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April 11, 2012

Shahs Of Sunset – Poppa Can You Hear Me?

http://www.jewishjournal.com/blog/item/shahs_of_sunset_poppa_can_you_hear_me_20120411/

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Reza Farahan

It’s a drag this season is only 6 shows because we are just starting to get into it and they will be gone.  It’s been interesting to meet these people and I hope when they return for season two, Ryan Seacrest lets go of the fake situations and just lets it flow.  These people are good television and they don’t need lame reality scripting.  We’re in Ryan, so respect us.  Let these fascinating people do their thing and let us watch.

This week starts with GG and Asa shopping together, which is ridiculous.  I’m not buying for one second that these two hang out and the awkwardness of GG makes it all painfully clear.  These forced situations are boring and just not needed.  They hate how each other dresses so how can this be enjoyable for them?  These two grabbing a drink would have been weird, so shopping is just too much. It’s cliché one liners from GG and nothing from Asa.

Reza’s mom is over visiting him and let’s be clear, this man is a star.  He is articulate, authentic, and oddly attractive.  From the facial hair, to the insane amount of product in his hair, this man is simply delicious and I love him.  He is reminiscing with his mom and it’s very sweet but sad.  She is a Muslim, and his dad is a Jew who converted to Islam to marry her.  It is a very sad scene but also riveting and impossible to turn away from.

His mom loved her husband, he cheated on her, and it was painful.  The pressures of religion were stressful and a family was torn apart.  She is clearly still scarred by it all and says she had a nervous breakdown after the divorce.  Reza is crying for the family he never got to have, she is crying for the family that she lost, and I am crying as I watch a grown man relive the pain of his childhood, and a mother weep for the pain of her child.

Sadly we jump from Reza and his beautiful mom to GG planning for a girls night out.  I really like her but she is very one dimensional and insanely predictable.  She is going out for ladies night and lets the camera know nobody better get in her face.  Really?  We know she is going to fight with someone so this whole badass persona she has going on is just silly.  There is more to GG and it’s a drag we are not getting to see it.

The girls are out for dinner and quite frankly, it is stupid because they are not all friends, and the ones who actually know each other have tension.  This group would never hang out for dinner so it’s disrespectful to us that Ryan thinks we are buying this scripted crap.  Everyone is having fun, there is no drama, and then GG decides she needs to confront MJ at dinner after she just said she will find an appropriate time to address her issues with her.

Dear Lord. It’s fake and I’m bored.  Why would GG confront MJ for coming late to her parent’s party in front of this group?  MJ is saying she was working, which I’m not buying.  MJ has a very complicated life between work and her parents and she was late.  It happens and GG needs to relax.  Asa gets involved, Asa’s friend Sunny gets involved, and Anita is chomping at the bit to get involved.  Anita wants to be a Shah, but she’s not.

Anita then confronts MJ about what happened in Vegas a million years ago. GG jumps on the bandwagon and says MJ was wrong in Vegas.  GG is supposed to be friends with MJ, but she is throwing her under the bus, which is gross. They are talking about Vegas and Sunny says GG is mean, Asa agrees, and the kabob is hitting the fan.  Sunny is on her feet telling GG she is not a nice human being and a mean girl.  GG then crosses all lines.

Sunny is telling her she is not nice and GG tells her she should go prostitute herself to make a few dollars.  It’s not entertaining, but then it just gets funny when GG tells the camera the last thing she wanted for the night was drama.  Really?  GG is all about the drama and it’s not cute.  Asa is annoyed and embarrassed.  She comes back to tell GG she was wrong. Then leaves with her friend.  Asa is calm and kind, but not authentic.

Asa is a beautiful girl who dances to her own beat and I love that about her. That said, there is something that simply does not ring true about her.  How does she live the life she lives?  I assume her Dad supports her, yet she seems to be judgmental of GG who does the same.  GG owns that she is spoiled and supported by her parents, but Asa keeps it quiet which is not cool.  Diamond water is not paid for by her music career.

GG is retelling the story of girls night to her sister and I’m skipping over it because it’s lame and boring.  MJ goes to see Sammy and she gets her birthday gift.  I like MJ and I like Sammy but this entire scene was just not needed.  It was out of place, and was a time filler to set up the trip to NY with Reza.  MJ says Sammy needs to settle down and meet a nice girl, which I guess is a set up for something next week in the finale.

Reza is going to see his dad after being estranged for years.  His dad left LA when he was a teenager and he has not had contact.  The father left not only the mother, but his child.  Reza lets us know his paternal grandmother is a million years old and the reason the marriage did not work. The conversion to Islam was too much for her and she contributed to the end of the marriage. Reza is going in with an open but broken heart.

Sidebar:  MJ talks about how she has been best friends with Sammy for 20 years, yet tells Reza the Shabbat dinner in New York will be her first.  How is it possible that her best friend, who is Jewish, would never in twenty years invite her to Shabbat dinner?  It seems odd to me that a group that claims to be so close, would not share something as basic but important as a Shabbat dinner.  Not sure why, but that bothers me.

MJ and Reza arrive to dinner and as they get ready to go in to see his family, Reza tells MJ to have his back and if they start to go after him, she needs to save him.  It is heartbreaking.  This grown man is scared and nervous and I want to hug him and tell him it will be okay.  The family embraces him and it’s awkward but lovely and once again this show is making me cry.  Reza sees his dad and I am bawling my eyes out.

Reza is nervous and it’s very sad.  They show the grandmother and I just think it’s mean.  This woman is very old, clearly unaware of the smack talk, and I think it’s unfortunate that they are showing her at all.  She is ancient, loved her son, and was broken when he left her faith.  It was a different time and a different place and while that does not make it right, it was unkind to humiliate her in this way.  I didn’t like it.

Reza takes his dad out for a private conversation and I have now gone into a full blown ugly cry.  Reza’s dad is trying to explain his mistakes and Reza is crying and begging for him to love him.  They are both emotional and it’s very sad.  Reza is telling his dad he hates his grandmother, but the fact is he will under understand the pressure that was placed on everyone in this family.  The pain is deep and it is upsetting.

Reza hugs his dad and tells him he loves him.  MJ pushes them to embrace like they mean it, which is really sweet.  It’s sad because we see Reza’s pain, we see MJ’s pain, and we see how fragile families are.  You can have all the love in the world but even that is not enough to hold families together sometimes.  I feel exhausted after this episode and really hoping they come back next season without the crapfest and just the reality.

Next week will be the season finale and it’s a drag.  There has been a lot of controversy around this show in terms of how it depicts the Persian community, but if you can look beyond that, these are interesting people, living interesting lives.  They are good television and giving us only 6 weeks is not fair.  We need to get them back and it needs to happen quickly.  Shahs of Sunset is reality television that actually tries to keep it real.

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