Shahs of Sunset

 
Typical wild reality drama, this time Persian American.

What parents need to know

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

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.

Violence

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

Sex

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.

Language

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

Consumerism

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.

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.

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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?

QUALITY
 

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.

Families can talk 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

Cast:Asa Soltan Rahmati, Golnea Gharachedaghi, Reza Farahan
Network:Bravo
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:TV-14
Available on:Streaming

This review of Shahs of Sunset was written by

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Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Kid, 10 years old March 30, 2012
age 12+
 

LOL

IM PERSIAN AN THIS SHOW IS HILARIOUS!!!!!! but it is very stupid, even though it's hilarious. though they do drink a lot and get very sick.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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