‘Shahs of Sunset’ - Our Secret Weapon?

Reza Farahan, participant in the reality tv show 'Shahs of Sunset' on Bravo.
Bravo | NBCUniversal | Getty Images
Reza Farahan, participant in the reality tv show 'Shahs of Sunset' on Bravo.

When on the treadmill, I catch up on reality TV. Specifically, I watch Bravo. It is my guilty pleasure which I only watch while on the treadmill, because I can convince myself I’m doing something productive. (*Note Bravo and CNBC are both owned by parent company Comcast)

This weekend I stumbled upon the new "Shahs of Sunset".

For those of you who don't live in Los Angeles, we are home to the largest Persian population outside of Iran. They call it Tehrangeles. I was a young college student at USC when the U.S. embassy was taken over and Ayatollah Khomeini came to power. I remember many nights when the dorms were cleared due to bomb threats. Many of Iran's best and brightest were here studying. They never went home. They've gone on to become some of the greatest success stories in Southern California—usually behind the scenes.

"Shahs of Sunset" brings a portion of that community out in the open, and it's not always pretty. You might say the show is a mix of the Kardashians meets The Jersey Shore, with a big dash of Farsi speaking mothers, hookahs, and Persian food. Like most of these shows, it's vain, vapid, insipid, and…hysterically bad.

Here's why I hope it thrives.

The only person who must find the show more revolting than I do is Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei have to be going nuts. Here, for all the world to see, are Iranians Muslims, Jews, and Christians all hanging out together. One is openly gay! He's pole dancing in the stripper bus for his Vegas birthday party! Look at how the women dress! They're getting drunker than Snooki! Worst of all, they are successful! Arggghhhhhh!

A lot of people are upset about the show. There’s a petitionamong some Iranian Americans to have it cancelled, saying the cast perpetuates the worst stereotypes.

I say look on the bright side. The cast stands for everything the Iranian regime hates. Everything. This could be a good thing. We could put this on Voice of America TV and blast it into Tehran on a 24-hour loop. The entire leadership there may self-combust after being subjected to dialogue bombs like this one, from spoiled bimbette GG -- "Two things I don't like. I don't like ants, and I don't like ugly people."

Bad reality TV. It’s America's most potent secret weapon.

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