Brooklyn 11223

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Brooklyn 11223 TV Poster Image
Reality drama features rumors, sex, and stereotypes.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The series revolves around stereotypical images and behavior of mostly Italian-American young women living in Brooklyn, N.Y. It also sends very negative messages about friendship and the relationships between women.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Some of the cast members grew up as best friends only to be divided by rumors and conflicts between their "crews" as adults. Most of the women seem primarily interested in dating, spreading rumors, starting arguments, and drinking. Some cast members are allegedly connected to mob families. Loyalty is a big deal.

Violence

Yelling, screaming, throwing, shoving, and threatening is frequent. References are made to past mob hits and serving jail time for mob-related crimes, and the Gotti family.

Sex

The show's main conflict revolves around rumors about one cast member having sex with her friend's boyfriend. Words like "whore," "laid," and other sexual references are audible. Women are shown in skimpy bikinis, thongs, pole dancing, and moving provocatively. One cast member works in a "gentleman's" club. References to breast augmentations.

Language

Contains lots of cursing, including words like "ass," "bastard," "bitch"; "f--k," "s--t" are fully bleeped.

Consumerism

Corona beer visible. High-fashion labels like Christian Dior, Gucci, and Yves St. Laurent, and cars like Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, and BMWs are visible. Local Brooklyn haunts are also visible.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Lots of partying scenes with plenty of drinking (beer, hard liquor shots, wine). Cigarette smoking is frequent. One cast member is a bartender; another is a cocktail waitress.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Brooklyn 11223 -- which features feuding groups of twenty-something adults in Brooklyn, New York -- contains lots of stereotypical images, as well as scenes featuring gossiping, cat fights, alcohol-fueled partying, and endless conversations about alleged illicit sexual encounters. Cigarette smoking and cursing (bleeped "f--k," "s--t") is frequent.

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What's the story?

BROOKLYN 11223 is a reality series that follows the lives of two groups of twenty-somethings as they navigate Brooklyn's summertime scene. The once close-knit gang has now split into rivaling \"crews\" headed up by Joey Lynn Tekulve and Christie Livoti, two former best friends who parted ways thanks to an alleged illicit relationship between Joey Lynn and Christie's former boyfriend. The drama is intense as rumors fly and tempers flair, especially among crew members like Angelina Favuzzo, Carla Cozzolino, and Joey Lynn's friend Valona Saka. Meanwhile, life-long friendships and romantic connections, including Christie's current relationship with boyfriend Matthew Guzzone, slowly disintegrate as a result of all this behavior. Throughout it all, individual crew members are also coping with their own personal issues, like the consequences that come as a result of some their family's connections to the mob.

Is it any good?

The show, which is loosely inspired by West Side Story, combines reality and drama while reinforcing endless negative stereotypes about Brooklyn and the people who live there. Adding to this is the immature and rather distasteful stories that they tell about each other. Drinking, smoking, and endless conversations about having sex only adds to the gang's social dynamic.

Despite many of the crew members being college-educated or professionals, the overall cast appears superficial, catty, and inarticulate. Their over-the-top behavior, which includes lots of drinking and partying, contributes to this image. Older viewers who enjoy this kind of voyeuristic experience may find it entertaining, but there are no positive messages here.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the reinforcement of stereotypes as a way of creating an entertaining movie or TV show. Producers often rely on stereotypes and generalizations in order to create (in their minds) characters that more "believable" to viewers. Do you think this is necessary? What are some of the consequences of doing so? Are there other ways to depict certain cultures or communities in a way that is interesting and entertaining without resorting to generalizations?

  • If a reality show is "based" on something else, is it really depicting something that is real? Or is it being produced in a way to paint a certain picture of reality? Do you think the story this show is telling is true, or do you think it's been created for the sake of an entertaining show?

  • What do the characters on the show stand to gain or lose from appearing on this show?

TV details

For kids who love reality television

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