes (she’s four feet nine). Erica Gimbel throws pool parties at her parents’ mansion and says that she was born “with a silver spoon up my ass.” Living at home, says Chanel Omari, who comes from a modern Orthodox family, is “definitely a Jewish thing, and it’s kind of a Long Island thing.”’
Gross, right? Very. And I say this as a woman from the somewhat-notorious suburb of Short Hills who married a man from the equally-somewhat-notorious suburb of Great Neck (is that yiches or what??). This is a show about people I wouldn’t want to spend five minutes with in real life.
In analyzing the show’s bizarre appeal–and I speak as someone who could never get into the Real Housewives genre because they all look alike to me–I spoke with a friend from Great Neck, who wrote the following to me:
Here is why I enjoy the show: it’s making my life a sort of “revenge of the nerds.” Girls who were clones of these girls on the show were the people who in high school I simultaneously couldn’t stand, yet wanted them to stand me. Ten years later, I see my life has turned out awesomely and I see they are suffering. And I get a sort of very deep schadenfreude out of it.
There’s a second reason why I love it: I’ve left that world, I’ve moved onto a different stage in my life, and this show comes off to me like a *documentary* (or a documentary-meets-mockumentary) of that world.
Unlike my friend, I never felt the urge to be one of these girls, or even liked by these girls. But they exist, and we can’t deny it. In fact, one commentator, Emily Shire of The Forward, says it best in her blog post here. And of course, because of the nature of the Jewish people, I actually have some Facebook friends in common with these ladies. True.
3. I give you time to prep!