There's Reza, a gay guy who brags about all his fine living and refined tastes, but, with his ridiculous mustache and shiny suits and gaudy gold jewelry, looks more like a Eugene Levy character than the Persian Jay Gatsby. I suppose the gay/Iranian taboo divide could develop into something worth watching, but right now Reza seems as ridiculous and useless as any other Bravo token gay. Equally stock character-esque is tiny spitfire GG, a loudly self-professed daddy's girl who flirts with the show's resident hunk, Mike, but claims coyly to not actually like him like him. This, of course, doesn't stop her from talking trash about his provocatively dressed date at a pool party, whom GG immediately starts belittling to her friends all while claiming to Mike that she's in no way "talking shit." We've seen this character on Bravo a million times — the supposedly prim and proper spoiled brat who's really just a mean, jealous old snake. It's not hard to guess where her storyline with Mike will go, all a series of half-starts and imagined slights and lots of fingers angrily pointed in faces. Yawn.
One potentially different character is Asa, a free-spirited artist type who makes videos and paintings and songs about being a displaced Persian immigrant, someone who feels culturally homeless and whatnot. That's sort of a change from the usual bling-bragging, I suppose. Only, in truth, Asa is just as materialistic as the rest of them. Though she makes the claim early on in the episode that she's nowhere near as shallow and things-obsessed as her fellow LA Persians, she says so after pulling up to a recording studio in a gleaming Mercedes convertible and then later talks snidely about H&M clothes, implying that they're cheap and déclassé. So, she's just like everyone else on the show, basically, but she wears artsier clothes. It could be kind of fun to watch her make a hypocrite of herself over and over again, but probably only for an episode or two. The producers presented GG and Asa as enemies last night, so that tension will likely continue to flare up. At this point, this late in the Bravo game, it's hard to believe that this conflict isn't at least a little planned and staged, which is annoying. Really everyone on the show seems to be going through all the required motions of the Bravo reality game: Assert a fabulous life that you're convinced everyone is jealous of so we don't feel bad making fun of it, put a fight in place that's based on nothing concrete but will continue throughout the season because the show needs a fight, and set up a will they/won't they sort of thing between the "good looking" ones. It's all been done before! (To see it done better, simply turn to often mourned NYC Prep, which is now on Netflix Instant! Eee!)
The centerpiece of awfulness on Shahs of Sunset, yes there's more and worse, has to be MJ. She's a determinedly single gal about town, claims to not be interested in getting married -- which is fine, nothing wrong with that -- but who carries her two chihuahuas around in a stroller and puts them in a dog hotel while she's at work functions and claims that they go to yoga and that one of them "voted" in the last election. Yeeeesh. Can we just be done with the whole tiny dog as child/prop thing? If you want a tiny dog, fine, great, there are many cute and wonderful tiny dogs. But the tiny dog as accessory thing, that that is still happening, is actually kind of insane. How long ago was Paris Hilton, for god's sake? She's got to be in her mid-50s by now, right? It's time to let that trend sink into the ground and disappear forever. Please. C'mon, MJ.