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JewishJournal.com

March 12, 2012

Shahs of Sunset - Hello? We’re Persian!

http://www.jewishjournal.com/blog/item/shahs_of_sunset_hello_were_persian_20120312/

Photo

Reza Farahan. Photo by Tommy Garcia/Bravo

The wait is over.  Shahs of Sunset has been in the works for a long time and it finally premiered.  There has been a lot of talk about this group, and most of it not good.  They have been labeled bad for Persians, bad for Jews, and bad for America.  At the end of the day they are a bunch of harmless people who are here to entertain, not create peace between Iran and America.  The bottom line is these people are good television.

Of course good television is up for interpretation, but for me a good reality show makes me laugh, stare in amazement, and not have to think too much. If you follow those criteria, Shahs of Sunset is great television. I was certain I would watch the first episode, and now having seen it, I’m jumping in.  I will watch it, blog it, love, it and mock it.  This is reality TV not politics, so the haters need to lighten up and enjoy the ride.

MJ is Persian, Muslim, a real estate agent, single, and not looking to get married.  She is an only child who has not recovered from the divorce of her parents.  Reza is Persian, Muslim, a real estate agent, single, looking, gay and fabulous.  He is good television and to be clear, I love him.  Mike is Persian, Jewish, a real estate agent, single, a player, and in love with GG, although he downplays exactly how much he is into her.

GG is Persian, Muslim, and a Princess.  She does not work, is supported completely by her dad, and is unapologetic about it.  Like her or hate her, she is honest and clear about who she is so you have to respect that.  She is in for a rude awakening, but bless her for living her life out loud.  She is in love with Mike, but he once dated her sister, which is a little creepy. They are electric and I want them to get married.

Asa is Persian, Muslim, and an artist.  I don’t get her.  Don’t get the music, the art, the clothes, the hair, the eyebrows, none of it.  As we get to know her we will either love her or hate her because she’s a little odd.  It’s going to be one extreme or the other.  Sammy is Persian, Jewish, a real estate agent, a bit of a schlub, but loveable.  They all live well but it appears to be because of their families, not themselves.

These people are proudly Persian.  Their heritage trumps their faith and it’s charming.  It does not matter that some are Jewish and some are Muslim, it does however matter that they are all Persian.  There is a bond that I love and so like it or not, they are showing a side to their community that I think is important.  They respect each other, value their history, and are loving and respectful of their parents.  Except maybe for MJ.

MJ’s mother Vida is hardcore.  She is actually quite mean to MJ, and while it’s not said to be hurtful, it is.  She is a typical mom in a lot of ways, but has put the end of marriage on her daughter and that is a shame.  Vida is funny, but only because she is not my mother.  She thinks Jewish girls get fat and ugly after marriage, and Sammy agrees with her.  Don’t make me call you a pig Sammy.  It’s episode one so pace yourself!

The gang, along with a few friends thrown in, are discussing marriage and religion and it’s fascinating.  It’s the same conversation I have had with my friends, Persian and otherwise.  They are attractive people, clearly Middle Eastern, and a little old to be so unsettled.  They are living the lives of younger people and should be farther along in my opinion.  Before we know it GG and Asa are going at it, and so the games begin.

Asa makes a joke about clothes from H&M, GG thinks she is talking about her, and it’s on.  Asa knocks GG for living off her dad, and GG loses her mind. She is pissed her family was brought into it and even though it really wasn’t, I love her for feeling the need to stand up for her dad.  I like GG.  It will take a couple more episodes to know if I love her because she is good people or if it’s because I’m scared of her.

Mike is in a business meeting, and frankly, I don’t believe what he is saying. He is a player and clearly a liar, but then his mom calls and he takes the call in the middle of the meeting.  His mom is calling to remind him about Shabbat dinner.  He calls her Mummy, tells her he loves her, and all of a sudden I am willing to overlook his crap slinging.  I love how he loves his mother and so now I love Mike too.

MJ is going to be in her friend’s wedding party and she is bitter, mean, and rather selfish.  Rather than support her friend, she is negative and hurtful. It’s sad.  Clearly the divorce damaged her spirit and it really puts a spotlight on how the actions we take as parents really affect our children.  I like MJ and hope she allows herself the opportunity to find love.  She needs to live her life, not get buried under her mother’s life.

Reza is the breakout star of this show.  He is full of one-liners, charming with just the right amount of bitchy thrown in.  His moustache in ridiculous and sexy at the same time.  He is Freddy Mercury and Magnum PI all rolled into one fabulous gay man.  Sammy is sweet, but has a sleaze vibe I can’t quite figure out.  I think in the end he will prove to be more cheesy than sleazy, but time will tell.  Maybe he’s just lonely.

Sammy is having a huge summer party and it’s interesting.  Asa comes in an outfit that nobody understands, Mike brings the chick he is sleeping with and let’s be clear, she is a skank.  GG tells us she hates ants and ugly people, Asa thinks they all need to grow up, and Sammy is scoping out the chicks.  GG and Reza are talking about going to Vegas for his birthday and she is annoyed Asa was invited.  It’s going to get ugly.

I love it that GG, who grew up in Beverly Hills, gets a heavy New York accent when she is pissed off.  Too funny.  GG is jealous of Mike’s whore and it’s cute.  The sexual tension between Mike and GG is hilarious.  Sidebar: I’m trying to figure out who GG reminds me of and I think its Debra Messing. Picture GG with red hair and you’ll see it.  I’m totally digging this show.  It is everything reality television should be.

I’m not Persian so I can’t comment on how this show will be perceived by that community, but I can tell you it’s TV not politics and these people are not hurting anyone.  They are not here to save the planet, or make Iranian/American relations better.  They are funny, endearing, annoying, charming, and fabulous.  If you want to hate, don’t watch.  I will be tuning in, blogging, and keeping it real.

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