Eleven locals will star in an upcoming reality TV show about privileged 20-somethings living it up on Long Island's legendary North Shore, with a backdrop of some of the area's swankiest hotspots and homes.
"Growing Up Gold Coast" stars Chris "Gucci" Gucciardo of Northport, Danielle Sudyam of East Northport, Jill DiVito of Dix Hills, Holly Maurer of Kings Park, Joey Brenes of Copiague, Kristiana Maroudas of Oyster Bay Cove, Kristine Wynne of Huntington, Sal Triolo of Huntington, Marissa McGivney of Hicksville, Sean McCann of Northport, and AJ Scordio of Sands Point.
GUGC Producer Chris Dunn, a Smithtown resident, is also on the show. He is CEO of Lilly and Sophie Enterprises in Huntington Station, which offers a variety of film production and marketing services.
The tanned and toned crew parties hard and Huntington Village seems to be their favorite playground, with location shoots at Black Lantern Ultra Lounge and Sushi Den, XO Wine and Chocolate Bar, and Cafe Buenos Aires. Partying isn't their only endeavor, however, with each cast member trying to make their mark on the world--either big or small--and facing challenges somewhat akin to those faced by the common man.
Here is how the show describes itself: Growing Up Gold Coast features a group of friends who are attempting to find their way in life while navigating the competitive landscape of the Gold Coast. From the boardrooms to the bedrooms, these young adults will have to manage the expectations and pressures to succeed that come with living on the Gold Coast. At a crossroads in their lives and in the midst of personal and professional turmoil, they will make decisions that are going to impact their destinies forever. Whether it is stepping out from the shadows of your parent’s success to pave your own path or fighting over the affections of a special someone, there is never a dull moment.
Chris "Gucci" Gucciardo resides in a 13,000 square foot mansion overlooking Long Island Sound and is second in command at his father's successful development company. In a post on GUGC's Facebook page, he said he hopes the show expands the public's notion of what it means to be from Long Island.
"Despite any of the negativity shown here, most of which by actual Long Islanders," he wrote, "my intentions for being part of this program is to and always has been to dismiss any preconceived notions that so many people have of Long Islanders based on "other" reality shows. I am lucky enough to be part of a group asked to represent the youth of Long Island and show that regardless of our upbringing or families social status, we are ambitious and determined to succeed on our own as individuals. So I ask those of you who take pride in this island we call home to rally behind us in showing those who do not know better that we are so much more than what some successful reality shows have unfairly depicted us."
Whether GUGC dispels inaccurate or unsophisticated views of Long Islanders remains to be seen, as the show has not yet aired. Though the cast is definitely flashy with a healthy dose of attitude, they are still portrayed as people, and the Gold Coast's beautiful natural assets and sophisticated cultural niches featured in GUGC are sure to divert from the "lawn-Guy-land" stereotype.
That the show is speciously named has been a frequent criticism, with Hicksville, East Northport, and Copiague falling out of the strict "Gold Coast" zone north of 25A.
In response to the criticism, launched around by visitors to the show's Facebook page, GUGC wrote, "True those are very wealthy areas, but this show is not only about rich kids. It’s also about those who struggle to make it to the top and possibly even move into those areas. Also AJ Scordio is from Sands Point and Chris Gucci lives in Fort Salonga in a certified Gold Coast Mansion, which is only one of his family's properties. There is more to Long Island then just one type of person and everyone should be included..."
'Growing Up Gold Coast" airs on the Lifetime Real Women Network (sister network to Lifetime) on Nov. 25 at 9:30 a.m. Check your local provider for listings.