'Shahs of Sunset': Is image everything?


"When the revolution happened, we all had to pick up and flee the old country." So begins the premiere episode of "Shahs of Sunset," Bravo's latest reality series focused on a wealthy niche community. The oft-referred to "old country" is Iran, and its Islamic Revolution of 1979 -- which occurred when most of the cast were small children. And while this is new territory for the people who brought you the Real Housewives and Kardashian franchises, it certainly ain't the History Channel. In the premiere episode of "Shahs," Bravo and Ryan Seacrest Productions juxtapose these Persian-Americans' narratives of their refugee pasts alongside flashy images associated with Beverly Hills excess and reality show ridiculousness: Mercedes Benzes, shopping sprees, suits and swimming pools. The immigrant experience alongside the ups and downs of being a rich and single thirty-something in LA is the series' backdrop. It's had the public buzzing with curiosity (Middle Eastern, and particularly Muslim-American lifestyles...



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