Jewish Journal

Ryan Seacrest takes on LA’s Persian community in new reality series ‘Shahs of Sunset’

by Danielle Berrin

July 20, 2011 | 5:51 pm

(Photo: Sadao Turner/Ryan Seacrest Productions)

Ryan Seacret and “Real Housewives” creator Andy Cohen are teaming up for a new reality series centered around L.A.‘s Persian community.

Modeled after “Keeping Up With The Kardashians,” another Seacrest-produced hit, the series promises lavishness, luxury and lots in the way of stereotype. According to a press release from ryanseacrest.com:

“Shahs of Sunset” will follow a group of young Persian-American friends who juggle living and working in Los Angeles while balancing the demands of their families and traditions.

The series will showcase the group’s luxurious lifestyles from over-the-top shopping sprees to traditional yet lavish family feasts in their sprawling homes. Unafraid to flaunt their designer clothing, tricked-out cars and boisterous personalities, spending money is no foreign concept to these young socialites but also treasure the value of family and Persian traditions.

After announcing the series on his morning radio show “On Air With Ryan Seacrest” earlier today, Mediabistro reported that Seacrest said of Persians: “These men and women are hysterical… Some of them are hot, and some of them are not so hot, but funny.”


There are reasons stereotypes exist, and they certainly sell in Hollywood, but it’d be nice to see a reality show examine the motivations behind some of these obvious tropes. Part of the reason Iranian-Americans are ostentatious has to do with their identity as an immigrant community, in which material wealth is indicative of their success as Americans. The more you have, the more you’ve made it. I would also hope the show looks at social and cultural differences between men and women in the Persian community, in terms of sexual mores, professional achievement and education. The lavishness is just the surface, so let’s hope Seacrest does justice to his name and dives in deep.

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Danielle Berrin writes the award-winning Hollywood Jew blog, a cutting edge, values-based take on the entertainment industry for jewishjournal.com. A Los Angeles Times profile...

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