The new Kardashians Reality show Shahs of Sunset follows the antics of affluent Persian socialites in LA
A new reality show is set to do to a group of Iranian immigrants what Keeping up With The Kardashians did to a wealthy LA family.
It also appears to be very similar, on first appearances, to other aspects of the Kardashian franchise – from the long, dark locks to the lavish lifestyles, Shahs of Sunset follows the antics of six 30-something 'Persian socialites' living around Sunset Boulevard.
The brainchild of Ryan Seacrest – he
of Kardashians and Sasha Baron-Cohen's Oscars ashes stunt fame – the
successful producer is keen to focus on their good values, rather than
the flashiness and bling that have come to characterise many well-heeled Iranians in
Teh-ran-geles: Shahs will feature a cast of firm friends, all of whom attended Beverley Hills High School but are from Iran originally
great thing about a show like this,' he told The Daily Beast, 'is that it promotes
something I believe in, which is friendship and family. We like shows
Cast members from the area of LA known as Tehrangeles, agree, saying that the show is
about friendship and are excited, as one put it, about 'the impact it's going to have on
people to see us Persians and learn something new.'
Eastern origins: Rapper and singer Asa left Iran aged 8 and headed to LA
via Germany, while Reza believes he is an anomaly as a gay Persian
They might be on to something – many
of the cultural stereotypes of Iranians seen in the U.S. media hinge
upon 'the terrorist Arab archetype or Persian archetype,' Thaddeus
Russell, author of a renegade history of the United States, told The
Drawing upon the strong ties LA has
to Iran – it became a new home to many exiled families after the 1979
revolution – the show is also being compared to Jersey Shore. But its
proponents say the cast is about much more than than heels, lap dogs and hair extensions.
A dapper-looking moustachioed man by
the name of Reza Farahan believes that he is an 'anomaly' in that he is
a gay Persian.
High standards: GG refers to herself as a Persian princess and says she is 'a business girl and a daddy's girl'
'We are much more sophisticated [than Jersey Shore's cast],' he told Daily Beast. 'We come from different backgrounds of lawyers and doctors. Those people on Jersey Shore
are hooking up every night. They have a 'smoosh' room. They drink
pickle juice. They have nothing. They are incredibly trashy. We are not
He says he wouldn't change a thing about his background
and professes to be a great sports fan.
The clique has close ties – all went to Beverley Hills High School together in the Eighties and Nineties.
Sultan of LA: Sammy is a real-estate mogul and left Iran when he was 'about four' before heading to Beverley Hills
29-year-old Golnesa 'GG' Gharachedaghi is a daddy's girl – beautiful, hunting for a husband and fully financially dependent on her father. She is unabashed about the show's potential. 'Do I think people will see us in a different light Yes, I do' she said to the site. 'We are not terrorists. Our money isn’t from oil. We’re not related to
Saddam Hussein or Osama bin Laden.'
Asa Soltan Rahmati left Iran aged just 8 and made her way to the U.S. via Hamburg, Germany.
On a show preview, the musician says she has been called the
Persian MIA, the Persian Lady Gaga, the Persian Kesha and the Persian
Grace Jones – and made a song named for her homeland pomegranate stew
Sunset style: MJ (left) spoils her pet
chihuahuas while muscle-bound friend Mike (right), says he is in a
relationship that is not at the 'serious stage'
'My videos get around' she tells the Daily Beast. 'I get pulled over by Persian girls who want to take pictures of me. We don’t have any people that are out in the public, that are living outside the box.'
Mercedes 'MJ' Javid has a reputation as a party girl and spoils her two pet chihuahuas rotten. According to the bravo site, there is no love lost between her and her mother: 'Coming from different sides of the spectrum MJ and her overbearing and unconventional Persian mother, Vida, fight over everything including the way MJ dresses.'
Sammy Younai and Mike Shouhed are both in the real-estate business. Mike, 33, says he is part of the city's 'Persian Real Estate Mafia' while muscle-bound Sammy, 35, is a 'ladies man'.
He admits – for all the women out there – that while he is currently dating someone, the relationship is 'not serious'.
Shahs of Sunset premieres on March 11 on Bravo at 10pm.