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Shahs of Sunset: All-American Annoying

by Rachel Stein March 12, 2012 11:48 am
<i>Shahs of Sunset</i>: All-American Annoying

While All-American Muslim was by no means a perfect show (we're still pissed at Shadia for the Wrigley incident), we were disappointed to learn that TLC cancelled it last week. Normalizing (and I use that word in the context of the social climate) Muslim-Americans to mainstream audiences -- even if some of the people on that show were annoying -- is a worthy cause, and All-American Muslim did do a bit of service to the community simply in terms of representing this diverse culture on television. If there was any hope that Shahs of Sunset would do anything to continue to teach viewers that Iranian-Americans were no different than "you and me," this program may have chosen the wrong handful of people to showcase.

Now, I'm not saying by any means that every show that features Americans of Middle Eastern descent has a duty to be sensitive to the intolerance displayed in some parts of our country. Maybe by not focusing on trying to prove how "normal" these people are (and not painting them as "outsiders" either), Shahs can show rather than tell that just because a person yields from Iran, they're no different than any of the other nouveau riche Housewives who call Beverly Hills their home... maybe it can be that much more effective that way. It's not as if Bravo is claiming to be "colorblind" or anything -- there is serious ethnic pride in this cast, and the parts where culture is celebrated and explained are probably the most tolerable moments of the show. And Shahs has every right to be another terrible, trashy reality TV series with no soul whatsoever... and I guess, in a way, the show teaches us that Persian-American people can be just as appalling as anyone else. In particular, GG and Mike are probably the worst of the self-absorbed bunch, but Reza's mustache bumps him up to a whole different level for me.

Adding to the soullessness of this show, the only part that I genuinely enjoyed was seeing an extremely fast shot of You're Cut Off's Hanna at Sammy's party. I've been complaining about the Jersey Shore cast never addressing the fact that they're rich and on a reality show all season long, and Shahs has now convinced me that the last thing I want to watch is a bunch of obnoxious idiots talk about how cool it is to be rich. I'll take the duck phone and Shore Store any day over dog hotels and caged tigers at pool parties, thank you very much.

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