See also: *How Shahs of Sunset Gets L.A. Iranians All Wrong. And It's Just Bad
Bravo's Shahs of Sunset came back with vengeance Sunday night with its highest rated episode ever. In your face anyone (me) who thought the show would never get picked up for another season. Boy, were you (me) wrong.
Now that the initial shock of becoming Seacrest's latest laughing stock to row their boats to the Americas has worn off, the people of Tehrangeles are reveling in the fact that they're being noticed at all (who do you think watched Argo?) Because one thing Iranians love more than Neiman Marcus sales and blistering tea with watermelon on a hot summer's day is attention and some sort of claim to fame.
Since the show aired, friends and cousins have found any opportunity to be associated with these shahs and shahzadehs. Whether it's bragging about their mom's encounter at Elat Market with Mike's aunt's neighbor's niece (or something like that) or yelling "that's my leg!" when they see a footage of themselves in the background of a party hosted by one of the cast members, Shahs of Sunset has made a celebrity of a whole race, not just its characters.
Speaking of the cast, they are back, fiercer, angrier, and bigger than ever (literally bigger. Must be all that food and booze at dinner parties they keep having). From GG's confrontation with her very pregnant sister, to Mike's inspiration to sell old stereos found in dumpsters, and MJ's relentlessly disparaging mother, there is a greater attempt this time around to make them more human. But while their spirits may be in shambles, their hair and wardrobe is not. They're as bedazzled in high-end regalia as ever.
Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), Sammi Younai has been replaced. Apparently even with his wild tiger he was not able to stir up as much mania and drama as the new cast member, "Persian Barbie" Lily Ghalichi and her perpetually spinning dog Coconut, are bound to. A recruit from Texas, Ghalichi's just rich, skinny and high-pitched enough to be a contender for the coveted role of the reigning queen of Sunset.
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While circumstances are often driving everyone's theatric outbursts, Reza and his pet mustache seem to have a built-in knack to entertain purely on their own. He is the show. And although his sexual orientation has the Ayatollah turning in his grave, in Los Angeles he's been a vehicle of progress for a community who has yet to embrace gays and lesbians. And for that, we thank him.
But whatever your opinion of the show or the cast members may be, there's no doubt the Shahs will live on. Well played, Seacrest, well played (insert slow hand clap).