3:00pm

Wed March 14, 2012
TURNSTYLE NEWS

Surprisingly, ‘Shahs of Sunset’ Sheds Some Light

If you missed the premiere of Bravo’s “Shahs of Sunset” on Monday, you’re not alone. I did, as did another colleague who was planning to watch. Perhaps ethnic reality TV has become less of a must-see. Not that most of these shows have been must-sees in the first place, though some have tried harder than others.

That said, there are some interesting conversations in the first episode, which Bravo has online, if one can sift through the rest of it. In this one above, one of the cast members, Asa Soltan Rahmati, chats with a girlfriend about the emotional and identity differences between Iranian Americans who arrived before the 1979 revolution and those who arrived afterward, or were born in the United States. It’s a good conversation that reflects similar differences within other immigrant diasporas, especially those whose migration revolved around political upheaval.

Not that the show, which follows a group of wealthy, flashy friends (case in point, Asa’s reference to a caged tiger at a pool party), has impressed too many Iranian Americans with its “reality.” Even if, as one Iranian politics expert told the Christian Science Monitor, “it’s showing a face of Iranians that’s not related to terrorism or nuclear weapons.” From that story:

Some Iranian-Americans are advocating a boycott of “Shahs” as they think showcasing the lives of Iranian-American socialites who flaunt their status as part of the country’s moneyed “one per cent,” will merely worsen public views of the Iranian-American community, especially as the rest of the United States is still painstakingly climbing out of an economic recession.

This story was originally published on TurnstyleNews.comon March 13, 2012.

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