On the heels of controversial, top-rated hits like the Jersey Shore and the Real Housewives and Kardashian franchises comes the Shahs of Sunset, Bravo’s newest offering which centers around the lives of a clique of well-to-do young members of Los Angeles’s Persian community.
Among those viewers will get to know include: Golnesa — i.e. G.G. — a jobless socialite content to live off her father’s riches; Mercedes, a luxury real estate agent and admitted “party girl;” Sammy, a real estate developer; Asa, an artist; and Reza, an openly gay real estate agent who aims to send a social message with his very presence on the program.
“I have an important message, all the bling and Mercedes aside: I’m an openly gay Persian man. According to the president of the country I was born in, I don’t even exist,” Reza said, according to the AP, referring to a 2007 comment from Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad implying there are no gay people in Iran.
Reza said the online anti-gay bullying movement, It Gets Better, “compelled me to want to have and use this platform to talk about myself and show how I live my life.
“My family loves me, my friends love me and I’m really supported.”
Perhaps not as endearing is GG, whose comments on Sunday’s premiere provided a hybrid of Snooki ignorance with Housewives arrogance.
“I’m 30 years old and my only paycheck is from my daddy,” she said at one point, later proclaiming: “There are two things I don’t like: I don’t like ants, and I don’t like ugly people.”
The executive producer of the show, the incomparable Ryan Seacrest, hailed “Reza’s personal story [as] an inspiring one on many levels,” and dubbed the cast as a “tight-knit community full of people who have really embraced the American dream.”
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Shahs of Sunset airs at 10/9c on Bravo.
Watch a clip of the show below: