Shahs of Sunset

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Shahs of Sunset TV Poster Image
Typical wild reality drama, this time Persian American.

Parents say

age 17+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The series notes some cultural details about the Persian community, but these are overshadowed by the focus on affluence and flashy lifestyle.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The cast members are proud of their Persian background, but much of their focus is on image and material wealth. Female cast members attempt to break away from the traditional Persian expectations placed on them, but the men quietly uphold it.


Arguing, yelling, screaming, and threats of violence are common. One cast member enjoys guns, knives, and other weapons. Guns are fired at a range.


Blunt references to the size and activity of male genitalia, women's sexuality, boob jobs, as well as the importance of getting married and having children. Terms like "bust my balls," "sluts," and "hos" are used. Women are often seen in skimpy bikinis and other revealing and tight-fitting outfits, and sometimes move provocatively.


Words like "piss" and "ass" are frequently audible, as are fully bleeped curses like "s--t" and "f--k."


Rolex watches, Mercedes-Benz, Audis, BMWs, Yves St. Laurent bags, and Cristal champagne are just a few of the endless number of high-end logos visible and discussed.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters drink wine, champagne, cocktails, and hard liquor frequently and sometimes smoke hookah pipes. One cast member mildly criticizes Muslim members of her community for engaging in these activities.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this reality series about wealthy Iranian-Americans in Los Angeles contains lots of drinking (wine, cocktails, hard liquor), strong sexual references, and lots of cursing (bleeped "s--t", "f--k"). High-end logos (Audi, Rolex, Cristal, Yves St. Laurent, etc.) are constantly visible. While it breaks down some stereotypes about the Persian community, it also reinforces others.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byCreative Genius January 27, 2021

Flaws of Sunset

I'm a firm believer that one of the 'worst' television shows ever aired simply had to be Jersey Shore ... but alas, I was wrong!

MTV should be... Continue reading
Adult Written byJoseph B. August 3, 2017

No Redeeming Value

With the huge number of alternatives in programming with which to choose from, don't waste the moments of your life with this drivel.
Kid, 10 years old March 30, 2012


but it is very stupid, even though it's hilarious. though they do drink a lot and get very sick.

What's the story?

The reality series SHAHS OF SUNSET features five Iranian-American friends negotiating their Persian identities while living stylish and affluent Southern California lifestyles. The gang includes commercial real estate leasing exec Mike Shouhed, the spoiled and weapon-loving Golnea \"GG\" Gharachedaghi, real estate developer Sammy Younai, and the flamboyant Reza Farahan. Rounding out the group are Mercedes \"MJ\" Javid and Asa Soltan, a performance artist who doesn't share her friends' materialistic interests. From enjoying their active social lives and shopping trips to coping with their parents disapproval or pressure to live a more traditional lifestyle, the group shows how they navigate a world where image is everything.

Is it any good?

The show highlights some of the Persian community's cultural norms and values, including the diversity of religion that exists in the Persian community. Cast members briefly share how their families escaped from Iran after the 1979 revolution, and proudly note how financially successful they've become despite their difficult beginnings in America. But the real focus is on the drama created by the cast's obnoxious and narcissistic attitudes, as well as their constant need to showcase their wealth and lifestyle.

The show breaks down some stereotypes about the Iranian-American community, but what is being showcased here contributes to other problematic generalizations about its members. Meanwhile, it contains the expected drinking, cat fighting, and relationship issues that one expects from this sort of thing. Reality fans looking for some voyeuristic entertainment may find something here, but outside of this it has little else to offer.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the immigrant experience in America. What are some of the challenges immigrants face when they come? What are some of the stereotypes that exist about immigrants? Do you think reality shows like this one help break them down, or do they reinforce them?

  • What trends in reality TV do you notice? Why are the "wives" shows so popular? How do these shows make you feel? Guilty? Ashamed? Lucky? Jealous? Proud? Something else?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love reality television

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