About a year after it aired, The Bedford Stop — a reality-TV show on YouTube — is starting to get some traction. A few days ago, Free Williamsburg wrote a snarky review titled, “All Of Your Williamsburg Nightmares Have Been Realized In A Reality Series Called 'The Bedford Stop.'” Then, it went viral. Naturally, I stopped everything and watched the 16-minute pilot. I watch a lot of bad TV, so I knew more or less what I was getting into: a low-budget, worse version of The Hills. But this time, it was about my town — and people similar to my friends. The pilot, titled “Tinder Me Softly,” introduces 24-year-old Alex, who moved to Williamsburg two years ago after graduating from FIT to pursue a career in merchandising. “This is my life with my amazing friends, who all moved here to pursue their dreams,” narrates Alex, annoyingly. After she introduces her crew, it pretty much seems like a really awful Tinder advertisement that meets Mission Impossible: Brunch In the 'Burg. That’s basically it. See for yourself:
I couldn’t help but wonder, in a 2015 Carrie Bradshaw kind of way: Do they really exist? Is this real? It must be a joke, right? Wrong. Then, I paused. …Wait, is that supposed to be me? Are they making fun of me? Is that my reality? Yes, I live in Williamsburg. The Bedford stop is my stop. And no, I was not living here before gentrification flooded the neighborhood; I came in with the roaring tides of investment bankers, fashion stars, SoulCyclers, and Larry David (rumor has it, he hangs out at the matcha café on Wythe). As much as I hate to be a part of this stereotype, Williamsburg is a great place to live. I interviewed one of the “stars” of the show, Alex Sosner, about the ugly backlash the girls have received. Seriously, with a tagline like, “A reality show about Brooklyn girls avoiding reality,” what do you expect? “Reading that, you’re immediately going to think, ‘Okay, this is obnoxious and ridiculous,’ but there’s something a little bit deeper to that,” says Sosner. “In the sense of avoiding reality, it’s really us consumed by the internet. Consumed by TV, consumed by always pushing ourselves to do more, yet we are always stuck in a bubble. It’s a whole sense of avoiding reality by being sucked into other things, like social media. That’s honestly really what it is. Of course, we have 9-5 jobs.”
Wait, is that supposed to be me? Are they making fun of me? Is that my reality?
Apart from the fact that it is truly an embarrassing show, the worst part about it is that these vapid imitations of people have now been assigned as the faces of Williamsburg. And I took it as a personal offense, because now I have to be worried about being chalked up to a stereotype just by the sheer fact that I am blonde and live north of Grand. Worse, though, I felt like I joined in perpetuating this stereotype. "Of course, it’s exaggerated," Sosner points out to me. "Anytime you’re filming, there’s going to be some level of exaggeration." I felt some comfort in hearing that. Being fully aware of the general public’s response, Sosner firmly believes that moving forward, beyond the first 16 minutes, people will be able to get to know her crew better. In the hopes of appearing more relatable, they plan to do more than browse Tinder and brunch in the coming episodes. Because yes, there will be more episodes. “Brooklyn is extremely trendy right now, and if there is going to be the next reality show like The Hills, The City, or Jersey Shore, Brooklyn is the next destination," says Sosner. "And people love it. I'm from Florida, and when I go home people ask me all about Brooklyn. So I know the market is there. And I think the world would have a great response to it if they got to know us more." At least she knows the internet is mocking her, right?