Oh how we were all saying to ourselves, I can't wait until there's a shameless clone of an already painful-to-watch franchise like Real Housewives for me to look down upon and ridicule. Don't worry people, Bravo was listening and this month it premiered something that was half Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, half Keeping Up with the Kardashians, and all-around disgusting titled The Shahs of Sunset (premiere on March 11th). It focuses on a group of Iranian-Americans who are just as shallow, obnoxious, and classless as regular Americans and just like shows like this do, already sparked an enormous cluster-fuck of controversy.
If there's a group of people I truly despise in all of this, I would have to say it's not the executives at Bravo, it's not the fame-whores of Shahs of Sunset, but it's the 'outraged' viewers of whichever socioeconomic culture group that predictably takes active measures against the other two groups. Seriously viewers? Are you that surprised that a network like Bravo was going to exploit and skew a culture portraying it in a superficial light? Like they don't do that with every single walk of life? And did you not pay attention back in 2009 when Jersey Shore first premiered and the Italian American community flooded the halls of MTV Networks with lawsuits and sanctimonious hate-mail? Don't you know that resistance is futile and you're fighting a losing battle over the greatest trend in pop-culture today which is being shamelessly idiotic?
People like me with an esteemed education and reputable collection of pretentious books will tune in every week and then blog about it and soon enough, 'the Shahs' will end up on Anderson Cooper 360 where even serious hot-guy news journalist Anderson Cooper will have to pay attention to them. When Bravo shoves something down your throat you swallow it and say 'thank you sir, may I have another?'
Yes, it's racist, yes it's culture-skewing, yes it's deplorable, inaccurate, crass, demeaning, offensive, disrespectful, stereotypical, and consequential, and that is exactly why it's on TV. Don't get me wrong I don't expect this to have a long run, the Shahs will be back to doing whatever it is that they do in less than a season. I give it another two episode before Bravo pulls the plug because it's just too redundant, and neither my criticism nor anyone else's is going to get it off the show any quicker, in fact, it will probably draw people to it at alarming rates.
My real complaint with it is that it's nothing new, and just pandering to a demographic that is becoming a dying art; we all enjoy people being awful on national television because we all want to feel better about ourselves, and then fact that we watch shows like Jersey Shore, Real Housewives of... and now The Shahs of Sunset ironically only perpetuates this. It was once our greatest TV pleasure, but this show proves that blatant stupidity is only fun in moderate doses, and it's about to overdose. You'll see, we're all getting to the point where we put down the remote and pick up the Dostoyevsky. Just kidding. See you at The Pauly D Project viewing party!
Here's a promo.